Toy trend expert, Reyne Rice joined me live from New York's Toy Fair late last week, to share this year's top toy and game trends and big buys for kids of all ages!
Candace Rose: What are some of the top toy trends we'll be seeing in 2012?
Reyne Rice: "We're going to start with classic play which is classic play building sets are back in resurgence right now, and this one is by Lego®. It's the DC Universe Super Heroes set. It combines both building sets and action figures. So there's five different action figures that comes with the set, and this is part of the Batman collection, it's called the Batman Cave. It's got two exclusive figures – Poison Ivy and Bing are two of the characters that are exclusive, and both collectors and kids are going to love this. It also has a comic book that comes with it.
The next product is the Switch and Go Dinos by VTech, so this combines two of boys favorite play patterns- dinosaurs and vehicles. So it's a 2-in-1 play experience, and they can quickly within four steps transform from a dinosaur to a vehicle. They have LED screens, so there's a lighted up play experience; there's sound effects; and it even gives them educational dino facts. And there'll be seven of these dinosaurs by years end.
One of the play patterns last year which was really hot was Skylanders: Spyro Adventure. It was the number one best selling video game, and it has these figures with them now. So these actual, physical figures combine with the virtual world for play. So these Skylanders Giants, this is Tree Rex, and you can see he hovers over this portal of power, and as he goes on here he magically appears on your screen in the video world. They're two times the size of the characters from last year, but all of these characters play together, and what's great about this is it's a cross platform experience. So it doesn't even matter what kind of video gaming system you have in your home or what kind of handheld device, the kids can all play together.
Then we have for the whole family, we have these Sifteo Cubes. They connect together, they're actually wirelessly connected to your computer. They come in sets of three, and the whole family can play together whether it's problem solving games, language, logic; all of these intellectual play cubes bring out the fun in the whole family experience, and they're tactile, so you have something to play. It's both technology and something that's tactile.
The last product is the PlayStation Vita, and this is a sneak peek because it's just coming out this week. It's by Sony, it's an on the go immersive gaming system. It has an OLED hi-tech screen, it has a touchscreen on the front; a rear touch pad; two cameras- front and back, so you have augmented reality experiences. You've got a dual analog levers. It's a real console gaming experience, and it will have 25 games available at launch, and both WiFi and 3G connectivity. So what's awesome about this is people can play on the go, anytime, anywhere. And people can learn more about these products at DailyLounge.com, if they want to learn more. But this is just a sampling of some of the products that are out there."
Candace Rose: How much can consumers expect to pay for the Sony PS Vita?
Reyne Rice: "That one starts at $249 for the WiFi version, and $299 for the 3G version. And you need an AT&T subscription, but you can also get streaming video on it, streaming music- it's a really all-in-one device."
Candace Rose: What are the hottest toys for girls, would you say?
Reyne Rice: "For girls? Actually LEGO® has a new girls set, they're called Lego Friends, and they just came out in January, so they're available for girls. It has a whole social play pattern, because they found out girls really like this. There's a lot of dolls, and mini collectibles out there for girls as well. So there's something for everybody, and we know that girls are also playing the Skylanders: Spyro Adventure as well."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information you'd like to share?
Reyne Rice: "Well, active play, outdoor play, and sports are hot. Anything that ties with digital toys are something that the kids are going after, and we're finding that families are playing together a lot more because they're interacting with this technology, so it's something the kids and the adults like to do together."
Candace Rose: And where can we go for more information?
Reyne Rice: "You can go to DailyLounge.com for more information on all these products."