Toy Fair came to London this week to celebrate its 60th birthday and to showcase what's hot in the world of toys for 2013. As a visitor of last year's Toy Fair I was looking forward to another brilliant show with lots of brand new and exciting toys to discover. Sadly though it felt at times like I WAS at last years show, with new toys few and far between. What I found was a lot of stands displaying the same products as last year. I went looking for something new and different, something that would spark my interest. It was something of a mission, but I did find a few items that I think will be big in 2013.
BigJigs ToysBigJigs never fails to impress, and their stand at Toy Fair was one of the best. New products were interspersed with old favourites, like the classic wooden train set which recently became rather more famous following a daring PR attempt to run the rail network. My favourite toys from BigJigs are generally their wooden play sets, but I am a huge fan of the Green Toys which are made from recycled plastic. They are phenomenally sturdy and long lasting, and I love the look of the new additions which include a car ferry, a sea plane and submarine.
BB Bear from Babogbaby
This cute bear helps teach your child a language. Currently available in English, Welsh, Irish and Scots Gaelic, the bear is aimed at children from 6 months up. Whether you're trying to coax those first few words from your child, or if you're a bi-lingual family and you want to help your little one master a second language this is a great bear. I was lucky enough to leave the show with my own BB Bear to give to my 2 year old son who is an ardent signer but only has a vocabulary of a couple of words. I'm hoping that his new friend BB will get him speaking more as he's taught numbers, colours and shapes.
Lotus TrunkiYes those geniuses at Trunki have got another brand new design for 2013 and this is sure to be a big hit with the Dads. Designed and coloured to replicate a Lotus this Trunki is very sleek and distinctive looking. I'm sure its going to prove as massively popular as the rest of the range has, and its a sure fire hit for petrol heads and car enthusiasts alike.
Trix Trax from Wonderworld at DKLTrix Trax are kits of bricks, ramps and tunnels made from recycled sawdust and plastic which makes them more durable and hard wearing than wood. Pieces are combined together to form elaborate structures and then a ball is rolled from top to bottom. The combinations are endless and as big as your child's imagination - you can follow the inclusive instructions of just create your own. A great introduction to construction for children from age 3+.
FloppetsFloppets are going to be one of those collectible crazes that sweeps the nation this year. Originally from the USA, Floppets are cute characters and charms which are attached to a velcro loop. This loop can then be attached to pretty much anything - bags, keyrings, fingers, belt loops. shoes, pencils, glasses, scooters, bikes - you name it, a Floppet can attach to it. Brace yourself for a Floppet invasion.
The number of stands I visited which looked like exact copies of last year was disappointing and the number of times I heard the phrase "Well we don't really have anything NEW for this year..." was rather alarming. Fingers crossed next years show will be better and companies will be working hard to dazzle us with new and different toys for our children.