If there was an over-riding theme at this week’s Hot Toys for Summer media preview, it had to be “kids just wanna have fun”!
Whether it was a simple bowling set for toddlers, a hot ergonomically designed trike or an iPad gaming system for early graders, the common denominator throughout the display of more than 80 toys was all about keeping kids busy and entertained this coming vacay.
And judging by the smiles on the faces of the 25 youngsters who were on hand to put the many products through their paces, it was mission accomplished.
Hosted by the Canadian Toy Association, this year’s annual event was held in a combined indoor/outdoor venue at Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre.
It showcased a wide variety of products that tapped into 2016′s top categories and latest trends. Over 30 CTA member suppliers, such as Hape International, PlaSmart Inc., Wooky Entertainment, The Irish Fairy Door Company (represented in Canada by Candym Enterprises Ltd.), and Quebec’s Bloco Toys, offered everything from craft kits and collectibles to construction sets and tech toys.
It’s always difficult to cover all the great items on display, but here’s a brief look at several that caught T & G‘s attention.
Farm Hoppers – Made from durable BPA-free plastic, these cheerful, animal-themed inflatable hoppers are just what toddlers need to help build balance, and muscle strength and coordination. Great for outdoor use and for a rainy-day workout indoors. From Next Generation Distributors, Inc.
OgoDisk Mini – The latest addition to the award-winning OgoDisk family, this mini set comes with two disks and a ball and allows for solo play or fun with others. Players, four years old and over, can catch and toss balls up to 46 m/150 ft. The disks may also be used for catch and throw on land or in the pool — they won’t sink. From PlaSmart Inc.
Adventure Tree House – The latest addition to its Wildlife theme, Playmobil’s new Adventure Tree House has loads of boy/girl appeal. It features a working pulley system for hoisting supplies to the house and a movable staircase. The set includes Set includes two figures, tree house with grass platform, walkie talkie, fishing pole, computer, supply boxes, and many animals, such as bears, geese, foxes, owl, bald eagle, and a snake. From Playmobil Canada
Little Tikes Go Green Playhouse – Designed to foster imaginative role-play while introducing green-living concepts to preschoolers, the Little Tikes playhouse features a flower garden, water reservoir, solar light, a real working sink, recycling bins, watering can, and roof garden. From MGA Entertainment Canada
3D Neon Sidewalk Chalk – Crayola’s new collection puts a whole new twist on the evergreen activity of sidewalk drawing. The set includes washable, chunky chalks in bright neon colours along with 3D glasses that make creations pop right off the pavement. From Crayola Canada
Candy Pop To Go–Lollipops – Wooky’s fabulous Style Me Up line introduces this charmingly packaged collection of three candy-inspired bead assortments. Each lollipop container comes with 60 wooden beads in a variety of shapes and sizes — perfect as a gift or a rainy day project. From Wooky Entertainment
Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Bubble Blaster – The evergreen activity of bubble blowing gets a 21st century update. Kids simply pour the special non-toxic bubble solution into the reservoir and press the handheld blaster’s button to create a flurry of colourful bubbles. From Funrise Canada
B. Wavy Wagon – Battat’s cute and functional wagon goes anywhere with toddlers eager for sand play this summer. It stores and transports a bucket with sand sifter, nesting cups and lid, fish-shaped mold, rake, trowel and a boat. From Maison Joseph Battat
Sphero Darkside – Boys and girls were lined up for the chance to make this simple-looking but powerful robot perform everything from spins and flips to skateboard-style jumps. Darkside attaches instantly via Bluetooth Smart to any iOS or Android device (free apps are available) and comes with a USB charging cable. From Sphero
LiteHawk Click – This affordable micro drone (3.81 cm/1.5 in), designed for fans, ten years old and over, comes with a built-in video camera and a 2.4 GHz no-set-channel system that allows users to fly multiple drones at once and protects against losing signal. Comes assembled and includes drone battery and USB charge cord. From Borgfeldt Canada Ltd.
For more information about the next Hot Toys event, contact Canadian Toy Association.