Press Coverage of American International 

Toy Fair at New York City in 2006

Click The Banner To Visit The Toy Fair 2006 Web Site

The Space Below Is An Independent Press Coverage of the Toy Fair Sponsored by Magic Mart Toys and Games Pavilion:

  • Summary Remarks by Ifay Chang
  • Scrammble Puzzle - Word Pyramid (Created for Toy Fair Puzzle Enthusiasts)
  • List of Companies Which Make Educational Games and Toys
  • Pre-Fair Newsworthy Items    

Summary Remarks

Despite the severe winter storm brought record snow fall to the city, the 2006 American International Toy Fair was quite successful in terms of new exhibits and attendance. The opening day was affected by the 22inch of snow. I was snowed out with no public transportation available from Northern Westchester into the New York City, but my last two days at the Fair was enjoyable and productive. Some observations are worth noting:

  • TIA held a forum and affirmed their decision to keep both the 2006 Fall (October 20-23) and 2007 (February 11-14) Toy Fair at the Javits Center while relinquish their role in finding office and showroom space for their members.
  • A craze about Sudoku is obvious at the Fair. There are several companies offering different forms of the game, board, puzzle, wood, magnetic, dry-erase and electronic versions. Picdoku (Green Board Games), Colorku and Kakuro are a few notable variations.
  • Lego has a giant lego statue prominently exhibited in the hall way of the Javits Center. It must have taken tens of thousands of pieces to construct the statue. It is not surprising that many toy manufacturers are eyeing Lego's market place. Four connection toys have caught my attention. One is called Clics using clickable square pieces which can click onto each other fairly easily. Another is i-gami making use of hexagonal plastic pieces to construct objects somewhat resembling origami (paper folding). The third is Xobotz using plastic pieces that can clamp onto a marble hence making marbles as flexible joints. The fourth one is the Flexible Hexabits consisting of triangular plastic pieces with three rings at the tip of the triangle and three poles in the middle of the triangle allowing engagement with a hole of another piece.
  • The original entertaining Zoki puzzle (square pieces with four sides painted with different number of bars) of matching 9 or 16 pieces into a large square with matching sides has evolved into a Hexa Zoki using hexagonal pieces instead of square pieces. The creator of the puzzle, Mr. Bilijana Pavlovic, has introduced a new product called Boyz and Girlz consisting of square pieces printed with half pictures of boys and girls to play on 12 designated layouts. This set essentially offers over 190,000 different puzzles with billions of solutions. Along this line, a game called Lonpos may be noted is imported from Taiwan by Mic-O-Mic Americas offers a pocket-sized game with 76 rectangle and 25 pyramid puzzles to solve. Another import from South Africa, QbicZu, a 3D tic-tac-toe played with balls in a cube offers more challenge than the traditional game.
  • One encouraging sign showing in this Fair is that there are more games and toys claiming to be educational. With my interest biased towards educational games and toys, I was delighted to witness this. Just counting the companies listed under the category of educational, there are  298 non-electronic and 32 electronic educational game and toy companies. Some companies have a number of  educational products, Just to name a few good examples, Dream Green offers a pair of nice games ABC Oy! (word) and 123 Oy! (math)  for young children and a bilingual memory game for age 4+, all priced reasonably. Another example, Brainy Baby offers a full catalog of educational products for babies. Penton Overseas offers a learning system called "your baby can read" for retail in the Spring. Kidz Delight is offering Light & Sound Phonics Bilingual,
  • There are some interactive DVD learning systems, however, based on my incomplete survey, I have not seen one that is outstanding. Non-educational video games have eroded the domain of traditional games and toys. Nearly 17 millions  of Game Boy Advance are in American homes. The trend of making shorter games and adding strategy and learning elements, hopefully will persists along with more traditional educational games and toys.
  • One positive trend in the electronic game industry seems to be adding strategy to the games and making the games shorter (tens of minutes instead of hours playing time). This is definitely a healthy sign for both the children and the game battery. Name brand such as Fisher Price may have a whole new market starting with their two durable kid-tough products, the Digital Song and Story Player and the Digital Camera for Kids, both for ages 3 and up. In today's environment where adults are glued to their cell phones, talk, listen to music and take pictures, the toddlers sure will follow.
  • The high-tech toys are getting more sophisticated. Lots of remote controlled cars and robots were showing off in the exhibit halls. At the high end, the Robonova-1 features 32 different movements (push-ups, dance,...) is priced at $1200 per package for a ready to walk robonova-1. Another remote controlled helicopter, called raptor 50 which can fly right-side up or upside down, is priced at $2000.
  • Toys of bad taste: A company was exhibiting dolls and toys with death as their theme, a coffin ring, a dead face doll and dolls dressed with symbols of death... The products were so repulsive perhaps the only place they may fit is a Halloween Party Shop. At the end of the Fair, they were giving away every item in the show booth to anyone passing by. I suspect most of them would end up in the trash can. 

Scrammble Puzzle - Word Pyramid (created for Toy Fair Puzzle Enthusiasts)

Click Here to Reach the Puzzle Page

List of Companies Which Make Educational Games and Toys

ACT Games, Action Products Intl, Alagan Design, All Things Equal, Allegro Rainbow, Alma's Design, Alphabet Alley, Amos Marketing, Anatex Enterprise, Anthony Innovtions, Arrowcopter, Astrojax/Active people, Automobox, Baby Einstein, Baby Pro, Ballhunter Intl, Be Amazing Toys, Be Good, Bead Bazaar USA, Big Bong Toys, Big League Promotions, BiGa Games, Birdcage press, Blue Orange Games, Bluestone Productions, Bojeux, Borderline Games/Hidden Hills Production, Brainy Baby, Bright Path Enterprise, Bruder Toys America, Buffalo Games, Cantarima Multimedia, Cardinal Industries, Carrom/Drueke, Carson-Dellosa Publishing, Carson Optical, Castle Toy, Center Enterprises, Channel Craft & Dist., Charles Zadeh Ent, Chicco USA, Chung Hip Mfg, Club Earth, Cogno Products (DoubleStar), Color All About, Colori USA, Conceptual Math Media, Corners of the World, Crea Toys, Creations by You, Creative Zone, Creatively Yours, Crocodile Creek, Darmos Toys, Deflexion, Dexter educational Toys, Dolly Adventures, Don't Quote Me, Dream Green, Dress Up America, Dune Craft, Duprey Inventions, Eastcolight (hong Kong), EDC Publishing/Usborne, Eddu Plush, Eddu Toy, Educational Insights, Edushape, Eeboo corp, Eel, Elenco, EloqIQ, Engenuity Games, Eternity games, European Expressions. (79)

F-Q (145) to be compiled

R-Z  (74) to be compiled

Pre-Fair Newsworthy Items

1. www.digitalpraise.com  

Considering the controversy surrounding modern media(the effect of violence & games), especially video games, you may be interested in what this company has brought to the table...

Three entrepreneurs who met at Sunday school came up with an idea to create a family oriented (with Christian values) electronic gaming company. Tom Bean, Bill Bean and Peter Fokos (who was one of the
creators for the Learning Company of brands including Carmen SanDiego, Reader Rabbit and Oregon Trail) all mortgaged their homes to fund the company.

Now Digital Praise (www.digitalpraise.com) is leading the way in this particular market and will soon be available at mass retailers.

In addition to their existing award winning Adventure's in Odyssey Games, the company is getting ready to launch TWO NEW TITLES; one that will turn your computer into a lively dance arcade for hours of family fun and the other, an adventure title where the characters explore a virtual PC world where high-tech threats exist and freedom is won through the virtues of obedience, respect, and responsibility.

2. www.madeatchina.com 

TOYS CHINA is a joint venture partnership with more than 25 of the largest toy manufacturers in China.

They provide a competitive edge, innovation, quality and value for money, claiming their designers devoting 100% of their time to ensure that their toys offer sales appeal, high quality, innovation and
competitive pricing. They also claim that only the highest quality materials are used and that a thorough and efficient quality control system is implemented throughout the entire manufacturing process. They produce over 500 different toys and welcome customers to contact them for licensing and manufacturing. 

3. www.fikisports.com 

FIKI Sports Launches FIKI Baseball At Toy Fair 2006. Makers of FIKI Football and Basketball Builds on America's Favorite Sport.

A Torrance, California company,  FIKI (Flick It & Kick It) Sports, manufacturer of FIKI Football, a pro style version of tabletop (or paper) football, is building on its recent success in the Football and Basketball arenas by releasing FIKI Baseball. Slated for preview at Toy Fair 2006, FIKI Baseball is expected to hit home runs with both retailers and consumers.  Since 2001, FIKI Sports has sold more than 1,000,000 FIKI Footballs. The recently launched basketball is scoring success, hence the manufacturer expects the baseball to be another winner. FIKI Soccer is on the drawing board going for 2006 release.

4. XOW!, creator of an innovative, do-it-yourself, movie-making software that delivers today's fastest and easiest digital-media creation experiences. XOW! is debuting its integrated suite of Xipster-powered toys, software and hardware applications at Toy Fair 2006 in Booth 3163.
5. Sakar International will be showing their new Sound Pal makes digital music “un-bearably” fun for kids who love stuffed animals as much as they love music. Furry, Go-Anywhere Teddy Bear Has Built-In Speakers, Secret Pouch to hold iPod, MP3 or CD Player; Accessory Adds Personality and Enjoyment to Digital Music.
Sakar will also show their new KidzCam, digital camera for kids with including software that allows you to upload your photos and share them with friends! The new and improved line comes with different face plates to customize the camera and a sticker wizard, which allows you to make stickers of the photos you take.(Booth 2083 and 8230)

Preview of Toy Fair Exhibitors

1. PLAYMATES TOYS
(showroom located at 50 West 23rd Street, 5th Floor between 5th and 6th)

Celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year, Playmates invites you to have a
sneak peek at their 2006 line-up:

* Amazing Allyson - the next large doll in the Amazing line, following
Amazing Amanda, the best selling large doll or the holiday season and the
Toy Industry Association Best Girls Toy nominee
* Extensions to their thriving brands:
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Disney Princess
- Amazing Pets
* New entries to the youth electronics, collectible figure gaming and small
doll categories 

* pre-school targeted product lines inspired by the classic franchise The
Land Before Time and Little Robots, a new stop motion animation series
airing daily on Cartoon Network¹s Tickle U pre-school block. 

2. SBG / b EQUAL
(Javits Center in Booth #3021 at The International Toy Fair)

SBG/b Equal holds a unique position in the market by offering both board and
DVD games that appeal to players of all ages, in addition to incorporating
their patent-pending Dynamic Leveling technology that enables players from
ages 6 to 106 to compete equally for the first time.

This year brings the stellar lineup of new board and TV DVD games from SBG/b
Equal including:

- "CSI"
- NASCAR
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- Discovery Channel
- Over The Hedge (based on new animated feature from DreamWorks) 

3. Category: Tech Toys
Product: Digital Cameral Lab
Manufacturer: Science Tech
Description: The Digital Camera Lab comes packaged with a periscope for underwater use, microscope, telephoto lens, tripod, and USB cable and image software for viewing images on a PC.
Unique Feature: Can be used underwater for added activity value.
Company Previous Awards: T.O.T.Y. Award, Nominee, Innovative Toy of the Year
Age: 6+
Location: Showroom 1048 in the Toy Building (200 Fifth Avenue) 

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