Movies, collectibles, and technology were the most prominent trends during 2017 Toy Fair. Lego stood out with its Boost platform for coding blocks. Fred Katayama reports.
More than a thousand toy producers, distributors, and sales agents scouted the 2017 Toy Fair in New York looking for the next big thing. The most prominent trends included movies, technology, and collectibles, says industry expert Trae Badge. (SOUNDBITE) TRAE BODGE, SMART SHOPPING EXPERT, GIFTCARDGRANNY.COM, (ENGLISH), SAYING: "Just a couple of years ago, we started seeing very, very small toys, and maybe little blind bags, you didn't know what you were getting, and it was kind of interesting and new, and now it's everywhere." Lego, one of the market leaders, showed its own line of collectibles. Making the biggest noise: the Screaming Cat, an audible representation of Lego's newest platform called Boost. It allows children to build toys with Lego blocks and use iPads to program code them with motion and sound. Lego's Michael McNally: (SOUNDBITE) MICHAEL MCNALLY, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF BRAND RELATIONS, LEGO, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Lego Boost because it's putting digital together with physical play in a way that only Lego can do. We're super excited about Lego BrickHeadz, which is a very collectible platform, a whole new way to build characters with Lego." Other producers, like Wicked Cool Toys, also showcased collectibles and technology, bringing back Teddy Ruxpin, the iconic talking bear from the '80s. Optimism was in the air at the Toy Fair, backed by numbers. According to The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service, the U.S. toy market grew five percent last year to more than $20 billion. We're also really excited about the growth that we're a seeing in Lego Friends, which is our growth platform, also encouraging them to build across our portfolio with things like Star Wars and Creator."