On the Floor with Core: Toy Designs You Should Know About from Toy Fair 2018 

Toy Fair is an annual toy industry trade show held mid-February in New York City. The event is open to industry only and is the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere. It’s the place to be if you’re an up and coming studio trying to get your big break and where the big studios show off their new toys for the coming year. This was my second year at the fair, and I saw a lot of exciting new booths and some familiar faces. 

DIY culture and customization were very present in toy designs this year. Modern toys are all about how a child can really make the product their own. There was also a focus on space-saving items to please parents living in small spaces. Kids are notoriously bad at cleaning up after themselves, so many products try to make the clean-up process easy and fun. 

A big trend across the whole fair was getting kids interested in programming. STEM has become a big theme in a lot of kids education as we enter further into the digital age, and the toy industry is jumping on board. Designers seemed split down the middle in terms of how we should be handling the large amount of technology kids are exposed to these days. Half of the educational toys focused on reducing screen time; getting kids off screens and learning in real life. Others took a more optimistic approach to screen addiction—kids are going to look at screens anyway, so we might as well teach them something while they do.

Magnets have always been cool to kids (and honestly adults). This year I saw some really creative uses of magnets in everything from stuffed toys to building blocks and robots. As a designer myself, it gave me hope—sometimes it can feel like everything innovative has already been done with classic ideas like magnets, but there is always a new application out there waiting to be thought of.

Toy Fair 2018
Photo credit: Core 77
Sago Mini / Pillow Playsets
Utility for Parents, Fun for Kids: Sago Mini is an an example of a company that is really thinking all the details through and nailing it! All their toys aim to please parents and preschoolers alike with space saving, portable designs and fun creative accessories.
Photo credit: Core 77
Sago Mini / Pillow Playsets
These awesome Pillow Playsets, available Fall 2018, turn your couch into a kitchen, doctors office, or dollhouse! The sets have fun pockets that reveal hidden surprises and accessories like a frying pan and food items.
Photo credit: Core 77
Sago Mini / Pillow Playsets
The Pillow Playsets can be quickly tucked away, perfect for families where space is limited. Designed with a black and white neutral exterior, the pillows fit beautifully into any room.
Photo credit: Core 77
Sago Mini / Portable Playsets
Sago Mini doesn’t limit their playsets to the couch though. Inspired by Moleskine notebooks, their portable sets come fully loaded with figurines and accessories that all pack up into the playhouse.
Photo credit: Core 77
Sago Mini / Portable Playsets
Perfect for trips, the sets come with a built-in handle that’s easy for kids to carry. Once you’re ready to play, the sets provide lots of explorative play and silly surprises behind flaps. Check out their site for more fun
Photo credit: Core 77
Though Full Toys / Modarri
Modarri cars are another great example of a really well designed toy. The company started on Kickstarter and found success with their durable cars that can be taken apart to mix and match colourful parts.
Photo credit: Core 77
Though Full Toys / Modarri
They have real suspension springs on the wheels and are driven around by putting your finger into the driver’s seat.
Photo credit: Core 77
Though Full Toys / Modarri
Putting these cars together was so satisfying as each part fit perfectly together. It’s impressive how much variety there is in the designs while still being seamlessly interchangeable.
Photo credit: Core 77
Though Full Toys / Modarri
Coming in March, you can also get an all white Modarri set that comes with paints so you can pimp your ride.
Photo credit: Core 77

View the full gallery here
Source: core77

Rating On the Floor with Core: Toy Designs You Should Know About from Toy Fair 2018  is 5.0 / 5 Votes: 2
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