This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 HoliDAY of PLAY, presented by The Big Toy Book, Toy Insider, and Women’s Day. During the event, 120 bloggers, media, and representatives from over a dozen companies gathered to talk about and play with some of the hot and exciting toys for the 2014 holiday season. Also on display were the Toy Insider’s Hot 20 Toys of 2014 and the Top Tech 12 of 2014. It was a great time spent with fun people just as enthralled and immersed in toys as I am, some even more so. Unfortunately, do to other plans being scheduled that day, I did not have time to meet with every company that was there. I did, however, meet with a few of the bigger ones that I thought our readers would be interested about. Here are the highlights.
Hot 20 Toys of 2014
Before I actually visited with the companies, I found myself gravitated to the Hot 20 Toys displayed. Why? Disney is involved with quite a few of them. First, there is both Disney Infinity 2.0 and Disney Tsum Tsum, both of which we cover here on the site. In addition, a Frozen Sing-along Boombox, Snow Glow Elsa from Frozen, Magic Dance Pumpkin from Disney Princess Pals, the Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile, and the Lego Star Wars Rebels “The Ghost” all made the Hot 20. All told, 7 of the 20 toys featured in this group revolve around a Disney brand. Pretty sweet. Here are some pictures of the toys displayed. For more information on them, as well as the Top Tech 12, you can find complete write-ups over at the Toy Insider website.
One of the first booths I gravitated towards was Build-A-Bear. I have been a fan of the company growing up, as their plush quality is top notch, and the experience of building your own collectible plush is awesome. For this holiday season, the company is focusing of two lines, one that is all the rage right now and one that is celebrating a golden anniversary. First up: Frozen.
Yup, Build-A-Bear has jumped on the Frozen bandwagon. Right now, stores are started to get three new plush that kids can build, customize, and love: the Anna bear, the Elsa bear, and Olaf. Can you guess which one will be in my apartment for the holidays? HINT: He likes warm hugs.
Next up is the annual classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary this year. In honor of this, Build-A-Bear is releasing annual classics Rudolph and Clarice in their Golden Anniversary editions, as well as jumbo editions for the kids to cuddle with. Also, new this year is the Team Santa Reindeer, which include all of the popular reindeer from the classic story. Each reindeer comes with a special medallion and a code that will unlock the character, as well as special games and activities, in the new Santa’s Merry Mission app.
How many of you remember Pound Puppies as a kid? I do, and I still have one of my original Pound Puppies somewhere in storage. Coming back for a new generation, Funrise Toys is release these adorable, adoptable puppies, complete with their signature cardboard dog houses and adoption certificates, which kids can now personalize and print from online. This holiday season there will be four different breeds to choose from, including the Poodle, the Beagle, the Bulldog, and the Labrador.
The puppies come in three different sizes: Mini Plush (on a keychain), 6″ plush, and 12″ plush. I have a feeling a lot of adults will be getting these for their kids, if for nothing else than for nostalgia’s sake.
The team at Hasbro showed up with some of their hot holiday toys, including the Let’s Imagine Elmo, in which Elmo’s interactions change depending on what hat he wears; the new Simon Swipe, an updated version of the classic Simon game that most of us grew up playing; the Littlest Pet Shop Blythe Bedroom; and the Stomp and Chomp Grimlock from the Transformers line, which easily transformers from Dino Grimlock to Robot Grimlock.
Jakks Pacific’s highlights at the show included Snow Glow Elsa, Frozen Musical Light Up Dresses, Olaf Snow Cone Maker, the Chewbacca large scale figure, World of Nintendo Super Mario big figure and 6″ figure assortment, the Max Tow Truck, and a 48″ large scale Michelangelo, which has toy storage capacity in his shell.
Chizcomm- Tech 4 Kids
Finally, I visited with the team from Chizcomm, which was there representing a few different companies, one of them being Tech 4 Kids. Tech 4 Kids brought two offerings with the WWE Rumble Fists and Nitro Chargers, both of which I think will be hits with boys this holiday season. With the WWE Rumble Fists, kids can pretend to be their favorite wrestlers The Rock, Jon Cena, or Dolph Ziggler with wearing these soft play fists with authentic ringside sounds. For added play, there is also the Jon Cena Spar Bag (not shown), which kids can knock around as a playful punching bag.
Then there are Nitro Grinders, which remind me of the collectibility of POGS and the same basic premise of Mighty Beanz. However, these Nitro Grinders can be customized by the kids as far as wheels and rims. I could see a lot of fun being had with these, especially when kids start making their own ramps and launch pads.
I would like to thank the team from the Big Toy Book and Toy Insider for inviting me to the HoliDAY of PLAY. From what I saw at the show, it will be an exciting holiday toy season.
Have a great day everyone.