Penguin Observations From The Toy Show

Walking (o.k. waddling) around the Javits Center this past weekend I noticed more than couple of trends. First, either the toupee’s of the veteran salesmen are getting better or they’re just not wearing them anymore. Maybe it’s the recession, but back in the day I use to walk the show and spot 2 or 3 big time rugs per aisle, and now I think I only counted a handful for the whole show.  Also, the free samples of cookies and treats are down, way down.  Another sad sign of the times.  Now, to the Toys. It looks like big eyes are in on many new plush lines this year and that includes penguins. When I say big eyes, I mean big like E.T. eyes.

Wait till you see the new TY Penguins.  This looks like a trend and only the market and you the consumer will have a say on whether it’s a keeper or not. I also noticed that many a toy manufacturer are knocking off my all time favorite low tech Playful Penguin Race game. I counted at least three straight knock offs, with only the box or the cardboard header at the top of the stairs tweaked. Apparently there is no patent on Penguin Race escalating stairs technology. There was also a Penguins Of Madagascar Race Game in which the penguin race side sticker panels were replaced with Madagascar Penguin stickers and the penguin racers look a bit like penguin / monkeys. The nice saleslady told me they were prototypes and will look more like penguins, less like monkey’s in short order. There was also a live Fox News report about Penguin Robots while I was standing right there at the penguin robot booth, and I was tempted to jump right into the live report yelling “Penguin Robots! What’s this about Penguin Robots!”, but truth be told I never really  came close to doing that. As for the penguin robots,  they  don’t do much other than purr and coo, and flap their little wings. There’s also a little robot baby that pops out and makes a cute sound if that’s your thing.  I’m not a big fan of high ticket silly items like these, but we’ll see.  I did like the penguin ice cream maker call Pengice, which I ordered and will arrive in early Summer. I also liked the very silly but very cool Penguin Chia Pet in which a plant will grow out of your penguins head.

In the end after about 20 miles or so of walking the Javits I ended up fairly satisfied with my haul for Penguin Place. About a dozen or so new items have already arrived here from my early February NY Gift Show orders including todays recent arrival Penguin Birdhouse and Penguin Thermometer. More penguins will be waddling in during the next few weeks.

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