So, continuing on from my Toyfair 2017 Recap Part 1, I wanted to share what were some of the coolest and most innovative products and companies large and small. But I also want to take a stab at the overall trends I observed. One of the biggest trends in children’s television (a main driver for toys) was a push for Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Awareness – both on screen and within the creative community itself. Amazon Studios and Mattel broke new ground with American Girl Story- Melody 1963: Love Has To Win. It chronicles the Civil Rights Movement. I saw this seed change in 2014 with the surprise positive and robust reception of Disney’s Doc Mc Stuffins. Doc Mc Stuffins was a lesson in how inclusive shows and products can go mainstream. The braichild of Chris Nee, the series not only features an African American girl as main character but was created by and the showrunner was a woman in a field dominated by men.
“I created the character for my son, who had asthma,” she says, But I made her an African American girl. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t resonate with him. Truthfully, I’m proud of the choice – it was a bold move to make.”
Meanwhile, the show also has a depth that many children – and their parents – have learned to appreciate.
Aside from Doc McStuffins’ and her character traits, her mother is also a doctor – to be clear, an official one at that – while her father is a stay-at home dad and together, they create a family dynamic that is not often portrayed on TV.
In an interview with Mellisa Harris-Perry Nee talked about some of the decision-making that went into the creation of the show and they discussed how it has had a strong impact among its viewers. The show, in fact, has become cable TV’s top-rated pre-school series within its first year on air. She pitched Disney and they responded immediately. Doc’s ratings were high enough to support a vast toy line to this day. She proved that ancillary revenue streams aren’t impacted by a non-white female main characters. On the contrary, the numbers proved there was an incredible demand!
This demand is also mirrored in the success of Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) takeover of screens and shelves with a slate of new products for girls and it’s key superhero brands. Highlighted by Wonder Woman’s upcoming live action film, DC’s Super Hero Girls line. A HUGE collection of toys, collectibles and costumes for girls or gender neutral anchored by a solid entertaining comedy action show featuring well-known DC heroes, at “Super Hero High School, both male and female, attend challenging classes and deal with all the awkwardness of growing up with the added stress of having unique superpowers. They do deep cannocal DC Comics cuts for mom& dad Comic Geeks watching along!
Take a look-
The emphasis on Tech, STEM with companies like REDWOOD VENTURES LTD. featured below and a new found focus on Diversity and non Gender based Action Toys like swords and costumes by companies like Rubies, vehicles like LEGO building sets from the new LEGO BATMAN movie and Action Figures (not dolls) for girls by companies like TOTY 2017 (Toy Of The Year) award finalist iamelemental.com. Female owned and opreated, started on KICKSTARTER and I’ve covered before, IAmElemental’s Female Action Figures Tackle Childhood Cancer last September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month IAmElemental brought its superheroes to the fight against pediatric cancer. A company we should all support. These companies, products and media are indicative of a positive shift from the “PINK GULAGS” of the past and lack of representation to the delight of my daughter and son!
Finally, new food making toys like the NUM NOMS LIGHTS FREEZIE POP MAKER which I review at the end of this Recap are part of the familiar continuity of similar toys we grew up with.
REDWOOD VENTURES LTD.
Desiree Rosa Account Executive representing REDWOOD VENTURES LTD. showed me a wide variety of awesome products at their booth from STEM & Tech Toys to Novelty Costume Items! What I witnessed touring their booth reinforced their mission statement below-
“We exist to bring joy to children. Our toys and juvenile products are meant to inspire awe and wonder in children, just as those Northwest Giants do for us. Because the memories that we take from our play experiences as children are larger than life, inspire creativity and affect us long into the future. Great play experiences make for long-lasting, creative growth and rich memories. That’s why we do what we do.”
Aloft HD is a lightweight rechargeable hands free camera mounted on a reusable Mylar balloon ALOFT HD captures stills and videos through a 120 degree wide angle lens in HIGH DEF. Each kit comes with 2 Mylar Balloons one HD camera and a tethering system to launch and retrieve your balloon! Age: 14+ Available Fall 2017 MSRP $59.99
Velocity Video R/C:
Velocity Video R/C from RedwoodVentures – a new R/C brand that enables kids to easily capture high-speed R/C footage from a unique action-sports perspective right from the vehicle! Users can film and share gnarly off-road drifting, high speed stunts, and epic crashes, showing off their R/C driving skills via HD video.
Velocity Video R/C kit comes with 1 High-Speed Velocity Video R/C vehicle, 1 full-function controller with mobile phone mount, a micro-sized HD camera with a 120 degree wide-angle lens and one roto-cam jib arm.
Batteries are included for a ready-to-run experience right out of the box!
Age: 14+ Available: August 2017 MSRP: $69.99
IDO3D 3D Print Shop:
From the world’s number one-selling 3D pen brand, RedwoodVentures introduces IDO3D Print Shop, a battery-operated tech device that provides a simple-function 3D printing experience for kids.
Without the need for complicated 3D modeling software, the 3D Print Shop builds objects in just minutes by using IDO3D’s award-winning 3D technology and a new leading edge “Formula 4D” system, designed to form and then reform molds in any shape.
Each 3D print shop includes one 3D Print Shop machine, numerous assorted 3D Printshop accessories, assorted 3D Ink cartridges, and the infinitely reusable “Formula 4D.”
Age: 8+ Available: July 2017 MSRP: $59.99
Costumes & Novelty:
Launches Worldwide this Summer! Like it or not, President Donald J. Trump’s in-your-face, say anything approach has found its way off the TV screen and into American homes. RedwoodVentures introduces the Trumpism Randomizer Mask, allowing friends and family to be just as memorable as the POTUS himself and delivering just as many laughs (or groans). The Trumpism Randomizer Mask is an electronic mask that takes unpredictable humor to “UNBELIEVABLY FANTASTIC” new heights!. A small microphone integrated into the mask is programmed to recognize the funniest key Trump words such as “WRONG”, “HUUUUUGE” or “TERRIFIC” and many others. Once the mask picks up one of these key words during a conversation the wearer is having, it will create a mash up of outrageous Trump-like phrases and respond in a realistic Trump voice! The Trumpism Randomizer Mask delivers an unpredictable and hilarious experience every time, making the wearer the center of attention… just like the new US President. Thousands of hilarious phrase mashups and sound effects, hours of fun! Age:14+ MRSP TBA.
For more information on RedwoodVentures, consumers can visit: www.redwood-ventures.com
TOY REVIEW: NUM NOMS LIGHTS FREEZIE POP MAKER
by MGA ENTERTAINMENT.
The makers of NUM NOMS and LOL SURPRISE collectibles have a new hot accessory available now! My daughter and son absolutely loves this! MIX, FREZZE & EAT! The product is easy to assemble and use. So far we have only used the flavor packs that come with the product and flavor was great!
It comes with three flavor packets and each one makes two popsicles. We are unsure if the flavor packets are available to purchase separately. The instructions say “Use home ingredients to make more freezie pops” Substituting Kool Aid packs might be a solution. But to continue making the flavors that my daughter likes we’d like to order from the manufacturer. It’s really the only minor complain that we have. It’s a slam dunk and I look forward to other Num NOM food based toys!
Num Noms Lights Freezie Pop Maker is so delicious! Mix flavor packets with water, pour into the Num Noms mold and place in the freezer. One Freezie Pop lights up! Perfect for sharing with friends!
The Num Noms Lights Lumiers Freezie Pop Maker Playset Features:
- Make your own frozen treats
- Lights up
- Three Nom Freezie Pop Sticks (one light-Up)
- Three Nom Freezie Pop Molds
- Three Flavor Packets (Cotton Candy, Blue Raspberry, Pineapple)
- One Stand
- Recipe booklet is included. Use home ingredients to make more freezie pops features
Age:3+ MSRP:$21.99 available on Amazon and anywhere toys are sold
find out more at MGA ENTERTAINMENT
l’ll have more reviews, previews and updates as the editorial samples are made available Geek Nation. Stay Tuned!
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All art: Manufacturers / Author