Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 NYC Toy Fair ~ Hasbro Exhibit

I am so, so lucky! I recently came into contact with a great woman who does public relations for the Hasbro company. That's why I was lucky enough to review the fun Ji-Go-Za puzzle I posted about last week. I also live in a suburb of New York City. The very city where the Toy Industry Association has their international trade show each year. About 30,00 people attend the event. Most are industry people, retailers or press. And then there was me. *smile*

Because Hasbro is such a big entity, they require their own showroom. A booth at the Javits Center would never get the job done. I was invited to a sneak preview of their displays before the main event began on Sunday. What a fun couple of hours we had! I will confess right now, I love toys as much as my children do. I am the one the kids bring their Transformers to when they can't get them just right. I have joined in many a light saber duel. I have board games stacked high in my office. I'm a huge fan of Family Game Night, too. When I was invited to this tour, I was thrilled!

I can't possibly detail everything we got to see and play with, there was so much! Let me share some pictures and highlight the things I got the most excited about.

First, when we arrived, there was an amazing Optimus Prime tractor trailer waiting outside the door. It was something to behold!

Optimus Prime

Inside, we were greeted by Optimus in robot mode, as the security desk took our credentials and made sure we belonged at this invitation only event.

Optimus Prime

Now it was time to look at some toys! Hasbro is very excited to have Sesame Street licensing this year, and they have come up with an amazing line up of toys. There are lots of fun and interactive items that combine play with learning, as well as plush dolls and board games.

Hasbro Sesame Street

Hasbro Sesame Street

Armed with the knowledge that I am the mother of ten year old twin boys, our guide then brought us to the area she knew would quicken my pulse. The room with the Transformers: Dark of the Moon line.

Here's Optimus Prime with a trailer, he will transform into robot and weapons modes.

Optimus Prime Transformer - Trailer

Optimus Prime Robot Mode

There are also pocket sized vehicles that will transform, and a line of toys to go with the new cartoon series being aired on the HUB network.

This ship is going to be a much sought after item.
Hasbro Transformers

Here it is opened up.

Hasbro Transformers

After we saw all of the Transformers offerings, we were treated to the Star Wars displays. Whether you prefer Luke and Han or the the new Star Wars The Clone Wars series, there was something for everyone. There are old school action figures in their classic packaging, the new series figures, and a very cool ship that becomes a play station. (the nose even detaches to become a land vehicle!)

The ultimate FX lightsabers were very impressive. They feature nicely detailed hilts, and detachable, non retractable blades. When switched on, the color travels up the saber giving it a realistic look. When powered down, the color moves back down again. Of course, there are also the classic light saber sound effects as well. There is a collectors edition, meant for display purpose. This is aimed at the adult fans. There is also a less expensive version for play.

Star Wars fans can get ready for special Blue-Ray releases of the movies this year. Collectors will have the option to buy them in this special packaging with action figures included.

Hasbro Star Wars Toys

Have you heard about Monopoly LIVE and Battleship LIVE yet? Hasbro has taken some old favorites and made them new. Using infrared and computer technology, both games have exciting new twists and fun for the whole family. We didn't take any pictures of this one, because we were too busy playing! We were filmed, too, so if we become a Youtube sensation, I promise to post the clips.

In the area for games, the array of Scrabble offerings made me weak in the knees.

Scrabble Games

There is a game called Scrabble Flash which uses five electronic cubes. They are all linked, and they are programed so there will always be at least one five letter word possible. There are usually twenty or more other words with fewer letters. The player tries to make as many combinations as possible before the time runs down. It's very fun, and so popular that Hasbro will be adding Simon Flash and Yahtzee Flash to their lineup this year. (**This is probably a good idea since Scrabble Flash was named Game of the Year last night!!**)
Simon Flash

There were quite a few games that set off my homeschooler's radar. One called Brain Breaks (a Cranium game) gives you a quick challenge to complete. You will read the challenge off a card, and try to beat the timer.

Cranium Brain Breaks

Another, called Ratuki is fast and fun. It's a counting game, but the numbers are presented as numerals, dice, words, a hand holding up fingers, or tallies. It forces the brain to work mathematically and visually.


I also got to see the new Bop-it toy. I had the very first version of Bop-it from the 90's, and every one since. Get ready for even more Bop-it challenge as they have added "shake it", "flick it" and "spin it" commands. Like the last version, you will unlock more games as you master each level.


There will also be plenty of CupOnk this year including this deluxe Royal Flush edition.


Take a look at this twist on one of our family favorites, Connect Four.

Connect Four Launchers

It's just my humble opinion, but any time you add a launching device to a game, it's a good thing. Here, the object is to catapult the discs into the trays to make the four in a row. But, your opponent has the ability to land on top of your piece, too.

Marvel has big excitement brewing with the upcoming releases of THOR and Captain America. With great action movies, we can expect great toy offerings.

For THOR , there are swords, shields and Nerf hammers, (including one that lights up and makes thunder noises)

I thought the detail on the action figures was amazing. I am a huge fan of Thor, and was happy to see they did a nice job with his toy line. There are even some chunky figures for little ones.

Hasbro Thor Toys

Captain America (Also a favorite of mine) has a pretty sweet line up, too. My favorite was the disc launching shield, which shoots five Nerf discs up to 20 feet. The kids will love this one. (and so will our cat, who loves to play fetch!)
Captain America Toys

GI Joe is celebrating an anniversary this year, and there is a nice line of action figures, as well as some collectible display figures modeled after real American heroes.

GI Joe Heroes

We got to play with some new BeyBlade toys that have a remote in the launcher. Now the players can use controls to try and knock their opponents out.

We also saw and played with the new Ricochet Pro Remote Control cars from Tonka. These can do tricks and flips and all sorts of fun things. They also have the ability to store 3 tricks in their memory, so that when your child does something really neat, and nobody sees it.. instead f trying for hours to recreated it, he can store it in the memory bank and do it over and over again. There is a Blue and Green model and a Red and Yellow model.

Tonka Ricochet

A smaller version is also available - but they are pre-programed with stunts. The child doesn't create them.

NERF continues to provide fun with Super Soakers, N-Strike, Dart Tag and their fun assortments of balls, swords, and other toys.

Something a lot of children will like is the new Transformers Kre-O line of assembly toys. They will assemble and take apart the pieces, and there are mini figures, too. Here's a huge replica of the BumbleBee kit.


It was a really great day for me, and I'm so glad I can share this with my toy loving friends and readers.