Tag Archives: Toy Industry Association

Toy Fair 2013: Behind the curtain…

Each year when I tell friends – especially those with kids – that I’m headed to Toy Fair, the first response is generally, “That sounds AWESOME, how do I get in?!”

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Unfortunately for my game-loving buddies, this event is not open to the public. Learning the doors are locked tends to conjure up visions of top-secret toy meetings, tinkering elves, a massive toy workshop inside the Javits Center… the imagination can run wild!

I hope I’m not spoiling the magic by sharing the experience inside the ThinkFun booth…

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Welcome to the ThinkFun Booth!

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Laser Maze, available in May!

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I thought you said no outside visitors?! This brainy bird couldn’t resist playing WordARound during show set-up!

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The ThinkFun team, ready to roll!

Sadly no game-making elves were spotted this year, but we were thrilled to visit with some amazing  inventors who have created many of our great games… kind of the same thing right?!

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A familiar face! ThinkFun co-founder Bill Ritchie poses with his two toddler inventions: Roll & Play and, new for 2013, Hello Sunshine!

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Luke Hooper, one of the inventors of Laser Khet, stopped by to pose with the amazing new game he created with ThinkFun – Laser Maze features a REAL (safe) laser, we can’t wait for it to arrive in May!

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The Hebert Brothers are the brainy duo who created WordARound, we’re addicted!

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A visit from the inventors of UnHinged!

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The Costers are the inventors of the iconic Zingo Zinger!

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Steve Hayton, Turnstile inventor, visited ThinkFun to say hello!

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Yackety Smack inventor Roberto Fraga stopped by to play!

Despite auspicious beginnings (ahem, Snowstorm Nemo, I mean YOU!), 2013 Toy Fair was a fantastic show – The Toy of the Year Awards were a wonderful celebration to begin the festivities, and our 5 new games were so well-received – and we are looking forward to a terrific year!

Toy Fair 2013: Toy of the Year Awards

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Cocktail dress + snow boots, good thing NY Fashion Week is over!

After a monster pre-Toy Fair snow storm (fittingly named Nemo!) threatened to derail months of careful planning, the ThinkFun team braved the elements, the train gods smiled upon the DC-NY route, and we successfully made our way to New York for the show… and what a show it was!

Things kicked off on Saturday night with the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards celebration at The Plaza hotel!  While probably not a ThinkFun-worthy puzzle, my first challenge of the show was a race against time to get ready for the TOTY Awards en route to the city, meaning a Superwoman-style change into a cocktail dress on board the Acela train… not my finest hour but it got the job done!

The event was a wonderful celebration of some truly remarkable products – and we were thrilled to have three of our games (Roll & Play, Zingo Sight Words, and Swish) nominated for a record FOUR awards!

While we didn’t leave with any statues, it truly is an honor just to be nominated, and we were thrilled to have our games recognized in great company among this year’s winning games and toys.  Here are some highlights from the evening:

Photo: A fabulous event to kick off Toy Fair week! No statues tonight but so proud to celebrate our 4 Toy of the Year nominees, congrats to this year's deserving winners!

Zingo! Sight Words and Roll & Play pose with their fellow nominees for Educational Toy of the Year!

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The ThinkFun team awaits the start of the show!

Sweet! Hosts passed around popcorn and cotton candy to up the excitement

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ThinkFun CEO Andrea Barthello presents a TOTY Award

But wait! We didn’t leave entirely empty-handed! ThinkFun was recognized with a Play Connects Award for our nomination of The National Lekotek Center, a  non-profit that supports children with special needs, for a $10,000 grant! We are thrilled to support the wonderful work they do, and this award represents much-needed funding that will go to a very worthy cause.

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Andrea Barthello accepts the Play Connects Award

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The Play Connects Award – fittingly constructed of Tinker Toys!

The TOTY Awards were a fabulous way to kick off a great show – a big congrats to this year’s deserving winners!

ThinkFun Celebrates FOUR Toy of the Year Nominations – Vote Now!

Yesterday was a VERY exciting day for ThinkFun!  I flew up to NY for the Toy Industry Association press conference to announce the nominees for the 2013 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards.

After being treated to a performance on the Bryant Park skating rink (by a professional, me on ice would not be a treat!), attendees gathered to hear the nominees revealed…

This year there were a record number of submissions (nearly 650!) for the 11 award categories… so you can imagine my delight to learn ThinkFun received a record FOUR nominations for Toy of the Year Awards!

The Nominees are (drum roll please…)

Roll & Play – Infant/Toddler Toy of theYear
Roll & Play – Educational Toy of the Year
Swish – Innovative Toy of the Year
Zingo! Sight Words – Educational Toy of the Year

After the nominees were announced (I refrained from inappropriate hooting and hollering!), I spent time checking out the competition, oogling the light-up Cinderella dress (so perfect for the TOTY Awards dinner!) and showing off my sub-par Nerf-catching skills

Hooray for Roll & Play! Celebrating the nomination with the wonderful Sherry Artemenko of www.playonwords.com

The best thing about the TOTY Awards is that they are decided to a large extent by YOU!  Vote now by clicking the games listed above or visiting www.toyawards.org and you could win a fabulous prize pack! (Voting ends Jan. 13th.)

THANK YOU for voting and for spreading the word, fingers crossed this will be ThinkFun’s year to take home the statue(s) at the TOTY Awards… I am reserving my fiber-optic Cinderella dress just in case :)

Help ThinkFun bring smiles to Hurricane Sandy victims

UPDATE:  Thanks to a fantastic fan response, ThinkFun is thrilled to report a record 308 games were ordered in the 48 hours this promotion ran.  We are so pleased to send out 308 brand new games to the Toy Bank to help bring much-needed joy to families still suffering in New York and New Jersey.

 

In the wake of last week’s storm, our thoughts are with the families who have lost so much.

To bring some smiles to those who so desperately need them, ThinkFun is supporting the Toy Bank with a Buy One – Give One donation initiative – and we’d love your help!

Through midnight tomorrow (11/9), for every game purchased, we will donate a new game to support families affected by the hurricane.

We would love your help spreading the word about this win-win way to help others!  Here’s a link to a Facebook post you’re welcome to share, and a tweetable blurb as well:

Buy 1 Give 1! For every game sold @ThinkFun will donate one to a family affected by Hurricane #Sandy – Shop now! http://ow.ly/f8Bva

This also happens to be an ideal time for early holiday shopping, as we’re offering an additional 25% off all online orders with code HOLIDAY2012

I hope you and your family are safe and warm in Sandy’s aftermath, many thanks for spreading the word and helping ThinkFun bring some joy to families in need!

Break out your evening gowns… it’s the Oscars of the Toy Industry!

** Vote for ThinkFun! **

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has  announced the 2011 nominees for Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards… and the celebrated nominees include TWO brand new ThinkFun games, Solitaire Chess and Math Dice Jr!  These awards are considered the “Oscars” of the toy industry, and while it is an enormous honor just to be nominated, we want to WIN!

For the first time ever, voting is open to the public, and we need your help!  Please go to www.toyawards.org and vote for our 2 nominated games:

Solitaire Chess: nominated for Specialty Toy of the Year
MathDice Jr: nominated for Educational Toy of the Year

As an added incentive, your vote enters you to win oodles of fabulous prizes!

We at ThinkFun are honored to see months of hard work and testing result in this recognition, and we so appreciate YOU, the members of our extended ThinkFun family, voting to see these two games win big!

Please click HERE to vote by January 14th and help spread the word!