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What I Saw at Toy Fair ’09, Part I

printies-final.png The sobering news is that most of the new toys showcased at this year’s Toy Fair, which is just wrapping up at the Javits Center in NYC, are decidedly less expensive than the $200 robots and motorized electronic toys that we saw at last year’s show. Toys that retail for under $60 seem to be the hot button.

And while there were no absolute standouts, there’s plenty of innovation centered around kids’ creativity.

One of my favorite low-cost products came from TechnoSource. Printies ($19.95 for a kit of six) gives you everything you need to design an animal, print it on special paper using any ink jet printer, stuff it full of pillow stuffing, and add some feet to make it stand. A little home-ec project in a box. printies-screen.png
iToys, formerly Irwin Toys, acquired the license for a handheld version of KenKen ($19.95), the latest puzzle craze that takes Sudoko to new levels. itoys.png They’re also coming out with a low-cost personal video player, iPix ($70), and Rutherford the Message Bear, cum nightlight/cuddly toy. Parents can call an 800 number and leave a story or message for the bear to read aloud with their children. Rutherford will sell for $40.

Another favorite, created by a N.J. mom, is Goosiecards. For $28 you get to go online and design 10 laminated, sturdy stock flash cards with photos. Whether you’re teaching your kids the alphabet or algebra, these cards make a great keepsake. Think of them as personalized flashcards on steroids. goosie.jpg