Classic toys and games shared the spotlight with new, kid-style techno goodies at Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre where the Canadian Toy Association hosted its annual Hot Toys for the Holidays media preview.
Twenty-seven CTA member suppliers presented 60 different products ranging from traditional playthings like Playmobil’s Modern Luxury Mansion dollhouse and The Orb Factory’s PlushCraft 3D Puppy Craft Kit to RP Toys’ Tekno Newborn, a voice-activated robotic pet.
Of course, there was also a broad range of MSRPs with the priciest product — Battat’s Our Generation Retro Diner playset — coming in at $219 and the most budget-conscious item — Scholastic Canada’s Star Wars: Jedi Academy Journal — starting at $11.99.
In his opening remarks to media, CTA Chair Steve Morris said that despite their obvious differences, all the products on display offered entertaining and engaging play that would put them high on both kids’ and parents’ wish lists this year.
The 22 youngsters, who were on hand to demo product for the cameras, thoroughly checked out most products. However, they gave special hands-on attention to several, including those detailed below.
Catch & Count Fishing Game: Preschoolers, three and over, use the wooden magnetic rods to hook and reel in ten magnetic fish that are numbered and patterned to encourage matching, sorting and counting skills. A fun way to learn. From Melissa & Doug;
Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage: Designed for kids, five and over, this multi-storied garage playset features two elevators, a helipad, two ramps, parking space for 36 cars and a classic cityscape that encourages and allows opportunity for loads of imaginative story telling. From Mattel Canada;
Playmobil NHL Hockey-Theme Playset/Game: Playmobil fans, four and over, will love the new NHL-licensed hockey arena featuring Zamboni, referees with Stanley Cup, shooting pad, goalies and players from the “original six” teams. From Playmobil Canada;
PlushCraft 3D Puppy: Part of an award-winning line, this kit lets kids, five and over, create a cute plush puppy. Using simple instructions and the included stylus, kids punch coloured fabric pieces into the puppy-shaped mold. Great rainy-day fun. From The Orb Factory.
Sphero SPRK Edition: A new addition to the hot Sphero line, the SPRK is designed to inspire a love of robotics, coding, and STEM principles. Using the SPRK app, kids issue orders through visual blocks representing code and then watch as Sphero reacts with lights and movement. From Sphero;
Vex Robotics Robotic Arm: This completely functional construction kit for kids, eight and over, teaches gear reductions and power transfer. Features a realistic 360-degree rotating crane and hand-powered robotic arm, with an articulated grabber hand that picks up items. From Hexbug (Innovation First Trading);
Zoomer Kitty: The best-selling Zoomer line expands with Kitty, an interactive pet featuring space-age sensor technology that lets her respond to her owner’s movements with purrs and glowing eyes. Kitty also sings, dances and performs secret tricks. From Spin Master.