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3 Toy & Game Trends that Will Surprise You!

The holidays are right around the corner. The hottest products in toys and games are making the lists of parents everywhere. What are they you ask?

The top three toy and game trends this year involve sensors, role playing and the element of surprise. Let’s dive deeper into each one.

SENSORS!

Characters meet science kits this season with games that enable kids to use real-world sensor data, such as light, sound and heat, to build characters. Have you ever imagined a toy or game that responded based on real-life events – perhaps a time of day, a temperature, speed or cue? 

ROLE PLAY!

Let’s take wearing costumes to the next level with Augmented Reality (AR) and actually become the character in your imagination. Technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years and now you’re seeing it come through in toy and game development in a big way. Can you think of a few ways AR and other role-playing technologies could evolve or improve today’s toys or board games?  

SURPRISE!

This trend is probably the fastest growing of the three. Hasbro’s Pie Face or Toilet Trouble are among the top surprise games to play with your family and you’re starting to see other brands like Disney, DreamWorks and MGA (L.O.L.) integrate the element of surprise into their toys. How can we integrate surprise into new toy or game inventions? Can it burst, hatch, erupt? Create a growing feeling of anticipation?

Think of ways to integrate these interesting trends – SENSORS, ROLE PLAY and/or SURPRISE – into invention ideas you’re entering into the Sharper Image Toy & Game Challenge. The best ideas will be chosen and turned into the hottest new products of 2019. Don’t miss out. The challenge ends on November 18th. Enter Now. Enter the challenge here.

Inspiring our Next Generation of Innovators, Kid Inventors

Did you know that the trampoline, popsicle, and ear muffs were invented by kids? So were the first fully electronic TV, Braille writing system for the blind and the snowmobile.

We love the creativity kids bring to inventing. Remember 7-year-old Houston Diaz? He invented the Quirky Squeezie, which screws directly onto toothpaste and with a simple squeeze delivers the toothpaste onto the brush head.

The Quirky + Hover-1 Cruze Skateboard, the first remote-less, electronic, cruise-controlled rideable, was invented by 14-year-old Michael Wahba just last year. It’s currently selling at Best Buy.

We should encourage kids to explore their creativity and try to invent their ideas. Practicing these skills early on in life will help children learn how to solve problems, dream big and follow through on their ideas. Don’t rely on the classroom. Take your child to the science museum in your local area or try a fun invention project from Pinterest.

There are other incredible opportunities for kids to get more involved in inventing. One of these was founded and hosted by one of our Quirksters, Mary Couzin. Every year, kids from around the world invent amazing new game concepts and submit them to the Chicago Toy & Game Week (CHITAG) Young Inventor Challenge. The Challenge provides an opportunity for kids ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy & game inventions to industry professionals, members of media and the public. All entrants receive feedback from a top industry professional and compete for licensing deals and up to $10,000 in scholarships. Quirky will be one of the judges at the competition and we’re excited to see what the kids come up with!

11-year-olds Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers won the challenge in 2016 with their game Ship of Treasures, a pirate treasure hunt game that hit Target shelves in 2017. You can’t help but smile and be inspired by these other kids and their ideas.

The CHITAG Young Inventor Challenge is entering its 12th year and they’re looking for more kids to participate. There are five categories kid inventors can enter: Most Creative Concept, Best Ride-On or Wheeled Concept, Best Game Concept, Best Playful Learning Concept, and Best Presentation.

Go to www.chitag.com/yic to read the rules and register before October 31st. For those looking to attend, the event will be held at the Navy Pier, Chicago, IL on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 from 9am – 2pm.

Quirky Makes an Appearance at the New York Toy Fair

Each year nearly 1,000 global media representatives flock to Toy Fair to report on the hottest trends in toys and games. From exhibitors to manufacturers, attendee companies presenting at the Toy Fair account for approximately 90% of the annual U.S. domestic toy market totaling $26B.

This year Quirky joined thousands of other registered play professionals at the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York City, to showcase some of the marvelous inventions submitted by our very own Quirksters!

Quirky showcased one recently launched product, the Tune Zoo and previewed 5 brand new inventions currently in the development pipeline. These are the lucky inventions that made an appearance at one of the biggest Toy shows of the year:

Free Wheel by Rene Diaz of Dallas, TX
Tune Zoo by Debbie Schwartz of Plantation, FL
Boo Boo Bear by Faith Bouchard of Phoenix,AZ
Q the Kangaroo by Christopher Zailo of Gulf Breeze, FL
Soundtrack by Ricardo Seola of Milan, Italy
VA Spy Tank by Megan Yocum of Kentucky

Congrats inventors!