Despite being a bit of a Debbie Downer in my Toy Fair overview
, I did meet some wonderful people and see some great stuff. Here are some of the standouts for me:
The Danish-designed Moovers line of toys (top photo above) has become popular in Europe and will be available in the U.S. thanks to distributor Haba. I kicked the tires and was impressed by the quality. Moover toys are shipped flat and assembled by the buyer with a tool-less "click key system". So far the only place I've seen some of them online in the US is Magic Cabin, but there was a lot of interest around them and I expect they'll be easy to find soon.
This village train set by Sevi is a terrific starter train set. I love that it comes with its own playmat and that it includes plenty of vehicles beyond a train.
Sevi, an Italian company, is distributed in the US by Magic Forest
. (One online source is Moolka
Sevi also makes this cool pirate ship playset
Every year, usually before the holidays, we field reader questions about where to find quality
, kid-sized instruments. Well, now I know to send them to Zither Heaven
(Rochester, NY) for ukuleles, banjos, harps and, of course, zithers. The friendly ZH guys also clued me YouTube star Jake the ukulele virtuoso
. Where have I been?
Last year I appreciated the innovation of their folding play kitchen
and their small space offering this year is the desk-to-easel art cart
(available for pre-order). In the upright position, it's a combo whiteboard and chalkboard easel (and low enough for most toddlers to easily reach, I noted). Fold it down and you have a flat surface for drawing, rolling out playdough and other arts and crafts.
Yes, this beautiful Croc Pile by Area Ware
is attractive enough to display on a shelf, but it's also fun to stack and balance this wooden quintet (available this spring).
Come back next week for more Toy Fair finds!
(Images: Carrie McBride)