I am looking forward to attending the ABC Spring Educational Conference at South Point, Las Vegas on May 7-9. After attending so many trade events over the last 30+ years, I enjoy learning more about the children’s business, and especially seeing new things that may take me by surprise. The ABC SEC is one event that allows buyers, manufacturers, reps and media to get to know more about each other. The element of surprise is always part of new experiences. That’s why I asked several exhibitors these questions: “What would someone be surprised to know about you?” and “What will buyers be surprised to see in your 2013 line?”
New York City’s Javits Center was the site of the 2013 ENK Children’s Club, held March 10-12. Gorgeous color and elaborate details abounded in over seven hundred collections with international exhibitors from countries including Israel, Japan, Italy, Peru, Brazil, The UK, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Canada, Sweden, and Finland. Birds were at the forefront in design trends, with many vendors showing merchandise featuring swans, flamingos, peacocks and chicks. Super-hero themes made a big splash as did pleather and leather, snakeskin and other reptile motifs, and all things biker. The Giggle Guide’s eye was caught by many exhibitors, including Masala Baby, Bizzy Beeginnerz, Siaomimi and Peaches ‘n Cream.
In March, Playtime New York explored the whole idea of space, from personal to inter-stellar, to space-time travel and wide open spaces. Every year since it began in 2007, Playtime has selected an artist to illustrate its trade fairs in Paris, Tokyo and New York. This year, taking off on last season’s successful collaboration, the noted artist was once again American illustrator Patrick Hruby who lent his talents to exploring the winter face of the geometric universe. Playtime’s 2013 fall edition showcased more than 100 children’s brands, including Little Flock of Horrors, Bella Bundles, belle&beanzer, and Fabulous Goose.
“Surprise” was my editorial theme for February’s KIDShow, held again at Bally’s, Las Vegas. I have attended every KidShow since it began 12 years ago in the massive windblown tents outside of the Rio hotel. At its new home at Bally’s hotel, KIDShow has easily become my favorite trade event in the West for its assortment of vendors, step-saving location just down the hall from the comfortable North Tower rooms, and the unsurpassed hospitality of its show staff, led by Denise Raeside. It was not easy to choose only one handful of favorites, but these brands made my top 5 for a variety of reasons: Sock Ons, CIRCUS 212, Hip Together, Hannah Banana from G.B.Y.M. and PeryKids.
Toy Fair -
New York City, New York (2/10/13 - 2/13/13)
The 110th annual American International Toy Fair came to New York City February 10-13, bringing together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from around the globe. Vendors showcased toy and entertainment products that ranged from classic toys to interactive entertainment and everything in between. Despite a blizzard that socked New York the preceding Friday, events ran as scheduled to the delight of vendors and attendees. Notable lines included American Educational Products, LaLei, Laurent Doll, and Bigjigs Toys.
The Baby & Child division of the Winter 2013 New York International Gift Fair gave best new product awards to five exhibitors. The Giggle Guide’s own Leesa Valentino was among the judges who presented the awards. The Blogger’s Best award went to Benbini for Benbini Watches; the Toy award winner was Home Grown Books for Set 3; the Décor winner was 3 Sprouts for the 3 Sprouts Laundry Hamper; the Gear winner was MadPax for Blok Fullpack; and the Apparel nod was given to Zipit for their Happy Playsuit. Here are more details on offerings that caught the Giggle Guide’s eye…
The February KIDShow at Bally’s Las Vegas (February 18-20) marks the beginning of my twelfth year attending KIDShow Vegas. It’s no surprise to me that KIDShow continues to serve the needs of its loyal and new vendors and retailers. After viewing so much children’s apparel over the last few decades, I still love to attend KIDShow with a keener interest to not only see the fashions, but to learn more about the people behind the brands. That’s why I asked several exhibitors these questions: “What would someone be surprised to know about you?” and “What will buyers be surprised to see in your 2013 Fall collections?”
The January Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market was a resounding hit for buyers and sellers who gathered from around the globe. Buyers from every U.S. state and 75 countries attended. Energy was high as showrooms wrote orders for immediate delivery as well as the Fall 2013 season. All things kid related were covered at this major market, including apparel, shoes, keepsakes, gifts, bedding, home furnishings and lots more. Among the lines that caught attention from The Giggle Guide® were Improv Electronics, Mungi Bands, Bling 2o and mimivail.
The great thing about offering home, lifestyle and gift items in your store is that most can be displayed without regard to time or season. To ensure they are a selection of new products, buyers will swarm the New York International Gift Fair® January 26-30. Drawing an estimated 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and 80+ countries, the NYIGF is produced twice annually. Held in January and August in New York City, the Fair hosts about 2,800 exhibiting companies showcasing brands across the home, lifestyle and gift spectrum. The Giggle Guide® has culled the list of exhibitors to preview a selection of interesting children’s items, including Zipit, Pure Play Kids, Greenpoint Brands and Buzzworthy Baby.