2017 Toy Fair Trends: Part 2

2017 Toy Fair Trends: Part 2

Did you miss 2017 Toy Fair Trends: Part 1?  Click HERE.

Continuing Trend: Toy-etic Games

Back in 2012 I wrote about how nice it was to see games that were “toy-etic” at Toy Fair.  I said: “when I first started in the invention business plastic action games weren’t that easy to license because there were a very small number of companies doing them.  Something about plastic being expensive and speculation about kids having video games so games that were too ‘toy-etic’ weren’t hot anymore like they were in the 60s, 70s and even early 80s.”  I went on to talk about how Hasbro was moving further away from classic game play and more toward items that were essentially “toys with rules.”  Here it is five years later and these “toy-etic” games are a major portion of the market.  It boils down to the idea that when you open the box you get something that can be played with rules — or without.   So how is this a trend?  Maybe it’s not because it’s such a big part of the game landscape — but there was no way not to mention it during these recap articles. (Right: Mr. Bucket is back with Pressman!)

A few notable titles come from Blue Orange.  After Dr. Eureka was such a bit hit last year, they’ve blown out their line by adding Dr. Microbe and Dr. Beaker.  Additionally they’ve added Tricky Trunks and Go Go Gelato! (which is essentially Dr. Eureka for younger kids).  This is rather significant since 2 years ago Blue Orange was know for having mostly cute wooden games like Gobblet Gobblers and card games in tins.

Kosmos just launched a whole line of children’s games, most of which have some toy-etic element:  Mag-O-MagHarry Hopper, Monster Trap

Other Toy-etic Games: 

Top Row: Snow White – Smart Games,  Feed Fuzzy Getta 1 Games, Igloo Mania Outset Media

Bottom Row: Busytown: Busy, Busy, Airport Game – Ravensburger/Wonder Forge, Snap Trap – Alex Brands, Feed Fuzzy – Getta 1 Games

There was also an interesting sub-set of this trend: Farm Games.  I saw three different takes on animal farms for younger gamers.  Farm games aren’t that rare or new, but it does make you wonder what out there in the ether made these three companies decide to launch new farm games at the same time!  All are cute and all have something fun for non-gaming play:

Peek-A-Boo Barn – Educational Insights, E-I-E-I-GO! – MindWare, Farm Alarm – Fat Brain Toys,


Continuing Trend: Strategy

In the trend above I’m talking mostly about games with very simple rules, big visuals, and something in the box that you can play with even if you don’t want to play with the rules.  On the opposite side of the spectrum are the games that don’t rely mostly on luck, but more on strategy.  Sometimes these games have slightly “heavier” rules, but they don’t necessarily have to.  Long gone are the days where “anyone can win” — for these games you need to put some effort forth.  Kingdomino (Blue Orange, ages 8+) and Ingenious (Kosmos, ages 8+ not pictured) are games that have been out in Europe but are just now being brought to the US market by not exclusively hobby companies because there’s a desire for these types of games.  Wiggle Waggle Whiskers (ages 4+) from Educational Insights, is a game that fits BOTH the strategy trend and the toy-etic trend.  Overall, we’re seeing more games where you need to use strategy to win from companies who haven’t always been focused in that arena.

Below Top Row: Dream HomeAsmodee (New-ish but I want to play this one SO BADLY!)Lady Richmond – HABA part of their “Gamers’ Games”, Crozzit – Identity Games part of their “Smart Games”

Below Middle Row: Slide BlastFoxmind, MatterhornHelvetiq, Go Nuts for DonutsGamewright

Below Bottom RowClear for TakeoffBlue Orange, SapphiroMindWareHead of MouseholdFoxMind

Whew.. that’s a lot of pictures.  Trends part 3 will jump back to the non-continuing trends, but it’s going to be a little bit I have work to do first.