I was very fortunate to be able to attend this event at the Camden Centre in London. The title of the event in itself sounds rather exciting, you don't even have to be a kid! This is an annual event attended by journalists, members of the toy trade and bloggers. It is a chance for suppliers to showcase their new products in plenty of time for them to appear in Christmas toy features.
It took me a little while to decide whether or not to take my two year old son along. I was torn between wanting him to see all the toys for himself and road test them and then realising the practicalities of taking a toddler on the tube, alone. I can just about take myself on the tube (I have improved considerably) and thought the whole experience would not bode well. I also knew that the excitement of all the toys would probably be too much and he wouldn't understand the concept of 'moving onto the next stand'. It was fantastic to see so many children there but for me I know I made the right decision in the end.
Once again it was an opportunity to catch up with some lovely Mummy bloggers I have met and have a get together much sooner than I thought following CyberMummy.
UKMums.tv were there and recruited a few bloggers to be on their panel to choose their top toys for this Christmas. They were given different categories in which to make their choices and you can see the final verdict for the MUMS Choice winners over on their site here. Below is the board for MUMS Choice where a few of the blog headers were displayed.
It was a very busy morning, walking round visiting all the stands and seeing first hand what exciting toys will be on offer this Christmas. There were lots of exciting developments with Thomas the Tank Engine promoting their new DVD and I could see their range has expanded somewhat. It was great to see the Smurf's are making a come back too! I could go into great detail about all the toys but I would be here all day and quite frankly bore you, so my favourite toys of the day are shown below.
In particular one of the leading brands that caught my attention was VTech. I am already a fan of their range of products as it is and was pleased to see they had some great new toys on display. The two girls on the stand were very easy to talk to and enthusiastic about the new products, with some great demonstrations! I particularly liked the Kidizoom camera, featuring functions such as video recording and a swivel camera, perfect for kids taking pictures of themselves. The camera was also extremely robust, perfect for butter fingers!
The VTech Toot-Toot Driver Garage was very interactive and is aimed at children from 12 months onwards. You can collect six different vehicles, the usual fire engine, ambulance etc with corresponding sirens/horns. What makes the garage clever is that is recognises the vehicles, letting little ones match the vehicle with the sounds, which of course is great for them to learn independently.
The Kidiminiz interactive pets were great fun. You can clap you hands to make them sing and dance as well as placing two together so they can communicate. They also serve a function as an alarm clock so this was an all round great multi functional product.
Above shows the Kidizoom Twist Camera, Toot-Toot Driver Garage and the Kidminiz pets.
Now for me, the range from Bladez Toyz was the most innovative of the day. As a kid I loved all things girly but I did also have a large collection of corgi cars where I would spend hours making make shift car parks etc. Also having a little boy who is mad on cars this stand was always going catch my eye.
The Pump and Play inflatable remote controlled vehicles were fantastic. What made them so great was the fact they were inflatable, they were even whizzing around my feet and bashed into a few legs but no harm was done due to no solid edges! They are so robust that you can even drive them off a table and the unit underneath bares no damage. They are designed to be handled with less care than an ordinary remote controlled vehicle that can get damaged so easily. I also liked the fact they have considered girls when designing this toy and you can see that the Piggy and Puppy would be equally as attractive to a girl (if not the cars).
Being presented with a 5th birthday edition Trunki was a fantastic highlight and end to the day. Beastie already has a Tiger Trunki that has been on holiday with us already and quite frankly was a life saver at the airport. If there is one travelling essential you don't have for your child, I would suggest one of these. Now he has a lime green one to choose from too (spoilt boy) which will come in very handy for number two (no I'm not pregnant). So thank you very much Trunki and for all the surprise goodies inside. Take a look at what else Trunki are bringing out soon, their range just keeps getting better and better. I particularly love The Gruffalo range, too cute.