More than 1,000 toy makers were in the Big Apple on Tuesday (February 20), showing their newest products at Toy Fair 2018 in New York.
Participants included industry giants, like Lego, and many smaller companies, such as Spin Master, Zing and ChizComm. All of them put their best foot forward to make business connections and bite a bigger chunk of the $27 billion U.S. toy market.
Lego Systems president Skip Kodak said the company was celebrating some milestones.
“We have the 60th anniversary of the Lego brick,” Kodak said. “And we also have the 40th anniversary of the Lego Minifigure, which is in our Minifigure blind bag packs that we’ll bring to market this year. It’s also a key part of all of the storytelling we do and our theme sets. And then, finally and interestingly, it’s the 20th anniversary of Mindstorms, which is if not the first, one of the very first tech toys that ever came to market back in 1998. So, we’re extremely excited to build on all of these anniversaries, and give our fans, and especially children, a great opportunity for play.”
NPD Group’s senior vice president Juli Lennett described the trends for 2018.
“Hands down the biggest trend for the Toy Show this year is squishy toys. The same squishy toys that we’ve been seeing, but now we’re seeing license squishy toys, and we’re also seeing squishy toys that you can actually color yourself, which is really fun to do. The second big theme that we’re seeing is unicorns, beautiful unicorns everywhere, plush unicorns, big unicorns, small unicorns. That’s going to be a big theme as well. And finally, for the boys – we have to add the boys – we’re going to have toilet humor this year. We’re seeing everything from poop-themed things to smelly to gross to toilets. And some boys are going to love that coming up for the rest of the year.”
New York Toy Fair is the largest trade event in the Western Hemisphere. It’s organizer, the Toy Association, says it attracts more than 30,000 from 100 countries.