Spielwarenmesse: Toy innovations 2018: Baby and Infant Articles

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Messe-Neuheiten 2018: Baby- und Kleinkindartikel
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29. January 2018 / Market

Toy innovations 2018: Baby and Infant Articles

from Harald Hemmerlein

Wherever baby toys are on offer, there is also great interest in products for infants. Retailers can browse a wide selection of both in the Baby and Infant Articles product group at the Spielwarenmesse. The 2018 innovations for the very young have a strong emphasis on quality, safety and early development, but also incorporate current trends.

Yookidoo Global Marketing Enterprise Ltd.: Playmat
Die Spiegelburg: Babyglück Fußball
VTech: Kuschelfußball
Done by Deer: Tiny toys
Fisher-Price: My First Fidget Cube
Berg Toys B.V.: BERG GO²
SIMM Spielwaren GmbH: Disney Mickey Mouse humming top
millaminis s.r.o: MODULLO planes
Shantou Chenghai Hexiangxing Toys Co. Ltd.: Funny Pad
Brainstorm Ltd.: Fairy Tale Projektor
Boon: PRANCE & GROWL
Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH: farm theatre
Clementoni: Peek-a-boo-puppy

Football fever in the cradle

It’s never too soon to start fostering a love of football. It’s no wonder, then, that the impact of this year’s World Cup can also be felt in the Baby and Infant Articles product group. The special "Babyglück Fußball" collection under the Die Spiegelburg brand (Coppenrath Verlag GmbH & Co. KG; Hall 1/C-34) is sure to delight fathers in particular. The sporty looking baby items, including a muslin cloth and a dummy clip with a satin band and wooden football clip, also score big thanks to the witty, soccer-related wordplay used in the slogans printed on them. Naturally, the collection also features baby footwear designed to look like soccer boots, rattles and a music box that plays the official song of the 1974 German team that went on to win the World Cup.

Also in keeping with the World Cup theme, the "Kuschelfußball" soft football from VTech Electronics Europe GmbH (Hall 12.2/P-06) is bound to be a hit with little football fans. The black-and-white soft fabric ball encourages children to play, crawl and move. With all of its football-related songs and sayings, the ball is a true sporting playmate. A movement sensor triggers particular noises and melodies when the football is rolled or kicked.

Grasping the world around them

The grasp reflex is one of a baby’s earliest reflexes. Babies instinctively hold onto a finger or object placed in their hand. Danish company Done by Deer A/S (Hall 2/E-11, F-10) now has a range of "grasping toys" which further motivate babies to explore their new surroundings. Different materials and lots of details spark curiosity, encouraging the kinds of activities needed for healthy development in the early months. The products' premium design also appeals to the discerning adults actually buying them, featuring harmoniously balanced, muted hues combined with animated styling.

Fidget cubes have proven anything but a flash-in-the-pan fad. Mattel (Hall 12.2/P-15) is bringing out "My First Fidget Cube" under its Fisher-Price brand. Although it looks like the small stress reliever for adults, it has actually been designed with babies' hands in mind. Each of the six sides offers varying tactile experiences thanks to different materials ranging from plush to metal. Various integrated mechanical effects are designed to either surprise babies or be activated by them.

Autonomous mobility in infancy

Playmats for babies and infants are another popular way of inspiring children to actively conquer the world. The playmats from Israeli company Yookidoo Global Marketing Enterprise Ltd. (Hall 2/A-02, B-02) come bursting with features such as mirrors, a small, battery-operated toy plane which plays music and fixings for attaching toys. Even better: these playmats can be converted into a seat in just a few simple steps to help children sit upright on the floor.

Toy cars help improve mobility, even at the baby and infant stage. Dutch company Berg Toys B.V. (Hall 7/A-07) has come up with an original range combining push and pedal power. "BERG GO2" vehicles boast an impressive new pedal mechanism. When the pedals are folded out, the baby can use these to propel themselves. When they are folded up, the vehicle functions as a conventional ride-on. The designers have really focused on creating a minimalistic design.

Dextrous spinning

SIMM Spielwaren GmbH (Hall 12.2/P-10) designs metal toys with very current licensing themes under the Bolz brand. Mickey Mouse is set to celebrate his 90th birthday on 18 November 2018. As the world’s only Disney licensee for traditional metal toys, Bolz is presenting a new humming top measuring 16 centimetres in diameter together with a wind-up music box and a tin drum. The design combines the nostalgic Disney heritage look with contemporary colour trends.

Czech company millaminis s.r.o (Hall 2/A-16) is offering an early building experience through play, having developed a special foam for its small model aircraft. Even children’s little hands can easily put together the pieces and then take them apart again. The "MODULLO" planes also make a great bath toy.

Magical companions

Chinese company Shantou Chenghai Hexiangxing Toys Co., Ltd. (Hall 11.0/D-12-6) is producing tablets that babies can hold, an example of how modern technologies can already be used in interesting ways for the very young. Tablet covers turn the tablet into a playmate with hair and ears. Faces with different expressions appear on the tablet, while matching sound effects emanate from the speaker.

The "Fairy Tale Projector" from UK company Brainstorm Ltd. (Hall 12.0/B-03-2) helps kids doze off. The handy projector casts fairy tale images onto the wall or ceiling and can also be dimmed to create a soothing night light which automatically switches off after 15 minutes. The projector can be used as a torch as well.

Products you can get your teeth into

Boon baby products (TOMY; Hall 12.2/P-11) aim to impress with intelligent product solutions and an attractive design. The two new Boon products PRANCE and GROWL help reduce the pain of teething for babies. The soft and varying textures soothe babies' gums and the products are ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in babies' hands. The silicone unicorn and dragon are easy to clean and sterilise.

Team spirit wins out

Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH (Hall 12.0/A-12, D-13) is again bringing out early games for the very young in its fully revised "Spielend Neues Lernen" range. Besides a revamped design, there is also a stronger emphasis on soft skills such as self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and team spirit. Children aged 18 months and older will enjoy the "Bauernhof-Theater" (farm theatre), a delightful toy collection with various characters and a kind of stage in a box, encouraging all kinds of speech and communication.

Even small babies greatly enjoy early games of hide-and-seek. We have all seen how excited young children get when dad or mum first "disappear" behind an object before surprising the child by appearing again. Italian company Clementoni S.p.A. (Hall 10.1/A-01; 10.1/A-02, C-03) has captured the essence of this with its "Peek-a-boo-puppy". Once the puppy covers his eyes with his ears, the hide-and-seek function is enabled. If its ears are lifted again, the puppy scarpers and the chase begins. Additional buttons produce interactive effects, helping children to learn their numbers and letters.

 

Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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