Baby Yodas and other cool, weird stuff we saw at Toy Fair 2020

Plus, there’s a $500 Monopoly board covered in crystals.
Baby Yoda

All hail Baby Yoda, king of the toys. Stan Horaczek

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Toy Fair happens every year in New York City. The big manufacturers pack their luggage full of fun stuff and lug it to the Big Apple and display it at the Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan. It’s aimed predominantly at buyers and suppliers hoping that the items can actually make it onto store shelves, but the press gets to take a look as well. We spent a day skipping down the aisles, checking out the most interesting new toys and trends happening so far in 2020. Here’s what we found.

robot factory at toy fair 2020
Last year, coding toys were all the rage. This year, however, their presence felt diminished. Still, science-oriented playthings remained hot. The Robot Factory from Kids First challenges children, but doesn’t expect them to bust out the iPad or a computer to make the most of their playtime. Stan Horaczek
Slime at Toy Fair 2020
By now, we expected slime to follow in the footsteps of fidget spinners and pretty much fade away. This year, however, there was just as much goop as previous years. Many of the action figures even ooze various glop for some reason or another. This slime from Hasbro has foam balls in it so it makes noise as you handle it. It’s aimed squarely at the ASMR enthusiasts. Stan Horaczek
Transformers at Toy Fair 2020
Since the Michael Bay movies started up, the Transformers took on a new look that was less boxy and more complicated than the toys that sprung from the 1980s. The new versions, however, call back to those original toys, including some you may have had when you were a kid. Stan Horaczek
Mini Unit Bricks at Toyfair 2020
While coding seems to have cooled down a little, architectural toys were big. This Mini Unit Beams collection uses pieces that emulate real construction materials and impart true engineering and architectural concepts instead of relying on simple blocks. Stan Horaczek
Arckit at Toy Fair 2020
Arckit doesn’t involve any slime. Instead, it builds modular models based on fundamental architectural ideas. The company is launching AR functionality in the near future that will allow kids to explore how solar panels work and experience other lessons during play. Stan Horaczek
Monopoly at Toy Fair 2020
There were roughly a half-dozen different kinds of Monopoly in Hasbro’s display alone, but the most eye-catching was the limited-edition anniversary board. Encrusted with Swarovski crystals, it’s just as expensive as it looks—the price tag is $500. They’re already all sold out in pre-order, however. Stan Horaczek
Smiski at Toy Fair 2020
Vinyl figures are popular every year at Toy Fair from companies like Funko. While those typically rely on well-known pop culture characters, others don’t. Smiski, for instance, is a barebones creature that glows in the dark and “hides in corners.” Stan Horaczek
Uncle Bubble at Toy Fair 2020
Uncle Bubble showed off its giant loop. It uses the same bubble-crafting technology that’s been around for decades, but it sure does make for a good picture. Stan Horaczek
The Pensilly pencil has a rotating weight that spins as you try to write legibly enough for others to guess what it says. It’s harder than it looks. Stan Horaczek
Baby Yoda at Toy Fair 2020
The Child was the star of the Hasbro area at Toy Fair. Some of them talk. Some of them come with little bowl accessories. They’re all going to sell like wild, though, because Baby Yoda still seems somewhat unstoppable. Stan Horaczek
Nerf Darts at Toy Fair 2020
Just a few years ago, Nerf redesigned its darts in an effort to make them fly better. Now, the company has further tweaked the construction guided by scientific research conducted in a wind tunnel. Stan Horaczek
Tiger electronics
Before you could play video games on your phone or your Switch, Tiger made self-contained, handheld versions of popular titles. The controls and graphics are about what you’d expect from a calculator, but they were undeniably fun back in the day. Stan Horaczek
Connect 4 at Toy Fair 2020
While some games have become extremely complicated, other old school games have started to integrate more physically competitive elements. This version of Connect 4, for instance, requires players to actually use a dart gun to shoot out the spaces they want to claim. Stan Horaczek
tiny baking at toy fair
Kids love YouTube and it only makes sense that the video service would influence toy design. This tiny baking kit from Smart Lab has real ingredients to manipulate. Stan Horaczek