Today in Chelsea, a large number of mom bloggers descended on the Time to Play Mag Toy showcase for a sneak preview of this season’s fanciest and coolest new toys. I was lucky enough to attend this year, and the event did not disappoint.
I spotted at least twenty well-known mom bloggers, many local to the New York City area, but others flew in from Atlanta, Colorado, or took trains from Boston, DC, and even drove up from Philly (me!).
But of course the stars of the event were the toys.
The usual suspects were present, such as Disney and Mattel, but smaller brands were well represented as well. In many cases the booths not only featured public relations professionals working with the brands, but in some cases the founders and inventors of the toys themselves were there to share the tales of how the toys came to be.
Some of the most exciting toys were the remote control car and helicopter that are equipped with bluetooth technology so you can control it with an app on your phone or tablet (by SilverLit), the previously pictured giant Princess castle by Disney that will set you back a fair amount of cash, and a large number of toys that utilize funky, little gel water balls (seriously, there were spa treatments for girls AND ways to shoot the little water balls). Personally, I fell in love with the gorgeous dolls made
This event was considerably different than an expo hall at a mom blogging conference. This was a trade show open only to press, and the large majority of folks attending were from traditional media sources. Samples of products and swag were not handed out directly to the attendees; instead cards were given that could be exchanged in another room. It was clear that the swag cards were in limited supply and the company representatives were handing them out based on the perceived value of the press rep. Many companies ran out of cards early as well.
While all the mom bloggers I saw behaved completely professionally, it was clear that there were some differences between us and the traditional press. Many bloggers brought their children, which caused some consternation with the reps because they worried about their displays and little fingers.
In addition, it was clear that the mom bloggers were the “chosen ones” when it came to handing out swag. While I saw many press folks leaving with a few toys in tow, only the mom bloggers left with bags upon bags of toys to review on their sites. Clearly, when it comes to toys, mom bloggers are in high demand.
Thanks to Time To Play Mag for inviting me to attend this great event.