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  • Travels & Trade Shows Archives - Page 9 of 14 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Travels & Trade Shows

JPMA Round-up, Day 1

Trade shows are always exhausting, no matter how big or small they are. So although my eyelids are closing against my will, I’ll give a quick recap of the first day. This is actually the very last show JPMA will do, as they are essentially merging with the more popular ABC Children’s Expo which takes place every September in Las ... Read More »

Thinking inside the box

One of my most memorable finds at Toy Fair isn’t going to be available for sale any time soon. It’s barely more than a fascinating prototype right now, but wow – it’s got potential. Isaac Bowman is a carpenter from Lexington, Kentucky. As a birthday gift for some niece or nephew, he made something he calls a Discovery Box. It ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

It’s Raining It’s Pouring.

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday season! For my family here in Jerusalem, Chanukah was celebrated in a city glowing with candles. Menorahs were kindled everywhere. Inside and outside, through windows and in courtyards, the nights were alight. And as the eighth-day of light came to a close, and as the last candle burned out, that’s when “they” came. ... Read More »

To Market, To Market

You won’t find many strollers in the open markets on busy days. The throngs of people keep the majority away. The indignant looks tossed toward buggy lugging mothers (the nerve, taking up precious extra space) leave only the strong of heart or the petite of stroller. We jump in. The Micralite, soundly maneuvered by yours truly, braves the throngs and ... Read More »