New York's American International Toy Fair February 25, 2011
Spitwad guns! If you're a toy collector, you no doubt know of Jakks Pacific. Best known for their wrestling and ultimate fighting lines (to the over-20 set) the company has an enormous portfolio of brands including Spongebob Squarepants, Hello Kitty, Club Penguin, and Phineas and Ferb-- the latter of which my not watching supposedly puts me on the "old" list.
The most interesting thing they had from a boy's toy perspective is Max Force, a competitor to Hasbro's invincible Nerf offerings. Max Force allows the user to shoot spitwads out of a gun. It's way more impressive than that may sound, as the system includes little cartridges with spitwads that you drop in water, wait, load, and shoot. I suppose you could make your own too, but they sell refill packs at $4.99 which, I assume, is where the real money is going to be made here. It's a neat idea since you don't have to chase down the darts-- you just shoot some paper and (if you're so inclined) scrape it off the wall.
Based on the Xbox 360 game, Kinectimals plush are actually interactive with the software-- snap a picture of the toy and it unlocks something in the game. Now that's synergy! Imagine how awesome (for business) it would be if LEGO did that. The showings were largely massive amounts of big cats.
While not as illegal as it sounds, Magic Buds were a unique item for a toy company in that they were actually plants. Basically, the thing sprouts with words or symbols on the leaves, and you can see a peace sign in one of the samples below. Clever!
I'd be a bad host if I didn't point out Hello Kitty plush, not just because it's a huge seller for the company but because this year it crossed over into the even-more-ridiculous category that I can't get enough of. She's got a moustache and glasses now. Awesome.
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