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UN-ADULT-erated Fun: Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite 2017

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Orders of the day at Sweet Suite 2017, were fun and easy to follow.


If you’ve watched a television news or talk show segment about toy trends in the last couple of year’s it’s almost certain you’ve seen “Toy Insider Mom” Laurie Schacht doing the demonstrations. Laurie and the Toy Insider team have built a reputation as the go-to mavens for broadcast and online information about what’s hot on the horizon of play. Toy Insider’s pre-gifting season lists point to the best of what’s on the market. Their hashtag, #WeKnowPlay, is not a boast – it’s a fact.

Over the last several years Toy Insider has hosted summer and fall gatherings (Sweet Suite and Holiday of Play, respectively) for press outlets. Reporters are afforded direct contact with dozens of toy vendors and experience their newest products first hand. Andy and I, along with our metal-mongering compadre Ken Pierce, just returned from Sweet Suite 2017 and have plenty to report.

dc superhero girls, sweet suite 2017, batgirl, supergirl, wonder woman

DC Superhero Girls were a highlight of Jakks Pacific’s display.


The toy/play market is overflowing with merchandise for all tastes and age levels. J.C. Penny has just announced an expansion of both their brick and mortar and online toy and game departments in anticipation of the 2017 gifting season.

While augmented reality and S.T.E.A.M. tech has been quickly adopted into t’ween aimed products, there are also dozens of beautifully produced choices for juveniles building their gross and fine motor skills. Then there are those plush companions that simply require a cuddle.

Board games are once again burgeoning with themes aimed at sharpening cognition and family bonding in the guise of friendly competition. Collector’s of all age groups have never had more options to fill their display shelves with items from the most popular to the most obscure film, television, and gaming franchises.

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Have London Landmarks on your desk with this Lego Architecture kit.


Andy and I will be sharing our favorites with you over the next few weeks. You can expect exclusive photo galleries brimming with visual goodies and up to the minute details about product features and release dates.

In the meantime please enjoy the eye-popping array of Sweet Suite sights below.

teddy ruxpin, toy insder, sweet suite

Classic Storytelling Companion Teddy Ruxpin gets a digital update with expressive eyes and story content.


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Fab Gear: Toy Insider Names Best in Play for 2016

toy insider mom, laurie schacht, toy insider, toys, family circle, holiday of play

Adventure Publication’s Laurie Schacht and the Toy Insider team gave Holiday of Play attendees the lowdown on the latest & greatest modes of play.

Andy and Pete Say…
Once again it was our pleasure to join The Toy Insider team for the annual reveal of their choices for best toys for the holiday season lists. The HoliDAY of Play event highlights products in three categories, Hot 20 Toys, 12 Best Tech Toys, and 10 Best S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Toys.

You probably know “Toy Insider Mom” Laurie Schacht from her numerous television appearances demonstrating the operation of those products. The Toy Insider 2016 Catalog can be found nested inside the current issue of Family Circle Magazine, and you can get comprehensive details on each item at the Toy Insider Website link above.

Things to Make and Do….
There is probably no greater satisfaction for youngsters, really for anyone, than building something that works. That appeared to be the major theme this year at The HoliDAY of Play event. As we’ve seen in the past, from Lincoln Logs to LEGOS, the honing of dexterity skills, deciphering of instructions, assimilation of concepts, peaking of imagination and recovering from missteps, all make the final product a very personal thrill. The accomplishment makes the object all the more valuable to the builder.
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Twilight Twiggies: Mattel’s Monster High @ NY ComicCon 2013

Mattel's Booth @ NY ComicCon 13 included an elaborate Monster High installation.

Mattel’s Booth @ NY ComicCon 13 included an elaborate Monster High installation.


Strike A Pose…
The Mattel Toy Company, famous for that most iconic of fashion dolls Barbie, has tapped into an outre oeuvre that certainly bolstered their bottom line this year with the fantastical fashionistas of the Monster High product line. The ghoulish gal and guy figures with names like Draculaura, Frankie Stein, and Clawdeen Wolf, are only part of the company’s multi-faceted brand (apparel, films, games, apps) which has captured the imagination of the pre and early teen population, and methinks their Moms too. I can only imagine how many young ladies will be masquerading as their favorite Monster High hellion this Halloween.

At the bustling New York Comic Convention this past week Mattel featured their spring 2014 crop of diabolical debutantes in a beautiful installation with castle spires and cascading stairways.

The "Ghoul Spirit" Cheer Team, Gets Set for Spring 2014

The “Ghoul Spirit” Cheer Team, Gets Set for Spring 2014


I Put A Spell(ing Bee) On You…
The Monster High packages are noted for online interactive content, like a special club key allowing access to Draculaura’s “sweet sixteenhundred” birthday party. Check the official Monster High website for the range of interrelated activities.

Mattel's Webarella Gives a Multi-Limbed Wave @ NYCC 2013

Mattel’s Webarella Gives a Multi-Limbed Wave @ NYCC 2013

Six Arms To Hold You…
Mattel’s ComicCon exclusive, the six armed daughter of Arachne Webarella, was quick to be scooped up by first day convention attendees. She waved teasingly from the castle parapet for the rest of the show.

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