Last week, Team Little Pim gathered at the Javits Center in New York City for four days of pure joy at Toy Fair 2014. Imagine a football field full of the latest toys from classic companies as well as some exciting newcomers. Now try to wrap your head around the fact that the Javits Center holds roughly 10 times the square footage of a football field. In other words, there were a LOT of toys to play with.
An emerging theme at this year’s Toy Fair was customizable toys: toys that kids could build and change themselves. As you might imagine, many of these toys had a digital component, but some of them were simply classic toys with a twist. Here are five of our favorites:
1. Potatoyz – It was only a matter of time before your kids would be able to design and order their own toys online, but who would have thought that it would be as simple as pressing “Print?” Potatoyz begin as little blob-like avatars in the Potatoyz app, where kids can add colors, patterns, facial features, and custom drawings. Within the app, the Potatoyz can play in a variety of different environments, and if your kids really fall in love with their custom characters, they can order a figurine to be 3D printed and shipped straight to your door!
2. DIWire – While 3D printers have yet to become a common household appliance, wire printers are just about to hit the market. A fellow Kickstarter success, DIWire can bend metal wire into complex, detailed sculptures that you design on your computer. It’s especially cool for older kids looking to expand their toy horizons. Check out this video of DIWire in action at Toy Fair.
3. Tiggly — Little kids love to play with iPads, but finding interactive games that teach at the same time they entertain is always a challenge, especially if you’re looking for a physical element that allows them to look up from their digital realms. This fun game is just the ticket: it lets kids play with shapes that they hold in their hands that combine with an iPad app where they learn and explore new concepts. We also love how portable it is; perfect for long car rides and other travel.
4. Stuffies – Who needs another stuffed animal? You can hardly get your kids to clean up all their toys as it is! Stuffies aren’t your typical stuffed animal, though. With up to seven hidden zip pockets, they provide a place for your kiddos to hide their favorite toys. Kids have a special spot to keep their things, while you have secretly won the clutter battle!
5. Ugly Doll – They might be less functional than Stuffies, but we don’t really care. Just look at that face. The latest “bad hair day” Ugly Doll sports a tuft of sculpt-able hair that your kids can style and restyle according to their mood. It’s a simple, but effective update of the classic troll doll. It’s also 100% less creepy than the classic troll doll (okay, maybe 99%).