March 5, 2020
Dear Savvy Aunties,
In February, 2020, I toured my 12th Toy Fair New York, an event where American and global toy and game companies preview the toys and games coming in 2020 to toy industry executives, retailers, and the press. And as member of the latter, I toured the largest companies like Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master and LEGO - as well as medium sized companies and a few startups with exciting innovations.
I spotted a few trends like the continuation of surprise reveal collectibles where kids have to unwrap or dig through a compound like kinetic sand or oozy slime to find their treasure. Some reveals happen when a package in dunked in water and it dissolves to reveal a toy or the toy changes colors while to reveal something new. And FUNKO has a new way to experience collectibles found only in kiosks coming to stores nationwide.
Sustainability took a front seat with some companies like MGAE (makers of the 2020 Toy of the Year: L.O.L. Surprise!) who is replacing plastic with degradable materials including the ubiquitous L.O.L. Surprise! ball. We held MegaBloks blocks at MATTEL that were nearly impossible to distinguish from the traditional plastic versions. And other companies looked to help kids better understand and appreciate the environment through play.
While encouraging STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) learning in play has focused on coding for a few years now, I noticed a bigger focus on environmental sciences, biology and chemistry. Robotics continued to be on trend.
Board games are still on a resurgence as kids and families look for ways to move away from the screens and spend more time together. Modernized versions of classic games Savvy Aunties remember from our childhood like Hasbro's Monopoly, Mall Madness and Dungeons and Dragons - and Mattel's Pictionary Air (2020 Toy of the Year: Games) Kids version are good bets, but we also spotted new games with unexpected twists like PlayMonster's Drone Home.
I gave 10 toys and games a SAVVY AUNTIE COOLEST TOY AWARD - Toy Fair 2020 edition. It was challenging to pick just 10 from the thousands of toys and games I previewed, but I think these toys and games will make kids go "Wow!" when they see them! Click here for the list.
Here's to the toys and games coming to wow your nieces and nephews in 2020!
Founder and Author, SAVVY AUNTIE