There were plenty of amazing playthings on show at this year’s New York Toy Fair, with plenty of products for young and old alike.
Some of these things were interesting new takes on existing ideas, while others combined technology in new ways.
Here are our favourites from the show that will be gracing the shelves over the course of 2020. Enjoy.
The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda
There were a whole host of The Mandalorian toys at this year's show, which was fully expected. However, one stand-out from Hasbro was an animatronic The Child (or Baby Yoda, as he has come to be called by fans).
The toy moves and speaks, uses force powers and falls asleep. Although the technology isn’t new, its use in creating a moving version of the popular character combines great production values and is impossible not to smile at.
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Arcade1Up Video Pinball
Replica arcade machines have been growing in popularity for some time, but virtual pinball tables have been harder to crack. Arcade1Up unveiled a pinball offering that replaces the physical playfield with a bright, large screen. It sounds like a lesser experience to the real thing, but with a combination of physical jolts and noises that emulate ball and flipper, plus an authentic-looking cabinet, results in something surprisingly real.
These battling robots combine personality and technology to offer a modern take on the classic Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. The two Ninja Bots are able to locate each other and stay engaged in a fight while free-roaming on a tabletop. Each progresses different skills and recognise which weapon is attached. It’s clever stuff and, best of all, a lot of fun.
The best ideas are often the simplest. Doodle Matic proves this with its super simple way to get children making video games. Simply draw a picture using specific colours - one for the character, one for platforms, one for enemies and one for collectables. You then scan the illustration into the app and there's the beginning of a playable game.
You can then add motion, hazards and other animations within the app. While the recently-launched PS4 game Dreams makes it achievable to create amazing looking experiences, Doodle Matic makes it possible for even the youngest of game designers to see their creations come to life.
NFC Minecraft Earth toys
In a post toys-to-life era these NFC Minecraft toys slipped under the radar of many. However, they offer a nice way to extend the gameplay of Minecraft Earth with super cute toy characters.
Each toy can be scanned by an NFC enabled phone to unlock different characters and buffs in the game. They last for a certain time and can then be rescanned after 24 hours. It may not be groundbreaking, but for Minecraft fans it’s something that will be extremely popular.
VEX 123 Programming Robot
Programming hardware can seem like something for experts or those few clever kids in the class. But, VEX 123 makes this accessible to all ages and abilities.
It’s uses a simple programming interface to cause a powered puck to move, turn, scan and respond to interactions. You start this by pressing buttons but can then graduate onto the handheld device that uses printed command strips to construct programmes. It’s simple, fun and you can see immediate results.
Tiger Retro Gaming
Retro gaming was a major trend at this year's NY Toy Fair. Like the SNES and NES mini, these Tiger handheld recreations from Hasbro take you back to an era where play was hard, offline, expensive and limited. Still, there is something appealing about the simple LCD display and bright designs here.
If you played these back in the day, they are a fun way to revisit your youth and also nice for young Fortnite-loving kids to experience a different kind of gaming.
As well as covering toys and family gaming for Pocket-lint, Andy Robertson runs the hugely successful FamilyGamerTV YouTube channel where you can find videos of the products to feature at this year's New York Toy Fair and more. Check it out here.