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Toy Fair Day 1

I had to tear myself away from my new nephew to head down to New York for Toy Fair. It wasn’t easy, but it would have been much harder had my sister still been pregnant. So I’m counting my blessings and enjoying the trip.

This year, predictably, there are a few major themes at the show. First, safety. More than any other year, vendors are prepared to answer questions about the origins of their products, show off testing results and emphasize anything in their collection that is made outside of China. I asked a lot of questions about safety testing today, and based on the fluency of the answers I received, clearly the people working the booths had been repeating the same information all day long.

Second, and along the same lines, natural and organic products are everywhere. Many older companies are trying to label themselves “green” by tweaking their packaging, changing their materials and highlighting their existing good habits. There are also a lot of brand new companies showing off interesting, earth-friendly products.

Third, in a completely different vein, interactive products are still the rage this year, with so many Webkinz-inspired variations, I don’t even think I can count them all. Fourth, and this is a good trend, there are a lot of new toys coming that encourage kids to get up and move around.

I’ll try to pull a few highlights each day before I become totally incoherent.

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