Our whirlwind trip to New York City for Toy Fair 2016 is done and we are safely home after leaving early this morning to avoid the snow in the city (just to get home to 6″ of snow!). It is going to take a few days to really go through all the photos and write the individual reports for each company I visited, but I know you are just as excited to hear about it all as I am to share it, so how about a few of the highlights?
Let’s get this show on the road!! My first stop of the day was at the Sophia’s booth (you may be familiar with their retail site My Doll’s Life) where I was greeted by one of their ASPCA pups driving a jeep. The Sophia’s team has been hard at work coming up with new play sets and accessories for dolls and plush.
One of the newer sets is the sports equipment set that has a field hockey stick, lacrosse stick, shin guards, and balls. This set has a special place in my heart… a few years ago, when Natalie played field hockey, I had mentioned to the Sophia’s team that it would be great to have a field hockey stick. How cool is it to see the set to come to life!!
The Queen’s Treasures, known for their heirloom quality doll furniture and playsets, have debuted a new line based on the classic Little House on the Prairie stories. In addition to some really great play pieces, they created a new 18″ doll inspired by the Laura Ingalls Wilder character. The Laura doll made her debut on Saturday and I had fun photographing her, too. A few notes – this doll is not quite in production yet so you can’t buy her yet and there may be a few little detail changes still.
First The Queen’s Treasures created their “Shoppes” sets – which has the pink and white awning, but if you take the green and white awning from the Farm Stand set (which is also available separately) and add some Pizza signs, you get the Pizza Queen!! Too much fun!
Adora’s Kids for Kids design contest each year is just so much fun! These are the winning submissions from the past two years. The theme for this year’s contest is Slumber Party and you can get all the details and an entry form here.
I didn’t have an appointment with Aurora, but I thought this display on the outside of the booth was just too sweet. Mermaids were a popular theme this year.
In years past, Mattel’s booth has not been on the main floor, however, this year it was. I did not schedule an appointment with them either, but had to take a photo of the Barbies on the outside of their showroom.
For Corolle, there wasn’t anything dramatically new, but they did have plenty of new fashions and they did bring back a few of their baby dolls – including a 20″ baby doll that can wear 3 month infant clothes as well.
Manhattan Toys’ Groovy Girls line will always have a special place in my heart as they were some of the first dolls my girls ever played with. Groovy Girls have a new logo and new fabrics this year so you may see more than one set of packaging at any given Groovy Girls display in local stores as the transition is completed.
iBesties Moguls are another small line of dolls trying to capture imaginations of girls as they transition into their tween years and start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. These girls come with a story book and each one of them has a different career goal – from designer, to computer programmer and entrepreneur.
I am always amazed by the detail and patience that must be required to build life sized Lego figures! The Lego Friends girls were looking good!
Mini dolls are HOT!! Every major doll manufactured has their version of mini dolls but our friends at Battat (makers of Our Generation) have hit a home run in the sense that not only do they have a brand new line of mini dolls called Lori dolls, but the also have mini doll furniture, accessories and a house! This has been a huge gap in the market and it is so much fun to see all the different sets they have already created and to hear about what is still in the works. You can find Lori dolls and accessories at Target.
In one aspect there have been some big changes for the Madame Alexander Doll Company this year, and in another sense they seem to really be going back to their roots, too. Here is a sneak peek of what is going on in their 18″ Disney Princess line. The princesses have got new dresses complete with more sparkles, but they also got new dresses based on another moment in their story – Cinderella gets married, Belle falls in love and Ariel meets her prince.
Tonner Doll debuted their new 18″ doll line, My Imagination, last year, but it was really nice to see it for myself this year. They have made a few changes and have some really FUN licenses in the works (I saw them, but couldn’t photograph them – trust me – you will LOVE them). How gorgeous is this Gone with the Wind dress for the 18″ dolls? There are some new additions to their various fashion doll lines, but you will have to wait for my Tonner report later this week for details and photos.
One of the fledgling doll lines I was introduced to this year is Naturally Perfect Dolls. This is Kennedy – one of the four dolls scheduled to debut later this year that have beautiful, washable and stylable natural hair. Angelica and her husband Jason started their company via inspiration from their own daughter – they were so nice to talk with and I hope they have success with their doll line.
I had a GREAT meeting with Our Generation and I look forward to working with them more this year. In the US, Target is where you can find Our Generation’s dolls, furniture and accessories. Isn’t this ice cream truck fabulous? The individual Target stores get different assortments and don’t always know what they are getting or what they have, so if you see an Our Generation item or set you like, you need to pick them up right then, because you may not see it in your store again for a while if at all. The ice cream truck is like the RV was a few years ago – it is HOT and if you see it – get it!
The One World Doll Project – founded by Stacey McBride-Irby and Trent T. Daniel, announced two new multi-cultural collections this year – these are a few of the dolls in the NYC Girls line. These are prototypes still and they should be available this fall. Prettie Girls NYC is a collection of five 15″ fashion dolls inspired by New York City’s multi-cultural community. In fall 2015, Prettie Girls Tween Scene launched in Walmart and if you give them a good look you will definitely recognize their faces and bodies (they have the Little Miss Matched Girls bodies and their faces have a very familiar Tonner look!).
And I will leave you with this giant pyramid of cuteness! How can you resist all these big eyes from Ty?
WHEW!!! I jammed a LOT into a single day at Toy Fair and while I know there were doll lines I missed this year, I really wanted to focus my time and energies on the brands that have stood the test of time on Doll Diaries. Check back throughout the week for more detailed reports from most of these companies and so many more photos!!