TTPM 2016 SPRING TOY SHOWCASE
Last month the boys and I headed up to New York for the TTPM 2016 Spring Toy Showcase. This was the boy’s first toy show ever and although I was not exactly sure how I was going to balance working and enjoying the show with the boys it was too cool of an opportunity for them to pass up. The boys sat through the welcoming press conference where kid models brought out toys that were expected to perform the best this spring and summer. After that they were released into a room where they were allowed to play with the latest toys from all the top toy companies. We saw and road tested tons of toys. I am happy to say most of them come in a really affordable price points. Here are some of our favorite and why:
1. WET HEADS
Wet Heads: You might have seen our video of the boys testing Wet Heads on instagram. You can tell from Ollie’s look of sheer excitement that this was their overall favorite. Wet Heads is a great backyard summer game that everyone can play. I actually see us playing this on the beach too. When it is your turn you put on a plastic yellow helmet that has red tubes sticking out all around the circumference of the helmet. Next you test your luck on the spinner. The number you land on is the number of tubes you remove from the helmet. You never know which tube will be the one to douse you with water. The boys got a kick out of the anticipation of their heads being gently drenched with water.
StikBots: If you are like me and spent more than you wanted to on the Minecraft Stop Animation set last holiday you will want to check StickBots out. At a very friendly $19.99 price point this set not only comes in at a lower price point it also offers more. Stikbots come with a free app, green screen options, and a tripod. You do not realize how great the tripod is until you have the Minecraft set and your kids are trying to hold the phone or prop the phone while they are moving the figures. I loved this product.
3. WORRY EATERS
Worry Eaters: Introduced first in Europe are unidentifiable, plush, creatures with zippers for mouth and are the perfect place for keeping your little ones worries. Worry Eaters give children a reason or situation where they can talk about what their worries are. I have to say I also love the price point on these guys. At $15.00 for a small and $22.95 for a large, this is a great gift even if there is nothing to worry about at the moment.
The same company also has a creative line called CALAFANT. This is a line of cardboard barns, castles, and houses that kids can construct, paint, and play with. The options are really creative and most of the line is geared towards girls but there are also other great options like robots, an Indian camp, and a pirate ship. These will make great gifts for the holiday or birthdays. You can also purchase decoration kits and kits are broken out into levels 1-3 with one being the easiest and three being the most complicated. Check out their website for the full line.
S.T.E.M. (acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.)
The last time I suggested getting out my, (yes, I said MY) K’NEX, Henry looked at me and said, “Are those educational K’NEX?” My response kind of surprised me. I said K’NEX are K’NEX schools are now just using them to say they have a S.T.E.M. program. I will admit in all the tours I have done I am a little tired of seeing K’NEX define S.T.E.M. programs at local schools. Finally K’NEX is going to have to move over…
5. HOT WHEELS
Hot Wheels has already started introducing Speedometry in over 23,000 schools in both English and Spanish. Kids will now be able to crash their Hot Wheels into learning about:
Potential and Kinetic energy, Measurement and Distance, Collecting Data, Patterns and Mathematical Predictions, Presenting Research Findings.
Mattel is currently out of these kits but you can still download the FREE curriculum and watch instructional videos.
6. TOYS “R” US
Toys “R” Us is also jumping into the S.T.E.M. game with their own line from Edu Science. The Ultimate Secret Formula Lab says it is for 8 years old and up but Ollie (5) loved putting on the googles and acting like a scientist. The lab has 20 science experiments that focus on atmospheric pressure, acids and bases, chemical reactions and fluid dynamics. Seeing that I only understood some of that this edu-toy will probably be a family affair. AVAILABLE IN JULY 2016
Toys “R” Us is also introducing an interactive globe that is a throw back in looks but not in technology. This globe is hands on with touch and learn technology and includes interactive Q&A games. The globe comes complete with the Reading Pen. Kids use the pen to touch a city, region, or country and they will be able to find out about its population, geographic characteristics, climate and more. AVAILABLE IN AUGUST 2016
7. RBS PRECISION
Well I can’t say I am thrilled with what will happen to me with this one but the traditional rubber band gun got a major makeover. I wish I could tell you that these are crazy expensive and so on but… not a chance. Precision RBS is a super cool rubber band gun that comes in three sizes and ranges in price from $14.99- $24.99. These bad boys have insane accuracy, can shoot up to 50 feet, can be loaded with 20-26 rubber bands, have room for rubber band storage and oh yes there is a blast feature where 14 bands can be launched AT ONCE! Strap on the eye gear my friends because this is going to sting. Each of the three sizes comes with different features but the CHIRON (medium size) seems to be the blast bang for your buck.
8. TMNT 6V PARTY WAGON
We are out of our TMNT phase… or are we? Pacific Cycle pulled Ollie back in with a TMNT 6V Party Wagon. I mean you would have thought the kid came home to the motherland. This will be sold at Walmart at a $189.87 price point. I have bought these things before and that is actually a really good price point. The weapon accessories are sold separately. Sorry folks. Nunchucks cost extra! This is a Walmart Exclusive and will be out in JUNE.
9. SKATEBOARD MIKEY
The Jakks Pacific XPV RC Skateboarding Mikey pulled me in. This will only be sold at Walmart and the suggested price is $69.99 but I found it on their website, (SOLD OUT) for $59.00. Mikey’s front foot is not fixed to the board so he spins around and if one of his tricks does not go as planned he self-rights himself and keeps going. There are also 10 “radical” sound phrases to enjoy. This item is a higher price point but it is also pretty large.
10. CANDYLICIOUS BUBBLES
Now something we have been playing with since we got back is Candylicous Bubbles. This is a bubble solution that taste like candy. These are the only edible bubbles on the market and yes they are delicious. Now you can have your bubbles served to you from the traditional bubble wand or let the bubble ninja bubble machine do the work for you. Why should you have to miss out on all the fun? Out now and nicely priced at $12.99 this is an easy birthday present or summer surprise. We will be buying refills.
11. SQUINKIES DO DROPS
We did see season 5 of Shopkins but I will be honest once the rep saw I had two boys with me she could not be bothered to look up from her phone. Little did she know that Ollie loves little squishy figures and the ladies in Henry’s first grade class were dying for us to report back to them. I would like to also have her know that one time our happy meals (don’t judge) got mixed up and Ollie was not phased by his Shopkins hot pink high heels and compact. Thankfully the rep from blip toys was super nice and happy to show us Squinkies and the new Do Drops collection. These are tiny animals and figures with mix and match headwear accessories. I didn’t fully understand it until Ollie showed me how perfect the bright orange wig looked on his parrot and little blob person. He played with those little things on the train all the way home from New York. Making me think we will be packing up our hot pink high heels and moving on over to Squinkieville. Squinkies DoDrops will be available this summer in Justice stores only to start.
12. HYPER TOSS
Moose, the makers of Shopkins, also has this new game called Hyper Toss. This is cup and ball for our kid’s generation. I would be lying if I did not mention that I see this toy as a hidden gem because I have a pretty strong feeling that this could entertain my boys all on its own. There are three cups, one ball, and a little man in the machine that tells them exactly what each challenging new move is. #sold. This retails for $20.00.
13. SCHWINN SMARTSTART
I did get to talk to the people from Schwinn and they have redesigned kid’s bicycles. I mean they really have done a major rehaul. Any Schwinn bike on the market will have the following qualities:
Pedals are removable. *City parents I know you love those balance bikes. This is ideal for you because you only have to buy one bike. Seat size has been reduced. The average kid’s bike have seats that are way too large for little bums. Grips are smaller for smaller hands. The Pedals on SmartStart bikes now match a child’s hip width. Schwinn is the first bike that has been built to fit a child’s proportions… which sounds crazy but it is true!
And let’s wrap it up with Razor. The new scooters are awesome and electric. The boys loved them and I had a hard time getting them off of them. However they really struggled with the Heel Wheels (Heelys with just the wheels) and the Rip Surf (in-line skate board shapes like a surfboard). These items are not for young ones. Let me also clarify these items are not for old ones like me. We actually have the Heel Wheels at home and I could not figure it out. I just watched a video on it and I have no idea how those tween-teens are making it work. These two products are for big kids that are able to try, try, try again until they master it. I would also suggest a helmet are they are learning.
THOSE WERE OUR FAVORITES!