Marianne M. Szymanski is founder and president of Toy Tips Inc., an independent research group that conducts academic studies and publishes toy report cards based on child development. She is also the author of A Parent's Essential Guide to Smart Toy Choices (Wiley/Jossey Bass), an entrepreneur, speaker, lecturer and media personality.
I just got back from the Housewares Show in Chicago. You may wonder what does that trade show have to do with toys? Well, cooking toys have been around for a long time and proven to hold kids interest year after year. Starting from the moment toddlers bang wooden spoons and pots and pans, they recognize tools used in the kitchen that create yummy things they taste all day long. Manufacturers have... Read MoreComments (7)
Did you ever think that some toys can influence leadership qualities in children? We have been testing toys here at the Toy Tips Research Institute for close to 20 years and have noticed that over the last decade or so companies have done a really great job introducing toys that enhance character development. We have also seen many that don’t (scantily dressed dolls, super-violent videogames, musi... Read MoreComments (4)
This year, everything seems itty bitty. Prices have dropped, toys are smaller, tech is tinier. I even noticed some companies downsized on booth space. But, what I did also notice at Toy Fair was that foot traffic, elevator talk and excitement of this year’s selections was way BIG. I think consumers will find this year’s stock to be filled with fun, yet after combing the fair and visiting hundre... Read MoreComments (0)