Sunday, February 20, 2011

Old Faces, New Places @ NYC Toy Fair 2011

The annual Toy Fair, among other things, is a convocation of old faces belonging to the assembly of what are known as "toy people". They may be found in different booths - as after changing jobs, or in the aisles - as in not having a job but just strolling the Javits aisles unshackled of booth duty. Regardless of their circumstances, these toy people are generally friendly, social types when meeting others. There is much hugging, back slapping, flesh pressing and exchanges of warm smiles among old friends. A good Javits stop for me is to connect with the ever-smiling Mary Couzin, President and Founder of ChiTAG.

But in the Javits arena of toys and games, it is not just peoples' faces moving and changing places. Each year many products turn up in new booths often with a new package face. Indeed, this was true in the Poof-Slinky booth. Two old faces, mine and industry guru and co-author, Richard Levy found their games in a new stand after an acquisition of long time marketer, Cadaco, by Poof-Slinky. 2011 is a new place for Quad*Doku and Adverteasing.

For all those ad lovers in the 100 million viewers of the Super Bowl, Adverteasing,invented by Richard and Sheryl Levy, is a must buy and play. Adverteasing has been on the scene long enough to qualify as a classic in the game world. People love to recall all the classic jingles and slogans for the mass market media-driven products that pass by their daily subconsciousness. Now they have an opportunity to play the totally updated Adverteasing content in a jazzy new package under the Ideal brand from Poof-Slinky.

And for word play lovers, there is Quad*Doku, The Awesome Foursome Word Game, invented by me, now in the Poof-Slinky product lineup. It is the "fourmost", four letter, four intersecting word game. If millions of Scrabble Slam card games sold on the strength of four letter word play, Quad*Doku should be right behind since it involves four, four letter words on a turn. Getting a high scoring "quad", provides four times the word play challenge. Certainly Poof-Slinky would hope that it will get four times the sales of Scrabble Slam from its new face in its game line.

But old toy people faces don't just pop-up at Javits. The Levys saw dear friend, Reuben Klamer at a Broadway show, and I was able to exchange pleasantries with him at Hasbro. Reuben is the renowned inventor of Hasbro's Game of Life and Fisher Price's 1-2-3 Roller Skates among innovations he brought to the industry during his long career.

When you're at Javits in 2012, check out the face changes and like every year, you'll find many old faces in new places.

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