NY Toy Fair – Part II

I simply love Sprig Toys. What’s the big deal about Sprig Toys? Made from recycled plastic and wood composites in what they dub Sprig Wood, the Adventures Series was entirely kid-powered. NO batteries necessary! They were my best sellers this past Christmas and so way ahead of the curve in both design and idea. They also decided to help those that are money challenged and reduced the costs on their ever popular Discovery Rig. Just as cool, I was not disappointed by their new line they debut at the show. I had already previewed images of them thanks to their Twitter alert but seeing them and touching them was so much better. They always have such amazing marketing materials but the real deal is exactly what was pictured. I can definitely picture my nephew loving their new Eco-Trucks and I know my Ava will love their Non-Electronic Sprig Adventure Series not to mention their adorable Sprig Hollow series. I’m not totally sold on their Story Blocks. I love it, but I think the age point might need to be a little higher. Those durable book boards/ chip boards aren’t quite as durable when you let a toddler near them. I can just picture Ava playing with them and after it gets nice and worn, picking on and edge and just chipping and tearing away. Hey it’s fun for the kids!

I was thrilled to see Taggies has introduced a Naturals collection made from Organic Cotton and Pure Silk ribbons. Right now it only includes the Little Taggies Blanket but it’s a start and definitely an essential item as babies are inexplicably draw to tags.

Ava’s love for creative toys made me pause at Hip from Holland and check out their recycled cardboard houses which I could see providing hours and hours of “wok wok,” which means drawing/writing in chinese. I also fancy it would make a great activity during a birthday party with all the kids helping to decorate the house and kept for memory sake.
I also appreciate the fact that 5% of their profits go to UNICEF.

An innovative and ambitious toy I found was Mary Meyer’s Recycled Earthmates. They had these genius bottles filled with what only I can describe as the process they take a bottle from to their toys. Each toy is made from 100% recycled PET bottles spun into polyester. Yep, you heard me right, that’s what PET is… My favorite was the moose and while it was a little rough to the touch, I imagine it softens with love.
They also carry a beautiful Bamboo and Organics line and I do say beautiful because some of the Organic plushes out there can be a little scary looking. Does organic have to mean dull (colors) and scary?

A pop into MiYim yielded some adorable organic and natural dyed plushes in their sleepy time and peaceful dreams line. I love the chubby little tummies. I wish their eyes were open though, something about stuff animals with eyes closed bothers me, but I guess having eyes open all the time should be weird too although the alternative of opening and closing eyes would probably send any baby screaming for the hills. They actually reminded me of the Kaloo Organic bears we have at GREENBABY. Speaking of which, passing/running by Russ’, their organic line caught my eye but I also spied in the display right next to them a set of toys which obviously were meant to rival Kaloo. Everything down to the design, tags and packaging was identical to Kaloo, albeit not a very good attempt. Back to MiYim, I just love love love their Fairytale knit collection. Perhaps because it reminds me of my attempt to knit Ava a bear which sits completed but not finished (???) on a shelf without a face…hrmmm. I’d like a baby Victoria bunny just for me…
Coming from a design background I couldn’t help but be drawn to Areaware Jr. I want a Hanno the Wooden Gorilla, made from sustainable beech wood, just to sit on my desk.

Their Kuma bears are also pretty neat too… but as they are designer, atleast I think so, I fear $95 for a toy is a little high, but maybe for my desk….

I found the Jasper’s Jungle toys quite beautiful, their Long Neck Giraffe was so cute I wanted to take it home… alas it was a prototype… sigh! and not available until late spring. It was organic, beautiful with rubber wood details…

Maxim’s EverEarth collection caught my eye. I remember similar toys carried by the now defunct BabyStyle stores. I was never quite sure they were environmentally-friendly but I was assured EverEarth was. I’m thinking Ava would love the easel.

Winding down, I’m such a sucker for good design. I applaud beautiful and appropriate packaging. I spied a small booth filled with dapple. A genius idea cleaners made just for toys and baby dishes… I think I’ll stick with my Shaklee products, but how darn cute are they?!

Well my feet are sore and tired from walking two floors of aisle upon aisle… until next year…