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  • Spilling The Beans - Insider's Guide to Baby Gear - Magic Beans

Talk about open ended

We did a survey of our customers this month, and we asked for opinions about the kinds of products we should be looking for at Toy Fair. One phrase came up again and again – “open ended.” So we were on a mission, to find open-ended playthings – toys that can be used again and again, in many different ways, ... Read More »

Day 3, running out of steam

Don’t even look at the time stamp on this post. I haven’t been up this late since college. But Toy Fair is always an ordeal. Today was a great day. I covered the entire lower level of the show, which is where most of the small companies are located. I saw so many interesting new products, all of which deserve ... Read More »

Squid Soap for cleaner hands

One of my favorite finds on Day 3 of Toy Fair was Squid Soap. It’s not really a toy, but it’s fun and clever all the same. Basically, it’s a pump of liquid handsoap with a little ink pad on top of the pump dispenser. So when a child presses down, it transfers a small dot of red ink onto ... Read More »

MP3 101

Peapod Toys is showing an MP3 player designed for babies and toddlers. It’s a simple, durable design that will allow even very young babies to learn to control their music. The player holds about two hours worth of music and will play for more than 40 hours on a single AA battery. The speakers were nothing special (though it was ... Read More »

Uglydolls on the loose.

Day two at Toy Fair proved eventful, as I learned firsthand why children are wise to be frightened of jumbo costumed characters. Giant Uglydolls have become a fixture at Toy Fair, but they are getting mischievous. Today, I found myself the target of their antics on two separate occasions. And why not? If I were trapped all day inside a ... Read More »

K’nekting with K’nex

There are some toy brands that have always been at the forefront of my consciousness. As a kid I really enjoyed Lego, Brio, and Lincoln Logs and Erector sets, and I get a kick out of seeing these products in my store. Today at Toy Fair I meandered into a booth with a great brand that I was not so ... Read More »

Hyperinteractivity

Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about Webkinz. These stuffed virtual pets are all the rage among middle school kids all over the country (if you’ve never heard of them, read my previous entry about them here). So it’s not really a surprise that their success is spawning at least a handful of eager copycats. But the range of ... Read More »

Brick by Brickadoo

This is my 4th toy fair, and one of the categories that I have been seeking out are great, new building and construction toys. There seemed to be a plethora of items that match that description, many of them wooden, but my favorite product of the day were the Brickadoos. When I mentioned the Brickadoos to Sheri and Isaac, they ... Read More »

Gearing up for Toy Fair

Sorry for the silence. We’re getting ready for our annual trip to the American International Toy Fair, one of the highlights of the year. We will be posting extensive show coverage on the blog. We are bringing a large group of Toy Scouts to New York, and we’ll hopefully have several different perspectives each day, as well as lots of ... Read More »

2007 Mountain Buggies are here

The 2007 Mountain Buggies have arrived. The big story is color, and not much else. There are a couple of minor improvements, most significantly double-backed fabric to reduce wear and tear. But the most substantial change is the introduction of a limited edition series, a designer series, and the upgraded Urban Elite series. For the Limited Edition series, there are ... Read More »