Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Toy Fair 2016, What's new for 2016 #Toy #Gadgets #Puzzles

Myself and Renna from Renna's Discoveries joined forces, grabbed our handbags, our note pads and mobiles and ventured into London for a morning of shameless fun, to take a gander at Toy Fair 2016, at London's Olympia.

Well, between the 2 of us, we didn't cover a fracture of the show. It was ridiculously huge.  However we did have a lot of fun and found some really cool toys!

All the major retailers were there, basically everyone who is anyone and plenty of newbies too.  Which is brilliant as the Toys Industry is huge, this type of event moulds what the future toy stars of 2016 are going to be.   It even has me thinking what should be on kids Chritsmas list.

Looking into my crystal ball, the big hitters are going to be anything Star Wars related, Drones are still fascinating, Teletubbies, Danger Mouse, Snoopy, there are plenty of new trends heading our way too.

Toys and gadgets are constantly evolving with the times, some being tweaked, upgraded with better designs and more functions.  While others stick to traditional styles that never go out of date.  Train sets, blocks, puzzles, prams.  It does not matter how old you are, where you live, if you are a child, an adult, toys are fantastic. 

Also a huge thank you, for everyone who took time to show me their fabulous toys.  I met a lot of lovely people who took time to spill the beans.    

Let me tell who I saw...

They were last awarded best toy back in 2013 for the their Teksta Robotic Toy range.  They offer a huge array of toys, from all the new Teletubbies toys being released, all the playsets for Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, Fireman Sam.  These playsets are all the same size too, so children could have one of each and turn them into fun village, making them all part of the same play.  These sets are adorable, firm, great quality, the little details and characteristics match their cartoons perfectly.    

Plasticine and Playdough is coming back as a trend, creative play that captures little ones minds and parents do like to get stuck in too.  There is a new Peppa Pig Softee Dough sets, complete with different colours and cutters of the actual characters.  I think they will be very popular, especially as presents.  These will be sold in lovely hard presentation boxes. 

Just as Loom Bands fade away, a new fluffy, fun and colourful craze is about to hit the shelf's in the UK. Pom Pom WOW.  The are small pellets of colourful wool. The user applies a glue dot to its base.  Then pushes the base on any surface, slides off a plastic cover and a cute Pom Pom appears!  There are plenty of of bright colours available also glitter can be added to get them really eye popping!
The ideas to decorate are endless, pencil tops, photo frames, posters, your phone case, book covers to name a few.  It's a fun way to jazz up boring items or add them to artworks and greeting cards for a plush design effect.  They will be sold in sets, so the prices will vary, however they will be pocket money affordable.
Who remembers the original Stretch Armstrong?  This great classic from the 90s has been reborn with super strength, he can stretch up to 4x his size.  There seems to be some excitement around this big dude.  However I got more excited by a similar toy, a stretchy Scooby-Doo.  I know my sons would like him more as they can identify with Scooby, however their dad could prefect Stretch Armstrong.  He would be used as a giant stress ball! You decide and tell me who you like more. 

I also like Banana Surprise, anything with the word surprise has be fun.  I am foodie so playing with food is second nature to me and getting my kids involved or them using their initiative is just as much fun.  Peel the top of the banana and place it in the banana bed.  Using the green corer that hollows out the bananas filling.  Then add something tasty, chocolate sauce or jams, I'm thinking ice-cream. All of those different flavours, would treat my taste buds.  I want one of these, the only shame is this is due to launch in Autumn, we have a while to wait.

Teksta pets have stepped up their game, the Teksta Robot Puppy has been transformed, it has instant voice recognition.  Recognising different accents from all over the nation too.  Robot Puppy has new LED eyes, realistic ear movements, it will mimic emotions, this will be able to do so much more including great tricks.

Teksta have a new robotic pet for us, Teksta Toucan older kids will love this unique gadget, it can be linked to a tablet and play music through it. However he can also be controlled via blue tooth rather then WiFi.  The Teksta Toucan is adorable he sits on a stable perch, talks, he can even tell jokes, plays games and perform magic tricks.  Its also possible to download extras software for additional functions, using a a free app.  
Teksta has some outstanding toys, I would love to get to grips with more.

For all of my gaming fans, Jazwares is the places for you, not only do they offer a massive list of all the latest gaming toys, they are the home to the new addition, DANGER MOUSE.

He's the greatest, he's fantastic, wherever there is danger he'll be there!!!
the new Danger Mouse TV show hit our screens on CBBC last September, raking up a tremendous 3.6 million viewers in the first 6 weeks.  DM is bringing us all action stories, some old faces and a few new names too.  I think in the next few months everyone will be buzzing with Danger Mouse.  As a child, me and my friends loved DM and Penfold.  The new show will be having all of us oldies tuning in and introducing our off spring to DM, rekindling our affections for an old friend.
With this great new TV show, we have some cracking new toys coming out.
This is a 10" Danger Mouse, with moving limbs. He comes with a removable jet pack and talk too.

Another toy coming out is the Danger Mouses car, the Mark IV danger car.  The Mark IV features pop out wings and the boot springs into action, of course Danger Mouse is included.  

This great toy caught the attention of  judges at the Toy Fair.   
As awarded: Toy Fair Best New Toys 2016 - Category: Action Toys

So look out, for these wonderful new toys, there will be an exciting range with little extras so children can play with them, also a range of 7" plush toys will be availabe.  The toys are all going to be priced affordable, starting from £7.99 per character, real bargains.

Jazwares have a fabulous line of toys, they recently brought out Tube Heroes and Animal Jams both looking to be big sellers, as more and more children are connecting to the online gaming industries.

Promoting Xootz 
They have a massive range of activity toys, fantastic quality, bright colours, 110% durable, made for kids to have real exhausting fun.  Thinking of kids being outside and having the freedom they yearn for and learning new skills, I love Xootz, they really do stock everything, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, tricycles and go karts.  Hold on to your hard hats and lets go and have some fun.  This year they will be making a major impact on the market, they will push kids to new heights and beyond, they have everything for kids to teens too.    

Have a grabbed a little corner of the plush market, focusing on preschoolers TV shows.  Hey Duggee has become increasingly popular, even adults love this cute bear and Squirrel Club team.  Prices start from as little £4.99 for the small characters however the large Plush Woof Woof Hey Duggee starts from £24.99, he does make sounds. He is even suitable for 10months+

Sticking with Plush toys, Aurora are definitely the leaders in the market, 2016 is bringing us Stick Man, he is about to hit our screens in a big way, just the same as The Gruffalo another one of Julia Donaldson books did last year.
Their display of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang melted my heart.  I grow-up with Snoopy, my mum and older sister reading me the stories and cartoon strips, its great to see the team back.  The recent release of the Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Movie has been a smash hit.  Making these wonderful toys lovely keepsakes and collectables too.

Have an going partnership with Power Rangers for many many years, these toys are continually evolving getting better as the years go by.  Bandai have lovely toys, getting children to explore, getting in to character.  2016 will be no different, with Saban's Power Rangers, Dino Super Charge, the toys will be linked to the new series. The new toy range will include action figures, role play also the popular Zord Builder ranger.  One of this years new favourites of mine is the Dino Charge Plesio Megazord, his transformation is neat and makes the main body as a Zord Builder.
I also really liked the Rumble & Road T-Rex Zord, he flashes and his tail swishes, his body can spin around.  With help he can stomp across a room too.  Power Ranger fans are going to love him, priced £40

Big Hero 6 is still very popular, everyone wants to meet Baymax.  He is very cuddly in design, the toys are designed well.  I like the Armour-up
Baymax, its a great design to challenge children to make a 3D puzzle.

Hatch'n Heroes are new, these are all recognisable characters, such a Lightening McQueen, Toy Story and Baymax, fingers crossed we will be seeing Disneyland characters in this range.  They can roll into a egg shape.  These are going to make great playable collectable toys.

Monchhichi, an old toy first released in the late 70s, rereleased last year, they became very trendy in Dublin, they sold out over the Chritsmas season.  These little furry thump sucking dolls come in gorgeous outfits.  Very unique and charming happy little rememberable faces, again very collectable.

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math 

These are some of my favourite STEM toys of the show.  Toys that get children thinking, problems solving and having fun at the same time! These really tick all the boxes.

Small brightly coloured 2D magnetic perspex shapes.  These shapes stick together and can form 3D Shapes.  The Magformers brand has pushed the limits and created the most amazing constructions.
Magformers are fantastic for brain development, even younger children can explore and make 3D shapes.  These are so new, something I feel schools should even be using.  Magformers have 60 exciting constructions of designs already boxed-up and ready to fly off shelf's.  Kids can also use their imaginations and build their own designs.
The pieces are very tough and the constructions do not fall out of shape easily.  I see these being very big in 2016.  Parents and teachers will adore them.

The target market is boys, aged 8+
They are all labelled as 'Build an Electric...'
Truck, Buggy, Dragster and Hovercraft.

These little kits, have easy instructions to follow.  Once the build is completed they can speed-off.
They are very technical, lots of concentration is needed to build these bundles of joy.  A truly great way to help inquisitive children learn how these vehicles are powered-up.

Also a lovely way to bond with kids, just be careful the parents do not  takeover! Prices £9.99 - £19.99  


They have become the lords of STEM.  For children with more patience and skills, KNEX helps children tune their fine motor skills, digging deep in their brains, exploring all the possibilities with KNEX anything can be made.   

I have to say, I am a newbie when it comes to KNEX, my sons have just reached the age they can start exploring the possibilities with KNEX.   These toys are not just for boys, KNEX have just released new packs aimed with girls in mind, as girls like building too, Mighty Makers Kits.

There are so many kits, all have ideas and instructions of what can be built otherwise children can freestyle and design whats formed in their minds.   The KNEX 52 box kit, is currently must popular seller on the market, reasonably priced at £26. 
However prices do vary.  Some of the kit packs have motors or batteries cases supplied, making models come to life, these are great if young ones and older ones want to learn about engineering.
Cars, boats, robots, working shooters can be made.  KNEX are storming the marketing, they already have a number of programs were they are working closely with school too.  KNEX are EDUCATIONAL from start to finish and really get school kids talking as well as using their brains!   2016 is just going to get better and better for them.

My favourite KNEX is their motorised  Fairground set. Target age 9 - Price approx. £50.  This genius kit can make 3 Fairground rides. (Not all at once, only as individuals) So if you get bored of one design, take it down and start on the another one.  What do you think?  It's beautiful to look at and talk about a real challenge to occupy oneself.


A very dedicated team, putting family fun in boxes.  They offer a wild range of puzzles to solve and board games for all ages, mostly everything is a brain teaser too, not your normal game.  They will be selling the Jigpix in 2016, there will be 2 sizes 300 and 520 pieces.  The intriguing thing about these puzzles is each puzzle can make more then one puzzle.
The 300 piece puzzles can make 4 puzzles also the 520 will make 2 puzzles.  All using the same pieces, no more no less. 
Now for the genius part...  There will be an app, you will be able to take a photo, maybe a selfie, your children, a special place you love.  You will zoom-in, on the pixels, an emoji icon will appear.  Find the right emoji and piece the puzzle together.   Once finished you will see your photo.  Its sounds totally bonkers.  I will be looking out for this to be released, because I really want one. Sounds too good to be true!          
I had a brilliant time ToyFair 2016! As you can tell I only skimmed the surface of whats available for 2016.  I hope you picked up some great ideas for toys for 2016.

Thank you for popping by, don't be shy, come and say hi!