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Toy Fair 2013 Trends: Colors, clothes, critters, and cuteness! What more could a visitor want! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 18 February 2013 15:59
The chimp-chick with a fierce attitude is part of Planet Sock Monkey’s 2013 roster. The sock with moxie is the brain child of Patch Products.
Lovely to look at . . . and unbelievably soft to the touch! Aurora’s YooHoo skirt would be right at home in Katy Perry’s armoire.
Panda bears are natural-born charmers. That’s the black-and-white reality! Aurora has a winner with their Lin Lin design.
The snowstorm known as Nemo nearly shut down Toy Fair. At the Hansa booth, a wintertime vignette was beautifully staged. (And it featured a serenading deer!)
Douglas showed off realistic renderings of woodland and forest animals . . .
. . . as well as the dinosaurs that roamed the earth eons ago.
Bright, bold, and basically bedazzling! The Fiesta colors were hot, hot, hot!
A confectionary of colors was the theme at the Fiesta booth. These candy-inspired critters really are eye candy!
Bearington brought the cute factor to the foreground with its four-legged princess critters.
It was raining cats and dogs at Toy Fair! The Nat and Jules line had a kennel of popular pooches.
France’s Teeboo has an entourage of fans, including the HBO “Entourage” star Kevin Dillon, who is smitten with the Teeboo kitten.
The future of play—blending soft toys with embedded digital data and codes—was revealed at Toy Fair. The Scanimalz—like this “Barkcode”—is a way to mesh the tactile with technology.
How can you be blue at Toy Fair? Impossible when you can hobnob with Papa Smurf, who was making his debut as a Schleich figure!
The chimp-chick with a fierce attitude is part of Planet Sock Monkey’s 2013 roster. The sock with moxie is the brain child of Patch Products.
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Have you ever wondered what kind of a monkey you are? As a fan of the “Planet of the Apes” series, I’d sort of like to fancy myself as a Kim Hunter/Dr. Zira chimp: smart, sassy, compassionate, scientific but still daring. When it comes to sci-fi heroines, that inquisitive ingénue rules!

I was confronted with that simian insight last week at Toy Fair, the annual avalanche of games, electronics, dolls, bikes, and plush creations. Held from February 10 to February 13, the event at Manhattan’s Javits Center is pumping with all types of quirky, kooky, honest-to-goodness great fun.

One of the booths that I passed during my Olympics-worthy trekking (is there a competition for marathon indoor walking and talking?) was the Patch Products exhibit with their Planet Sock Monkey lineup. The inhabitants of this really cool orb are a pirate, a zombie, a rocker, a rapper, a nerd, and a punk schoolgirl. It sounds like the makings of a really high-rated reality show! The gal with an attitude is Magenta Beetsch, and her life-size version dominated one of the convention hall’s aisles. Daring you to take a picture because it lasts longer, Magenta is an unexpected twist on the tried-and-true sock monkey creation. She’s a soft toy with a spine of steel! She and her other very modern, very edgy fellow sock monkeys should be checked out on the Patch Product website. Fittingly, they are turning the sock industry inside out!

I had to chuckle at the tough-chick chimp, and I also got a really big laugh out of the YooHoo and Friends fashion model. A coterie of cuddly couture was on display at the Aurora booth—a menagerie of them was nestled together to form a really eye-popping skirt. It looked like a prize-winning entry for “Project Runway” or a performance get-up that Lady Gaga or Katy Perry would adore.

Amid the comments about the high-fashion outfit, Aurora showed off lots of very cute and friendly critters. Their Lin Lin panda bears—available in multiple sizes—were especially appealing in the small version, complete with fortune-cookie message. The Lin Lin pandas were sweet—and not at all sour!

Another exhibitor that caused double takes was Hansa—with its realistic depictions of natural life and terrain. The shop-sized displays—large and impressively rendered—were eye-catching. One of the arrangements, which featured a gathering of white tigers, owls, bunnies, and foxes, was mesmerizing because of its snowy color scheme. What made it even more compelling was the audio that accompanied it: the buck that stood center-stage moved its head and mouth and sang a medley of Noel songs. Trust me, you haven’t lived until a mechanical deer serenades you with Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song.”

Natural wildlife—on a smaller, less expensive scale—was on hand at the Douglas booth. A forest was replicated in its display, as were the early emperors of the earth: dinosaurs!

I liked the vibrant, bold, splashy colors of the Fiesta roster of creations. One of their sales reps confided to me that it took nearly four years to get the deep, saturated, really blazing colors just right. The wait was worth it!

Bearington unleashed an array of sweet animals decked out in tutus, princess costumes, and fairy wings. That was a very popular motif this year at Javits. Rather than just confining the dress-up game to dolls and their pretend mommies, manufacturers are offering lots of kittens, cats, dogs, puppies, and other assorted four-legged friends with outfits that can be spruced up and/or swapped. The Bearington versions of the wardrobe wows are very affordably priced at about $10 each. I know from personal experience that my daughter loves to give her stuffed animals endless personalities and very intricate storylines. Her critters are her family members, and she really enjoys grooming them and making sure they are well-groomed, too.

You can’t find anything more hands-on satisfying than a young child—or an adult collector—with a hug of bears or Teddy’s friends. TOBY winner Demdaco Nat & Jules creations were proudly displayed, showcasing their gentle, old-fashioned charm. And this was a nod to the long-standing manner of play: a child, a stuffed animal, and an imagination.

But the invitation to enter the 21st century was certainly noticeable and available for promotion. France’s Teeboo, with its interactive animals that demand to be “nurtured’ played, and loved” were scene stealers, as were the Scanimalz from Wicked Cool Toys. The Scanimalz offer 30 plush characters and combine game playing, earning of points, and the ability to climb up an online leader board. Encouraging boys and girls to collect and play, these modern-day android animals are a bridge to the future, while acknowledging the one-on-one make-believe play of the past.

Like Papa Smurf’s handler told me, before the blue guy hugged me, “You’re his last squeeze of the day. He’s tired.”

And, friends, so was I! So much to see, so much to process, and so much to enjoy. I think we all were a little smurfed-out!