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 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)