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New York Toy Fair reveals the best new toy technology coming to stores in 2018

Returning from the big toy show of the year it’s hard not to be a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of toys and technology on display.

These are the products that will be winging their way to stores later in the year.

Seeing them all side by side did make it easier to pick out the hits from the misses. To help you get ahead of the pestering closer to birthdays and Christmas, here’s my parent’s low down on what toys to invest in this year.

Top of the pile of intelligent robot toys is Boxer. As his name suggests, he’s a cuboid character that responds to touch, motion, gestures and sounds. On the front face of the cube is a character-full dot-matrix face. He tells you how he’s feeling with his eyes.

Underneath is a card read that lets him trundle over special cards to trigger different games and interactions. One of these is a football game where he chases a small ball around the room, taking shots at imaginary goals.

Giving Boxer a run for his money, is the new Chewbacca toy from Hasbro. This takes the now familiar Surreal Pets technology and uses it to bring this classic Star Wars character to life. As with other virtual pets he responds to touch and sound. But it’s the endearing characterisation that makes the Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie really stand out.

With Robot Wars back on UK screens, the toys for its American sister show, Battlebots, will be popular with children. Some familiar spinners, axes and flippers were evident in the Hexbug booth where they have the licence for the US show.

What’s impressive here is the attention to detail in these miniature recreations. They work just like the real robots from the show, with parts flying off on impact. Here, though you can snap them back together once you are finished. There’s even a line in build your own battle bot they adds more creativity and strategy to the toys.

Over at Mattel was an impressive range of Jurassic World toys. These ranged from a build your own dinosaur experience for youngsters to the classic plastic dino-play parents will remember from their own childhood.

Here, though, each articulated Dinosaur has a tag on its foot that can be scanned in to a special Jurassic World app to unlock a virtual version of the creature. It worked really well and extended the collectability and longevity of the toy nicely.

While I wasn’t able to spot any Fortnite video-game spin-off toys at the show, there were plenty for other games. Along with Mario and the usual suspects we now have lots of toys for Minecraft, Roblox and other kids games.

Again at Mattel is a nice extension of the Hot Wheels R/C line into a physical reincarnation of the Rocket League game. Each player gets their own car for battling int he arena. The scale is spot on too, as players use the scoop at the front of the car to try and get the out-sized ball in the goal.

And with Mattel’s goal-line technology, that distinguishes between ball and car, there can be no doubt who has score and how many points each player has.

Of course, no Toy Fair trip would be complete without a visit to Lego. This year the booth was a little smaller, but there were some great kits on display for Harry Potter (Hogwarts), Star Wars (Millennium Falcon) and Jurassic Park. These will be popular but they will likely be joined by more sets later in the year.

Finally, there was a range of PJ Masks, Fancy Nancy, Mickey, Vampirina and Minnie toys from Just Play. These impressed because of their impeccable design combined with these super popular brands.

In particular the PJ Masks Romeo Lab Playset and Super Moon toys stood out. These use light-touch technology of lights, sound and buttons to extend the on-screen excitement to the toy room floor.

These toys all stood out. Some for the use of innovative technology. But many of them are just simple good inventions that will engage children’s imagination. As it said on one of the booths I visited “Play helps us act out the story of our lives”. This remains as true as ever.


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