With over 1,000 vendors exhibiting at the 2017 Toy Fair in New York City, you would be right in assuming it was an amazing opportunity to see and play with the latest and greatest toys for kids, but at the same time utterly exhausting and overwhelming! I'm sure I missed TONS, but I did my best and am excited to bring you my top picks from the show! These are the kids toys and products I fell in love with and think you will, too! I've grouped them into categories - have a look and let me know what you think in a comment at the bottom!!
Disclaimer - Amazon links below are affiliate links - you won't pay more but I'll get an itty bitty commission to help fund the blog!
BEST IN SHOW!!!
Zinc Flyte Case Scooter - suitcase & scooter in 1
A suitcase and a scooter, in one!!! They have a "mini" (2-4 years, $75), "midi" (4-8 years, $88), and coming soon the maxi for adults, which will include straps for wearing as a backpack. These suitcase scooters seem like the perfect product for jet setting families - kids can haul their own suitcases and keep up with the crew easy peasy!! They also seem like a great alternative to a traditional or rolling backpack for school (assuming school would allow it...) The scooter tucks up into the back of the suitcase when you need to simply pull it or stowe it away. You can purchase on their website (£) and Amazon for around $80~.
Best of: MOMMY'S HELPERS
Aqueduck by Peachy - bathroom helpers
Aqueduck will make life with kids easier in the bathroom and on the road! Throw the spout extender in your diaper bag or purse and never hoist your little one up to wash their hands at public restrooms again!! The bathtub set will not only help protect your little one from bumping their head on the spout, but will also keep them from turning the temperature too hot. These are amazing!!! You can purchase on their website and Amazon.
Play & Go - storage bag
Any parent who's stepped on a LEGO or matchbox car knows the struggle. Play & Go canvas bags are functional and super cute. Lay them out for a compact play space for your child, then pull the strings and tada, all the toys are contained! I'm especially loving the one with the built-in streets for playing cars and building cities, but they have loads of really gorgeous designs, so you're not stuck with an eyesore in the corner of your living room! You can purchase on their website and Amazon for about $40.
EZPZ - less mess play & place mats
EZPZ is well know and loved for their happy mats ($25) & happy bowls ($20) - they suction onto the highchair or table so your little one can self-feed with "less mess more fun" (their perfect tagline). I haven't yet tested these out but am in desperate need of them for my 16 month twin girls, who I still spoon feed because I'm terrified of what they would do with a spoon and bowl full of food... I digress... EZPZ has just launched a flower play mat ($30) - which is great for arts and crafts time at the play table!! You can browse their products on their website and Amazon.
Piggy Paint - non-toxic eco-friendly nail polish
Piggy Paint produces non-toxic, virtually odorless, eco-friendly nail polish, nail polish remover, and nail decals! Perfect for children, pregnant mamas, and even newborn identical twins / triplets / higher order multiples (because let's face it, you can't always tell them apart at the beginning, painting Baby A's nail one color and Baby B's nail another color can help tremendously)! You can browse their line on their website and Amazon.
Best of: BUILDING
Mad Mattr by Relevant Play - mess-free never-dry moldable dough
"The unbelievable dough you build with"... unbelievable is actually a perfect description. This stuff is SO SO SO SO COOL!!! Stretch it out and it becomes soft and fluffy. Squish it together and it becomes hard and shapeable. See it in action in their YouTube video! Their newest item is the block maker, that's right, you can create blocks made of Mad Mattr, so you can actually stack and build things with them! Amazing!! You can buy on their website and Amazon.
BanBao - "green" bio-based building blocks
These BanBao bio-based building blocks, in collaberation with Biopromotions, aren't even on the market yet but they're going to be huge, at least I hope so!! Produced in the Netherlands from sugarcane, the new line of BanBao building blocks is made from 100% renewable resources, includes ZERO oil-based chemicals, and will be compatible with "traditional" blocks (i.e. LEGO, DUPLO, etc). You can't purchase them yet, but stay tuned on their website and Amazon!
Magnet blocks have been all the rage for the past few years, but the next big thing is bound to be these Velcro blocks!!! One great thing about these is they're all round corners and may of the blocks are foam, which is good news for parents of kids who like to throw their blocks or leave them laying around on the floor! They come in various sets, from more traditional shapes to robots, dinosaurs, race cars, and truck kits. We got the stegosaurus kit and my 4 year old put it together all by himself in about 10 minutes. He won't take it apart, he calls it his "pet" and puts it to bed lovingly each night. LOL! Guess we need to invest in some more sets... You can buy on their website and Amazon (sets range from $20 - $50).
Brackitz - construction system
Calling mini engineers!! Kids really into building intricate designs and structures that can actually DO stuff are going to go bonkers for open-ended Brackitz construction toys. You can connect pieces at any point and any angle, so there is absolutely no limit to the type of thing you can create. Sky scrapers, ferris wheels, race cars, they even have little robotic bugs in one of their new kits! Kits range from about $20 - $300, and you can check them out on their website and Amazon, kits range from
Best of: MUSIC
Piti Pan Steel Drum by Panland
I'm not sure if it's simply the beautiful sound they make, or that hearing them transports me with a cocktail in hand to the beach of a breathtaking tropical island, but I absolutely adore steel drums!! The way Panland's Piti Pan steel drums breaks down the notes on the drum itself, anyone can learn to play!! The Piti Pan is their smallest (and cheapest) option, going for around $60. Check them out on their website and Amazon!
Loog - 3-String Kids' Guitars
There are traditional 6-string guitars, and there are 4-string ukulele's. But what Loog has done here is extremely unique. They've taken the 6-string guitar and simply removed the top 3 strings (the thicker and deeper ones)! So, a child can learn just part of all the traditional chords, which is easier for their teeny hands. Then, when older, they can graduate to a traditional guitar and their hand is already familiar with how to hold each chord, they just have to bring the 3 new strings into play. So cool!! They even have a teaching system including an app. Oh, and their guitars are beautiful, too!! Acoustic guitars are $159 and electrics range from $199 - $299. Check 'em out on their website and Amazon!
Best of: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Not your average flotation device, SwimTrainer Classic is a U-shaped tube (the open back end helps prevent tipping over forward) with a harness that keeps child HORIZONTAL in the water, rather than vertical. This way, the child is in the correct position to learn to swim, from infancy, and they start to learn the movements without even realizing it, moving themselves about in the water independently! I'm so impressed by this product, we got one and are going to try it out next time we hit the pool - stay tuned for our review!! They have 3 different types, geared toward 3 months - 4 years, 2-6 years, and 4-8 years. The difference is basically how high out of the water they keep the child, with the idea that older children should be deeper in the water so they are better able to use arms and legs for swimming. Check them out on their website and Amazon ($25)!
Henshin Bike by Vitamin i Factory - push bike - pedal bike
Already a top seller in Japan, the Henshin bike is just being launched here in the States and I have a feeling it's going shake things up in the kids' bike industry! It's pretty common to start a child off with a tricycle or push bike (balance bike), and there are a ton of products out there that actually convert from tricycle to balance bike. But the Henshin Bike actually converts from push bike to a regular 2-wheel air-tire pedal sports bike (with front and rear breaks, reflectors, and a bell, to boot)! Basically, the child doesn't have to learn a whole new technique when moving from one type to the other - it's the same bike, weight, steering, etc! No need for training wheels, either - they say a child can make the switch from balance to pedal and have it down in just 30 minutes! We have one on the way for my 4 year old, so stay tuned for our review, but I'm totally psyched about this one! It's not yet available in the US, but we'll keep you posted!
The king of seesaws if you ask me, I'd love to get this for my twins!!! The big soft balls under each seat are designed to minimize impact and maximize bounce. The base can be filled with sand to add stability, it comes with protective pads to prevent damage to your floor, and it has a maximum capacity of 55 pounds on each seat. I can't find it on their website but you can purchase on Amazon.
Best of: ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
PixlPlay - turn an old smart phone into a kid's camera
Pop in just about any old smart phone you have collecting dust in your junk drawer, connect to the headphone jack, snap the case shut, and you're good to go!! Featuring a working shutter button, camera strap, splash protective screen, and rubber grip, PixlPlay is a great way for your child to get into "old school" photography! Use your regular camera app or the PixlPlay app for added features, such as scavenger hunts!! This is likely to be named one of the TOP TOYS this year, be prepared for a fight at Christmas time!! It's not on the market yet, but if you back their Kickstarter campaign with at least $25 you'll be sent one as soon as they're out! They actually reached their $25,000 kickstarter goal in 11 days, so you will not be alone in support of this amazing toy!
Chalkboard Placemats by Imagination Starters
These flexible and lightweight reusable chalkboard placemats will make waiting at the table for meals fun and educational! Use with dust-free chalk or dry erase crayons for mess-free writing/drawing, and wipe off in a snap with a wet paper towel or baby wipe! Get a set of 4 - either blank or with designs to color, for about $15-20 on their website or Amazon.
Sidewalk Chalk Tagging Kit by Renegade Made
We love chalk, and I love funny quotes and memes, so these sidewalk chalk tagging kits (reusable stencil sheets) really got me! So fun!! Check 'em out on Renegade Made's website or Amazon (about $20-25 for a kit).
Best of: CUTE & CUDDLY
Wild Things / Cuddle Tails - animal inspired wearable blankets
Their Mermaid Tails were a HUGE hit last year, and now they're back with more wearable fun for boys and girls! Their Wild Things and Cuddle Tails lines feature cute and cozy animal-inspired blankets. The Wild Things line doesn't appear to be on their website yet, but stay tuned, they're awesome!
Woobo - interactive smart plush toy
This one's for all the curious kiddos obsessed with chatting up Siri on your phone!! Woobo is a smart plush toy designed to answer any of your child's questions (with answers carefully restricted to the PG variety). He was able to tell me how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and how tall the Empire State Building is. The voice is as adorable as the creature, which comes in several designs. They're still in beta mode, working out all the kinks, but sign up for notifications on when they'll be available on their website.
So, what do you think? Do you have any of these products? Are you running out to buy some now?? Leave me a comment below!!!
And because so many have asked... Toy Fair is a "B2B" trade show, meaning it's only open to those in the industry - toy makers, buyers, and media - they're very strict and you must register beforehand providing credentials online. If you're a consumer who would love to attend this type of event, definitely check out Play Fair, coming up in NYC in November!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!