FLASHBACK: 20 Fun Finds from Toy Fair New York 2020: TFNY #ToyFairLife

Friday, September 29, 2023
In honor of Toy Fair New York weekend (happening 9/30-10/3), I thought I'd flash back to the last Toy Fair I attended before the pandemic in 2020. Can't wait to experience TFNY 2023 and fill you in on all of my fun finds! Stay tuned!

Toy Fair New York (TFNY) 2020 has come to a close, but there are some fabulous new toy trends and fun finds to share with you. The show itself was certainly one to remember - from superstar Shaquille O'Neal and toy photographer Mitchel Wu's ribbon cutting ceremony, to the dancing Squishmallows cascading around the Javits Center! This was my fifth (or sixth? I can't remember!) year attending the toy industry's biggest event of the year, and I am excited to share my favorite finds with you. Read on to see who won The Jersey Momma's heart and why!

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I attended TFNY with a media pass and all opinions here are my own. No one paid me to feature their items, and if you see multiple recommendations from one company, it's just because I loved them. This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which you can read more about on my Disclosure page. 

A Note from The Jersey Momma

(*if you just want to see the toys, feel free to scroll below, otherwise, here's my quick preface about the items I chose)

Here are 20 fun finds from Toy Fair New York, and keep in mind that these are all my personal choices. There is a huge trend towards pooping toys as well as toys based on You Tube stars. Although these might become popular in the general market, they are not my favorites (and no offense to you if you do like these kinds of toys- to each their own!). The items I picked (in my opinion) were unique, special, or 'stand outs' for me at the show. Several of the 'big name' booths (who shall remain nameless) at Toy Fair New York were like Fort Knox. They were selective about who they let in (one even had an actual police officer out front), and certainly didn't want to give the time of day to the average blogger (although I feel like I'm far from average, just sayin'). That's a shame because bloggers (or should I say writers, I'm a writer, after all) like me really do represent the every day consumer, the parents who will be purchasing these toys and who can share honest opinions with the myriad of other parents they know personally or have as followers! But where one door closes (literally) another door opens, and for one booth that didn't want us to see their 2020 products, there were certainly others who were more than excited to have us visit and share these fabulous toys with you.

My favorite booths this year were Aurora World, Crayola, Epoch, and Spin Master. All were meticulously decorated and their displays were top notch. Their press reps knew their products and they did an amazing job of welcoming us, demonstrating and sharing knowledge about each item. Plus, their products were just plain awesome. Anyway, enough of my banter. On to the toys!

1. Mealtime Magic Mia from Spin Master

Believe it or not, I am not the biggest fan of dolls. But Mealtime Magic Mia really blew me away because she was almost animatronic (her style is called 'hyper-realism'). She can blow raspberries with a little moving tongue, be fed with a 2-in-1 interactive bottle/pacifier, taste and react to her plate of light-up food, and so much more. I have never seen a doll quite as realistic as this one, due out in stores Fall 2020. Be sure to look for more Spin Master products in my upcoming gift guides and follow-up Toy Fair posts, because I simply couldn't fit them all in here.

2. Blockbuster Board Game and Puzzles from Spin Master Games

Kudos to Spin Master for bringing back our beloved Blockbuster Video in game and puzzle form! The game is non-stop team fun, with a board that simulates the Blockbuster parking lot (along with iconic Blockbuster billboard sign), and the puzzles feature 80's movie posters in classic Blockbuster video boxes. The Blockbuster Game is available for less than $20 from Amazon, and you can purchase it here. The puzzles are coming soon (you might see an older version of them on Amazon but I would hold off for the re-release). Stay tuned for my blog post all about the best board games at Toy Fair.

3. Dr. Seuss Plush, Shoulderkins, Sacks, and YooHoo Line from Aurora

I loved so many products in the Aurora World booth that it's actually difficult for me to narrow down which were my favorites (look for more Aurora products in my upcoming gift guides and follow-up Toy Fair posts). For now, let me just highlight the YooHoo line and the Dr. Seuss line. Shoulderkins have a little magnet in them that allow the plush character to sit on your shoulder. Sacks look almost like mini hackysacks (or plush marshamllows!) and fit right in the palm of your hand. Shoulderkins and new line of Sacks are coming soon, but in the meantime you can see the regular YooHoo line on Amazon and stream their cute show on Netflix, too! The Lorax, Grinch, and new Horse Museum Dr. Seuss plush (and Shoulderkins) are especially perfect for classroom teachers who celebrate Dr. Seuss Day every year!

Thanks, KidCongeniality, for modeling the flamingo shoulderkin!

4. Snapsies and Gashouse Gang from Funko

If you follow me on social media, you know that I'm a huge Funko fan (and collector of POPs). But I was surprised to see that Funko has a toy line coming out that mirrors their high-quality collectible pieces. Snapsies feature adorable collectible characters with interchangeable faces and pieces. They will even have Snapsies machines that will distribute the blind balls almost like a vending machine.  The Gashouse Gang features silly monsters with gross and goofy names that you can hang on backpacks or collect in sets. Coming soon to stores and online.

5. Adventure Treehouse and Lakeside Lodge Gift Sets from Calico Critters  

Calico Critters is celebrating 35 years of magic and they had an incredible display of their products through the years at Toy Fair New York. I wanted to move into their little village and live there forever! Their Adventure Treehouse Gift Set and Lakeside Lodge Gift Set were absolutely precious and filled with the same meticulous detail that you've come to expect from Calico Critters. Stay tuned for some ADORABLE sets coming out this year to commemorate their anniversary. I can't tell you about them here because they're top secret, but you're going to love them!

6. Micromallows from Kellytoy

Yes, yes, I am raving about Squishmallows again! I loved their booth so much that I wrote a separate post all about the Squishmallows line at Toy Fair (you can read that here). But the Micromallows really stood out for me because they're like portable Squishmallows that you can fit in your pocket and I think they're perfect for Easter baskets, too. They come in a 4" capsule with assortments featuring their fantasy, sealife or fruit squads. Coming soon.

7. Ravel Tales from Sunny Days

Sunny Days revealed a fun new product this year called Ravel Tales. Coming soon in 2020, Ravel Tales are kind of a collectible, plush and DIY all in one. Each box contains a ball of yarn and string that you have to slowly unravel. Inside the ball are collectible pieces ranging from DIY activities to sticker sheets. At the center you'll find an adorable plush character and a little blanket that you can sticth at the edges. I loved that it kind of emphasized a skill that most of us don't have anymore- we need to bring back sewing and Home Ec! It's a basic life skill. Ravel Tales are coming soon - "the more you unwind, the more you find!"

8. Tetris Tilt and Rubik's Revolution from Super Impulse

Super Impulse is already well known for their amazing 'World's Smallest' miniatures (look for more of them in my upcoming gift guides and Toy Fair follow-up posts). But they also created some fun variations of the ever classic Rubik's Cube, including the Rubik's Tilt and Rubik's Revolution. Rubik's Tilt (and Tetris Tilt- there are different variations) is a handheld game where you can move it and turn it to help solve the puzzle (you can even get hints!). Rubik's Revolution is a multi-sensory game with lights, action and sound. You can play individually or pass it around for group gameplay. Rubik's Revolution and Tetris Tilt are coming soon. Also be on the lookout for those little metallic World's Smallest Rubik's Cubes! How cool, right?

9. Science and STEM Kits from Crayola

You really can't go wrong with Crayola, and last year I loved their Color Chemistry and Color Chemistry Arctic Lab STEM kits. New for 2020 are their Liquid, Space, Gross, and Paper Flower Science Kit. The kits come with everything you need for artsy, scientific fun! The Paper Flower Kit was my favorite, since you start with a plain white flower and watch it absorb colors through its paper stem. Coming soon.

10. Bananas Collectibles from Cepia 

It's no secret that I'm an avid collector of Bananas figures so I was super excited to see all of the latest editions coming in 2020. Be on the lookout for Bunch 4, Bananas Babies, Bananas Huggers, Bananas Kahunas, and fun new ways to display your collectibles (like on plastic rings or bracelets). If you've never seen them before, Bananas are little collectible animals and critters that come packaged in a plastic banana that you peel away to reveal the goodies inside! They are also scented. Mmm-mmm!

11. DOTS Collection from LEGO

Do you know all of those tiny LEGO pieces that are great for decorating and designing your LEGO build? Well, LEGO has wrapped them all up and packaged them as a new line called DOTS. DOTS are sold in small bags as well as in DIY kits, from bracelet making to pineapple pencil holders. My only gripe is that they seem geared more towards girls, when I know boys would enjoy these, too! Available now from LEGO.

12. Monchichi from Aliquantum

Our beloved Monchichi now has his own show streaming to Hulu, so Aliquantum joined forces to create some adorable new Monchichi plush and toys. They really stayed true to the original design while giving them a fresh upgrade, too.

13. Good Night Coney - IMC Toys

Cry Babies from IMC Toys are super cute and really cry tears when you fill them with water. This nighttime version of Cry Babies is called Good Night Coney. She is a bit softer than the regular Cry Babies and perfect for cuddling with at night- yes, she still cries but not wet tears. She has light up tears, so there's no water, and the lights even provide a soft glow in the dark. Coming soon from IMC Toys!

Many thanks to my pal from KidCongeniality for being my model!

14. Stunt Shot from Spin Master

FINALLY someone has created a remote control truck that can bang into walls and doors at full speed and NOT cause scuffing. Thank you, Spin Master! Stunt Shot Truck was super cool, with giant harmless foam wheels. The truck itself was extremely lightweight and they even demonstrated how it could drive over a ceramic plate with no damage. Coming Fall 2020.

15. 3-in-1 Airtivity Table from TOMY

I don't usually add baby items to my toy fair round-up posts but I really loved this Airtivity Table from TOMY. I joked that it was like an air hockey table for babies! You can remove the legs of the table for play on the floor, or promote standing play by attaching the legs. Air blows through the table to make the little toys on top move and flow. Ingenious, right? Coming Fall 2020.

16. Zen Catz and Kinetic Sand Kalm from Spin Master

Back to Spin Master for their Zen Catz! This clever kitty is designed for ages 14 and up (that's YOU, adults!), and it's perfect for a desktop or table where you need a little zen in your life. Rock him back and forth for soothing lights, sounds and music. Add in a Kinetic Sand Kalm Relaxation Set next to him and you've got yourself a little anti-stress oasis right on your desk! Both coming Fall 2020.

17. Funko Games

Funkoverse is already a favorite of mine, especially since it contains smaller versions of the POP vinyl characters that we all know and love. Funkoverse comes in a variety of interchangeable sets (Golden Girls, DC Comics, Harry Potter, Rick and Morty, etc.), and will expand its line to include Jaws, Jurassic Park, Aggretsuko, Back to the Future, and additional characters from The Golden Girls. But that's not all!  Funko Games is bringing you a whole variety of new board games in 2020 (not just Funkoverse) including fan favorites like Back to the Future: Back in Time, Godzilla: Tokyo Clash and Pan Am. I saw these games with my own two eyes (I was not allowed to take photos) and they were really beautiful. I love that they are bringing back old school board games and making them unique and fun to play. The artwork in every game I saw was truly amazing.

photos from Funko Games Twitter

18. Power Treads from WowWee

Power Treads are all-surface vehicles that flip, rip and roam. You can build your Power Treads, then create a custom course using the Power Treads modular track set (or anything else you might find in your home). Tracks are interchangeable and there are thousands of different track configurations. I liked that they didn't really look like cars or trucks, but rather some kind of tread-robot machine. I knew my 11 year old would love it! Available 2020.

19. Flying Toothless Dragon from Spin Master

Owleez were a HUGE success last year (they were the top-purchased item from my 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!), and this new Toothless version is sure to win hearts! Multi-touch sensors allow kids to build a bond with him and teach him to 'fly!' He even has a rechargeable battery. Coming Fall 2020.

20. Loungefly Bags and Accessories 

Loungefly bags have always been my favorite, from their original pop culture designs to their extreme attention to detail (check out the measuring tape handles on the Cinderella bag), they truly have something for everyone. They're functional, collectible and beautiful.

Stay tuned for more posts about Toy Fair New York, or check out my round-up post from last year's show: Flash Back to 10 Fun Finds from Toy Fair New York 2019. You can also view all of my Toy and Gift Guide posts on this page.

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