New York City welcomed toy makers as they began holding two toy events this weekend. The first event was the the Toy of the Year Awards, which took place at the Grand Hyatt New York at 42nd Street and was hosted by the Toy Industry Association. From the beginning of September to the middle of October, members of various toy industries nominated toys for the award. The Toy Industry said that more than 250 toys were submitted. Members of the toy industry included journalists, play experts, retailers, academics as well as other groups. Patch, a toy company, has two toys that are up for awards. One of these toys is Pop Pop Piano, a toy piano that plays notes and sends a star that pops up through a clear arch.
The second toy is a game called the Chain Letters Game; players have letters with hooks on them and have to try to spell out words without breaking the chain. Lisa Wuennemann, the director of marketing for Patch, said the game is a mix between Scrabble and Barrel of Monkeys. The awards range from game of the year, and people’s choice to outdoor toy of the year. The awards ceremony is the kickstart to the the American International Toy Fair. The American International Toy Fair, which was the second of two toy events New York City is holding this weekend, is billed as the largest youth and toy marketplace in the Western Hemisphere. Adrienne Appell, the spokesperson for Toy Industry Association said that they expect 30,000 people to come to the fair. Wuennemann said that the fair is important because they get to see their retailers face to face and this is their opportunity to introduce them to their new items for 2014 so the retailers can place orders for Christmas.
A Canadian toy company, GameBrotherZ, has six toys they are showcasing at the fair in New York City. One of these toys is called the MimiQ, which has players ask their opponent for a game card by making the face that they think is on the card. If their opponent does not have the card, the player has to stick out their tounge. The player who has three cards first wins. A second game that GameBrotherZ will be showing is Spuzzle Strategy. Spuzzle Stragedy is a game intended for players over the age of 8 and is a puzzle game where players have to build the longest trail of pieces before anyone else does. Wunnerman will be showcasing many games and activities, one of these is Wood WorX. Wood WorX is a craft kit that includes paint, glue and decals that are used in different projects such as jewelry or race cars. Some of the games will be available in stores in March while others will be released in July.
New York City will be in toy land after it finishes holding one of two toy events this weekend. The Toy of the Year Awards was held on Saturday and the International Toy Fair will run from Sunday to Wednesday. Some of the awards that were given out were toy of the year, people’s choice and outdoor toy of the year. Patch had two toys up for awards and GameBrotherZ had six toys at the International Toy Fair. The International Toy Fair website says that the fair will have over 1,000 exhibiting distributors, manufacturers, sales agents and importers from all over the world showing the entertainment and toy products.
By Jordan Bonte
CBS New York
The Sacramento Bee