Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New York Toy Fair 2008 in a Nutshell

Right now, I'm reporting to you from the hotel lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square. The wi-fi here is free, but in the room, it's ten bucks. It doesn't make any sense, and technologically speaking, I can't fathom how they block it in there like this. But they did, so I'm here seated facing an elevator.

WARNING/GUARANTEE: I did not take pictures of the showroom area as there was nothing to see that was not already online in their catalog. If you want pictures of their Toy Fair setup, they aren't in this post.

Well, today I got to go see a close-up look at the Playmobil booth at the Toy Fair in New York City. The good news is that the USA lineup for the year is looking fairly strong. The bad news is that there seem to be zero surprises. All the Specials were revealed a few weeks ago, there's no holiday surprises shown (at least, none I could see-- no eggs or pumpkins), so it wasn't what you might call a revealing experience. If you picked up the 2008 Playmobil Catalog, it's pretty much the same as being at the Toy Fair booth. As an informed fan, it isn't as exciting, but it was really cool to see the stuff up close.

The most impressive unreleased items were the giant 4290 Large Pirate Ship and 4230 Circus Tent sets. The tent was enormous-- huge. The pictures you may have seen really do a poor job of illustrating the fact that you could probably hide a cat or two inside this thing. I wasn't a huge fan of the theme initially, but I must say this is a toy that really does aim to please. It features LEDs in the interior which add a lot to the wowie-zowie factor, plus there's ample seating for many a collector's or spoiled child's collection.

The Large Pirate Ship was indeed large. It was packed with features and so sizable you can't help but look at it and wish you had the room for it. The 4291 Giant Octopus set was also very impressive, although it doesn't look it in print. The creature is easily twice as big as the previous release, and it's a hard plastic and not rubbery like the green or color changing versions. In short, if you think you might want one, allow me to assure you that you do. It's quite nice and we'll be getting it for the site.

While the fairies aren't our thang, we did dig the whole Water Zoo and the new pirates Advent Calendar too. The new specials are good, the limited edition recycling truck looked very nice, and the city additions were great. It's a good year to be a fan, and next year should be great too.

If time permits I'll see if I can snap a picture or two of the booth so you can get an idea of what it was. If you really wish you were there just for this line, there isn't a lot new to see, but it is turning out to be a pretty great show with the showings from Diamond Select, Mega Brands, LEGO, Hasbro, Mattel, Quantum Mechanix, and other companies I've met with. I'm a happy camper.

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Blogger PLAYMOFAN said...

Hey Adam, any chance you could talk to the playmobil folk and ask
How do they pick thier themes? Im curious to know. Im glad to hear that playmobil has a booth...thank G... Even tho I do have the 2008 catalog, this company never ceases to amaze me in quality. Thanks again for blogging, nice to know there is another adult that actually likes Playmobil and does take it seriously.


February 19, 2008 7:57 PM  
Blogger Adam16bit said...

I talked to the US Playmobil sales team, which is several degrees removed from the German Playmobil R&D group. So I don't believe I'd have a chance of getting this sort of answer just yet.

February 21, 2008 3:58 PM  
Blogger PLAYMOFAN said...

Thanks, I know security is very high when it comes to the inner workings of playmobil, I just thought it would be interesting if there was any information to be had. I noticed that Playmobil and Lego each come out with similar themes, Lego just got finished doing the DINO EXTREME thang and now Playmobil is doing a broader variety of creatures-most of Lego's dinos looked pretty sinister, but Playmobil has quite a variety. Im very interested in seeing the new nautical theme, the submarine and diving bell both look amazing, not to mention the new boat and the deep sea diving suit. Even tho Lego did something similar on the diving it looked more geared toward conflict (good guys vs bad guys vs sea creatures) Playmobil looks to be geared more toward the spirit of exploration.
Anyways, fine companies both, but I still prefer playmobil. Thanks for responding.

February 21, 2008 6:47 PM  

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