What happens when the classic 80s TV show Fame enters the world of fantasy, and fairies take over the halls of a performing arts high school? It’s where the magic begins—literally. Last week at Toy Fair, we were treated to a sneak peek of My Fairy Tale Academy, a brand-new line of fashion dolls inspired by classic princess characters who are now all grown-up and singing and dancing their way through high school. While these gals still manage to hold o to parts of their original persona (Tinkerbell sports her wings and Snow White, her signature red hair bow), they’ve been transformed for a new generation of hip fashionistas. Each doll has a story to tell, which are bolstered by a series of webisodes and books that give fans permission to enter into this cool, new world. Keep your eyes peeled for special guest appearances by other characters from storybook classics like Red Riding Hood and Peter Pan. Yes, that boy who wouldn’t grow up may, in fact, be envious of these girls that inevitably do.
In a Nutshell: If your tween daughter never outgrew dressing up her favorite dolls, and still has a penchant for playing princess, then My Fairy Tale Academy is the place for her. The dolls are priced at $14.99 each and will be available this spring.
These days, it’s difficult to associate the word “web” with anything other than the Internet. But back in the day, if you were a boy, the mere mention of that word led to thoughts of creepy, crawling things and, of course, Spider-Man. Having just returned from Toy Fair, we are happy to report that the comic book hero is still alive and well, and maintaining his presence on toy store shelves. In fact, come this summer, we think boys everywhere will be clamoring for the latest Spidey incarnation: Uncle Milton’s Spider-Man Web Creator Lab. Part of the Marvel Science brand, this play set will help kids fashion their own webs that can be sticky or stretchy. (Arachnophobics need not apply.) Since the next Spider-Man movie won’t be out for another year, this play lab will help kids get their Spidey fix. Other sets in the Marvel Science line include Iron Man’s Arc Reactor Lab and another starring the Incredible Hulk who breaks out of his vault and grows when placed in water. And you thought bath time at your house was a bit dramatic…
In a Nutshell: Superheroes and science go hand in hand with this new line of Marvel Comics-inspired playsets. The entire collection will be available this August.
Right about now, I’d do just about anything to be sitting somewhere warm, a warm breeze blowing through my hair, tropical drink in hand and a juicy book or glossy magazine to devour. After last week’s blizzard and contending with the aftermath of treacherous roads, cranky folks (including my kids home from school) and other minor annoyances, I’m ready to call it quits and get out of Dodge. Lucky for me, I got to attend Toy Fair in NYC over the weekend, and it’s the memories of those happy-go-lucky playthings that are carrying me through this otherwise depressing period. Yup, I’m still a kid at heart and look forward to getting the scoop on what’s new in the world of play for the year ahead. While there was plenty to see in a short amount of time, my brain keeps returning to one particular toy that captured my attention and gave me a much-needed mental departure from a drab winter. Playmobil’s Large Furnished Hotel is the place to be. Coming to stores this August, this more-than-generously-sized playset is a resort that spares no expense for an awesome play vacation. Your stay begins in the lobby where check-in is computerized (of course) and there are plenty of cool magazines to check out if there’s a line. Once you receive your room assignment, take a ride on the elevator and use your room key to open the door (it really works!). After a good night’s rest, you can head down to the hotel cafe and dine on a sumptuous breakfast feast served by your own waiter. The kids can hang out in the game room after you’re done touring the local sights and then it’s back to the room for yet another restful night’s sleep. Yes, we know this vacation is really just a state of mind, but until we can make it out of town, Playmobil has made this staycation one worth taking.
In a Nutshell: “Wish you were here.” With Playmobil‘s well-stocked get-away playset, your kids may feel like they’ve gotten away without even leaving home.
I “heart” Strawberry Shortcake. That’s what I would have said about 30-someodd years ago when talking about my favorite doll. I’ll admit it: I wasn’t captivated by her adorable frock or her gaggle of fruity friends. For this little girl, it was the scented hair that really won me over, and this fascination kept me playing with dolls for longer than a girl would back in the day. As I got older, my thrill for scented things didn’t let up. When I “discovered” fruit-scented shampoos like Suave, my nose was in pure heaven and my luxurious mane just got a little more stylish–or as much as you could expect at age 13. Today’s girls who recognize the intoxicating power of scrumptiously-smelling hair will fall over themselves to get their hands on SweetLocks. This is not your everyday hairbrush, but rather one that releases a special fragrance with every stroke of your hair. We can’t decide which one we like better: Strawberry Sweetcake or Cheeky Cherrylime. But given the power of nostalgia, we figure our personal choice is “berry” obvious.
In a Nutshell: This brush not only leaves hair smelling incredibly soft, but deilcious, too. SweetLocks will be available in February.