A few days ago, the Javits Center in NYC was taken over by the 108th Annual Toy Fair and this massive event brings together the manufacturers and innovative product creators along with the buyers and the media under one massive roof to showcase all of the newest stuff for the toy and gaming populace of the world. PiercingMetal was no longer a stranger to the Javits Center and its wealth of interesting conventions as we had already attended and covered the daunting event known as Comic Con which you can read about by clicking the logo below. I also attended the Photo Expo for the sake of the personal side blog that I keep, but when it came down to it, Toy Fair would be an entirely different affair.
You might be wondering what the logic behind my attending such an event was, and the answer is simple enough. Music fans are gamers, and also collectors of doodads, actions figures and the like, and these things are outlets that help them work better for their musical craft. I’ve actually seen bands that have traveled with a flat screen television and gaming system in order to keep occupied while traveling from city to city to entertain you. When it came down to it, the relationship between the comic collecting world and the toy one was a very close knit thing – so taking part in such a massive event would be very educational. I was joined by my comrade in arms Skeleton Pete, who many know as Peter Parrella, an occasional writing contributor and photographer for PiercingMetal.com – It would be fun to adventure into the Javits Center with him as professional company.
As you can see by the preceding photo, the Javits Center seemed to be getting a little bit of a cosmetic makeover. I think the crane was working on another building, but I didn’t get close enough to examine that. I just noticed the scaffolding right away and snapped. I did have to warm up the camera for all of the sights that would be seen inside after all. Here we go and oh yes before you get too involved in this adventure….all of the photos for this batch of narratives come care of either Peter or myself. We both had cameras in hand and were snapping away. Another thing about these articles is that we shall try to focus them as best as possible to various attractions, but with the amount seen that might be hard. Either way I think you will find the journey an educational one.
Speaking of “snapping away”, as we walked into the massive set of displays, we were greeted by the representative of the Playsnapz company who tossed us each a sample piece of this toy line. It’s premise is simple and seems to be fun. With these items you can bend, snap and create all kinds of things. It brings out the creative side of you and has some similarity to Lego if I needed to draw a comparison. Speaking of which, take a look at this….
Just to our left was a seemingly life size replica of Lightning McQueen from the Pixar film “Cars”. I was amazed at the level of detail in this, and it reminded me of the whole “Art Of The Brick” exhibit that we saw at Comic Con last year. Stuff like this makes me impressed as I used to be only able to fashion the most rudimentary things with my Legos. Next up, the massive display for Ty – the makers of Beanie Babies.
Even a Metal head has to admit a soft spot for these things as they have been making our gift buying times a whole lot easier. Can you disagree that a special someone would not eat this little jasper up? I think not.
I will assume that these next items are new since this was Toy Fair, and who has not heard of “Hello Kittie” in their life. I know so many young ladies who love these characters, and I had to say that they were amazing. Fans of something a little darker should find their sinister alter egos over at the Hangry and Angry stores. Those are the Gothic characters that seem to have been inspired by these cute things.
You’ll make someone’s day if you buy them the giant Helo Kittie I am sure but there were some other cool things to be seen at this booth and here they are. Behold the “Beanie Ballz”!
The company is always striving to make their line a little more interesting and one cannot blame them. They do need to make more “spooky” themed ones if you ask me. A few years ago around Halloween I found a skeleton, a ghost and a witch. They were perfect for someone like me. These chaps show the seasonal models are still strong and they would easily take us into next month’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Sadly, no green beer or coffee were being served at the Toy Fair.
The next attraction we happened to pass was one of the giant Lego displays. This is where we also found out just how different Toy Fair was as an event. Many of the larger manufacturers had these decorative walls set up around their display, and only a few quick glimpses to what they had behind them.
The super secret nature of some of these releases prevented access being granted to many of the conventions attendees unless they were big chain distributors or buyer’s of note. The media with their cameras were not permitted and we totally understand this given the fact that a leak could break a company.
We did get to see this awesome display case though and snapped a bunch of shots of it between us.
This is the Ninjago series of characters and playsets. They are the “Masters Of Spinjitsu” and they looked like a lot of fun. Lego has sure come a long way since I was a kid.
Look at the detail and accuracy of these fun sets.
They even had a number of different characters which we shot below
Moving along we saw a familiar face in one Captain Jack Sparrow. After talking to him for a few moments I realized that he was not going to respond as he was also made entirely of Lego bricks.
Here’s another angle of the popular captain made famous by Johnny Depp. There is another movie for “Pirates Of The Caribbean” coming out over the summer I believe. I hope its a good one.
Moving on from this section we saw that Star Wars is a very popular license being used by Lego and who doesn’t want themselves a miniature Lego Darth Vader. I know I do.
When I was growing up, I remembered a Lego competitor coming into play that was called Tente and I had purchased a couple of sets of their “Space Battle” stuff, but the real name escapes me. The company does not appear to be in business in today’s realm according to their Wikipedia entry. I did like the set that I had and likely have some loose bricks somewhere in a box in the house. Yes I also did have one or two Lego sets as well in case you were curious.
The only similar product that we saw at Toy Fair was the Mega Bloks company. They had this massive dragon outside of their booth but again it was one that we could not walk into and share more detail about. Sorry. Here is another angle of this super cool looking dragon.
The next sight was a bit of a surprise and was a semi-life size replica in cardboard of Prince William and his soon to be Princess Catherine Middleton. The couple are getting married in late April, and the excitement around this grand event extends outside of their native Britain.
Here is the massive window display of the colorful Mood Monkeys by Aurora World Inc. What monkey are you? they ask the consumers. Nice looking stuff. Very lively in appearance.
This chap appeared to be the mascot for the Mood Monkeys team.
Here’s a bunch of cool Super Hero cars by Maisto, and yes, I actually thought this said “Maestro” (long story, but I guess my eyes are going after all this computer stuff). Anyway, Maisto is a company that specializes in die-cast miniature replica of automobiles and motorcycles.
I didn’t get a closer shot of the super-hero cars and I apologize for that. I did love them as this called to mind my love of the Matchbox line when I was a young boy. I preferred them to Hot Wheels at this time in my life.
These have collectibility written all over them and while I leaned to the cycles that they made, I had to admit that the trucks were damn cool as well. Don’t you agree?
The Folks from Gamestars Collectibles were on point for the Toy Fair, we snapped up their display and a number of their awesome action figures. These things have come a long way.
One of the more unique things we came upon early in the adventure was the display set up by “Glow Crazy”, a company whose premise was to “Draw and Write with Light”. Each set came with a wand and a canvas and when you did this in the dark, the canvas would display the drawn image from your wand. It was kind of cool and very different.
This photo shows a very large version of the light wand that is used by the Glow Crazy product. The press team for this item had several screen booths set up and you could go inside and try it on one of the canvases. Neat.
I got to try the item out care of one of their own star publicists and we thank Miss Nicole for being so kind to show us how to use the Glow Crazy device since I was just taking it all in. I recommend this for any of you art fiends out there. Like I said, I thought it was a really cool thing to see and loved how it uses technology. Here is a shot of their publicist and I.
There’s more to come from this great adventure so stay tuned.
Toy Industry Association: http://www.toyassociation.org