Hatchimals' Penguala, left, and SuperThings' Enigma at TTPM Holiday Showcase
TTPM, the leading video review site for toys, baby gear and pet gear, staged their annual Holiday Showcase event of hot toy product Thursday at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion.
In addition to TTPM’s 2019 Holiday Most Wanted list, the service unveiled, with some overlap, its Top 40 toys list.
“We launched our Top 40 list to feature the hottest toys, toys that are truly innovative, or meet a current trend,” said TTPM CEO/editor-in-chief Jim Silver. “Within this list we also feature toys from the Most Wanted List, but also wanted to honor toys that deserve recognition for their creativity or innovation.”
Silver noted a “rapidly growing trend” in the toy industry—tie-ins with YouTube stars.
“It’s not a fad,” he said, “but just the beginning.” Sure enough, two of the kids from the Tic Tac Toy YouTube channel were on hand to assist in the 2019 Holiday Most Wanted presentation; their new Tic Tac Toy XOXO Friends Surprise Box from Blip Toys, meanwhile, made both TTPM’s Top 40 Toys 2019 and 2019 Holiday Most Wanted lists.
Other double listees were Mattel’s Barbie Dream Plane and Hot Wheels Colossal Crash; Wicked Cool Toys’ Blinger; Zuru’s Boppi the Booty Shakin’ Llama; Just Play’s Disney Junior T.O.T.S. Nursery Headquarters Playset and Ryan's World Super Surprise; Bonkers Toys’ FGTeeV Season 1 Giant TeeV; Jazwares’ Fortnite Jumbo Llama Loot Piñata; Hasbro’s Frozen 2 Feature Playset and FurReal Cubby the Curious Bear; Moose Toys’ Kindi Kids Dolls; MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper Fashion Camper and L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Dolls; LeapFrog’s LeapBuilders ABC Smart House and RockIt Twist; LEGO’s LEGO Hidden Side; WowWee’s Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets; and Spin Master’s Cool Maker Go Glam Nail Stamper, PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Super Paws Lookout, and Tower.
Skyrocket Toys’ Blume also made both lists, and was among the many toys on display at the TTPM 2019 Holiday Showcase.
“Blume” is the name of a collectible doll line (22 in the first series) that is packaged in a flower pot container that when watered (with the attached plastic watering can) catalyzes a growth spurt culminating in the doll popping through the lid of the pot, which then serves as her home. The toy was top-ranked on Amazon’s Toys Movers & Shakers list at its launch, and is included on Walmart’s Top Rated By Kids list and Amazon’s Top 100 Toys list.
Also shown at Skyrocket’s TTPM booth was its Blume Secret Garden playset—a larger version of the Blume dolls that opens up to reveal secret compartments filled with 30 hidden treasures, that can be “re-blumed” multiple times.
Among other noteworthy exhibitors, veteran developer of classroom learning tools hand2mind showed Moving Creations, a STEM engineering experiment toy that teaches pneumatics and hydraulics. Developed in partnership with creative building set manufacturer K’NEX, Moving Creations represents hand2mind’s major foray into the home market.
Jooki, meanwhile, displayed a screen-free audio player for youngsters, by which they can access music and stories via cute character figurines that trigger supplied playists or those uploaded by parents.
In his opening remarks, Silver said that the toy industry is trending toward “late introductions” of new product.
“We’re starting to follow what Apple does,” he said, explaining that toy companies likewise “don’t want to get knocked off” and therefore hide their innovations as long as they can prior to a quick release following the initial announcement. Thus, the new iPhone goes on sale just a couple weeks after it’s announced, “and this will happen to 10 more [toy] lines over the next month.”
Silver added that both the Star Wars and Frozen toy franchises were currently under embargo, but that new lines from both were shortly forthcoming.
He further noted that while the toy industry is known as “the Big Three”—Amazon, Walmart and Target—indie toy dealers “are coming back,” specifically, the experiential retail store Camp, which offers workshops, in-store activations and interactive areas in addition to toys, and the revived Toys R Us, which is “returning this year with an entirely new experience.”
This year’s Holiday Showcase also had a dedicated pet product area—and a “pet fashion show/parade” of dogs that originated there and proceeded throughout the exhibition hall. Among the pet companies represented, Paw.com promoted its line of PupProtector blankets and PupRug orthopedic dog beds, and Van Ness Pets showed its Calm Carrier--a New Product Showcase Award winner from the World Pet Association, which features an “easy load drawer” allowing for safe and easy placement of a cat into a carrier via its sliding drawer--not to mention its calming effect on both cat and human.
David Price, founder/CEO of Knoxville-based Tidy Dog Pet products company, also had a novel item at his booth—the Troff Feeding System, namely, an elliptical dog bowl allowing food and water to naturally collect in the center, such that long dog ears fall outside the bowl in preventing ear infections, bad breath and teeth issues.
“I devised it to help our rescue poodle Eddie,” said Price, whose Eddie had been prone to ear infections. Surmising that these were caused by getting water and food in Eddie’s ears, Price took a pottery course at Knoxville’s Appalachian Museum.
“I had no clue as to what I was doing,” continues Price, who previously worked at the Dempster Dumpster company and had jobs in advertising and real estate. “The first bowl was ugly but it worked, and we’ve gone through almost 10 iterations since.
The Troff name, incidentally, is “a made-up word” evoking a trough, as Price was raised on a pig farm.