I’ve had a whirlwind two weeks of coast to coast travel, and I’m glad to stay put for a while! The week before BlogHer, I took the train up to good ole New York City for Blogger Bash. During the two days of Blogger Bash, I got to hang out with friends, eat great food, and learn about new tech and toys so I could share them with you! Here are some highlights.
The biggest part of the event was The Big Toy Book’s Sweet Suite, where companies showed off the latest and hottest products for kids. Mostly toys and tech toys. The first room I headed into was Skylanders Trap Team. The kids would never forgive me if I didn’t.
The kids have been avid Skylanders fans since Skylanders Giants. Trap Team is the newest installment of the Skylanders franchise. Now, kids can collect traps that can hold the bad guys they defeat. Once the bad guys are trapped, players can actually use the bad guys to fight the other bad guys! I did ask the Activision rep about introducing more female characters because Sophia is definitely aware of the gender disparity. Above is Gear Shift, one of the new female figures/characters. The rep says Activision has heard our pleas and they plan on rolling out more female characters for Skylanders Trap Team!
I was excited to see Kurio at Sweet Suite. I picked up a couple of Kurio 7S tablets on clearance earlier this year. Kurio tablets are Android based but comes preloaded with educational and kid-friendly apps. The software also allows parents to control what apps they want their kids to play, if they can have access to the internet browser, and much more.
The new Kurio Xtreme tablet (pictured above) is even better than our 7S tablets. They come with an Intel processor (faster!) and has even more customizable parental control options. The Kurio Xtreme also comes with motion sensor games (similar to Kinect for Xbox). You can see me trying to “swim” in the above picture. I”m proud to say I won the swimming race. Kurio Xtreme tablets will be available in October 2014–just in time for the holidays.
Sophia doesn’t play with dolls as much as she used to, but I had to stop at the Our Generation Dolls booth and take a photo of Abrianna. Not only is Abrianna brown skinned but I love her hair! I think many brown girls can identify with Abrianna. Our Generation has beautiful dolls with clothes and accessories that are much easier on your budget than American Girl. (Pssst, they are the same size so their clothes and accessories can be interchangeable.)
I did ask the Our Generation folks if they had any plans for an Asian American doll, especially with American Girl’s discontinuation of their only Asian American historical doll. While OG does not currently have an Asian American doll, they are working on it. Apparently it’s harder to create the eyes correctly on Asian dolls. The rough ETA is 2 years before they hit the shelves. Two years is a very long time to wait when you’re a kid. I hope the development goes faster.
I’ve heard so many great things about Thames & Kosmos science kits so I rushed over to chat with them. They are high quality kits that focus on making kits teach kids about several different science disciplines in each kit. I learned that they deliberately do not include photos of children on their packaging because they don’t want to engender them (Yay!). Instead they focus on the projects itself. I can’t wait to try this with my kids!
There were many, many companies at Sweet Suite. It’s hard to list them all. Here’s a small sampling of the different products I saw.
Everyone who attended received a huge box of products to test and review. The ones that Sophia and Jaxson may be too old for or not interested in will be donated or given away. You’ll be seeing more of the toys and products that we kid test as we try them out. I think we’re going to try the Kitchen Chemistry one first!