Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2012 12:04 PM
Today is the final day of the Toy Industry Association's 109th annual Toy Fair, wrapping up in New York with a power surge of touchscreens, apps and other tech-based entertainment (or edutainment) items designed to engage young minds — and open their elders' wallets. At a time when toy sales have been stagnant for the past several years, major toymakers and upstarts alike were banking on the whiz bang of tablets, interactivity, and apps to lift the industry from its doldrums.
This year's Toy of the Year at the fair is symbolic of the direction the industry is taking: LeapFrog's LeapPad Explorer Tablet, a $99 kid's version of a computer tablet introduced last February that was so popular retailers couldn't keep it in stock during the 2011 holiday selling season. LeapPad also won "Educational Toy of the Year" and "Preschool Toy of the Year."
The two leading toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel, both debuted app-related products at the Toy Fair. Hasbro updated its clasic board game, "The Game of Life," by promoting a version ("The Game of Life zAPPed," which is available now for $25) that resides on an iPad — literally. Download the app, place your iPad on the middle of the board and it serves as the "spinner" as swell as adding interactive games and videos to the fun.
Mattel's big entry into app-land is "Apptivity," a whole new toy line that turns the iPad into a live board game, by integrating such popular toys as Barbie dolls and Hot Wheel cars with tablet-based games. A child can race one of the new Hot Wheel cars on the screen of an iPad, or use Apptivity to enhance Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds game play.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 12, 2010 10:46 AM
Toy Fair, kicking off in New York this weekend, is the big show for new toy introductions. When toy manufacturers display their wares this year, analysts expect them to be conservative as the recession subsides, pitching value more than price.
"You will see the manufacturers emphasize how much play time or value the kid gets out of the toy and then talk about the amazing price associated with that play value," says Anita Frazier, an analyst with market research firm NPD Group.
Toy makers will focus primarily on two areas – going green and leveraging technology – to boost sales in 2010. For the first time, Toy Fair will include a "green pavilion" to highlight environmentally friendly toys. It's a response to retail buyers who said last year they wanted more "eco-friendly" products to market to consumers.Continue reading...