Fidget spinners, Fingerlings, Hatchimals; the U.S. toy industry has gotten some serious play over the past few years.
In 2017, the industry grew to a whopping $21 billion in sales, according to the NPD Group’s retail tracking service.
Every year over 30,000 toy enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and industry insiders from over 100 countries descend on the Big Apple, New York City for the annual American International Toy Fair.
“You got media people, analysts, smaller companies trying to sell their products to larger companies and you got buyers,” Chris Byrne, content director of Toys, Toys, Pets and More, told FOX News, “…lots of retailers all over the country and they want to stock up for the year.”
What’s the next big thing for retailers and consumers?
Byrne gave FOX News a behind the scenes tour of the industry-insiders exclusive event pointing out some of the coolest toys and games to look out for in 2018.
Run out of things to ask your Amazon Alexa? “When in Rome” by Sensible Objects Voice Originals turns your smart home device into a tabletop game for the whole family. “It’s a great trivia game where you can learn about different countries,” says Byrne.
Move over emojis and make way for shareable holograms. Seemez Virtual Friends by RedwoodVentures lets kids can use their tablets and phones to collect and play with a menagerie of cute virtual critters and turn them into holograms. “My favorite thing is you can actually create a hologram of yourself… and share them with other people,” says Byrne.
You may have seen photos on social media of families adopting dogs or cats from shelters and pampering them back to full health. Now kids can jump in on the action with Moose Toys’ Scruff-a-Love. Kids take a little, uncared for ball of fluff and washing them in water, drying them off and fluffing up their fur, children get to rescue their very own stuffed animal.
Be sure to check out the video about as Byrne nurtures one little Scruff-a-Love and all of these cool toys in action.