Star Wars Invades Toy Fair 2016
Posted on February 19 2016
This past weekend was a little event in New York City that got quite a bit of attention. You may have heard about it. Toy Fair is the annual toy industry trade show owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association.
The 113-year-old show (whose more cumbersome official name is the North American International Toy Fair) is essentially a massive showcase of hundreds of thousands of toys spread out over some 415,000 square feet of the Javits Center. Put into perspective, that’s more exhibition space than is available at New York Comic-Con, and it’s entirely composed of new toys and games. Basically, it’s the stuff your eight-year-old dreams were made of.
It’s a place for all of these companies to exhibit their new products, stand out from the crowd, and create excitement. And the event absolutely excels at generating buzz, which you’re well aware of if you’ve been on the Internet at all this week.
Now, I’m just guessing, but you probably want to know about Star Wars, right? Surely there were Star Wars toys at Toy Fair? Well, of course. How could there not be?
Indeed, Star Wars took home a few of this year’s Toy of the Year Awards, including Property of the Year, which recognizes “a property that has had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry.” Disney Infinity 3.0 took home the prize for e-Connected Toy of the Year, and the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon set was recognized as the Boy Toy of the Year.
Beyond prizes, though, there were a lot of Star Wars toys on display. I was particularly intrigued by the mindboggling variety of items. But first…
Sadly not products you can buy, these lifesize LEGO statues from The Force Awakens greeted visitors outside the exhibit halls. I admit that this was the first of many BB-8s I wanted to steal.
But let’s stick with LEGO for now. Even though the Rogue One sets are still under wraps, most of the other new sets for 2016 were on display, and — as expected — they range from the prequel trilogy to the original trilogy to The Force Awakens to Star Wars Rebels. Not on display was the enormous Assault on Hoth Base set, which clocks in at 2,144 pieces.
Sets that caught my eye include Captain Rex’s AT-TE (available in June), The Ghost microfighter, complete with Hera (available in March), and the Resistance X-Wing Fighter (available in June).
LEGO is also making a couple sets for the upcoming Disney XD show, The Freemaker Adventures. Both sets will be available in June, and one features the perennially cool Dengar.
Rey was all over Hasbro’s showroom in all different sizes, including a sweet Black Series figure. She also comes packaged in a Takodana Encounter set along with Maz, Finn, and BB-8!
Keeping with Hasbro’s action figure lines, it’s worth pointing out that the Black Series has finally expanded to Star Wars Rebels, so it might be wise to prepare some space in your life for these versions of Sabine and Ahsoka.
Other offerings from Hasbro include a continuation of their various action figure lines. Keep an eye out for a Black Series Kylo Ren helmet (apparently marketed as role-playing gear) and a Black Series branded game of Trivial Pursuit. And I couldn’t contain my glee when I saw that there will be a new version of Star Wars Operation featuring BB-8! I think I need it.
The Funko Pop! booth continues to grow, along with their Star Wars offerings. On Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t resist these wonderful pairs.
Kotobukiya had some beautiful statues, as always, but they also managed to display some rather unique items: chrome business card holders, a wide assortment of silicone ice trays, light-up lightsaber chopsticks, pressed sandwich shapers, and hard-boiled egg shapers (yes, really).
Speaking of beautiful statues, Bluefin had these lovelies on display, from their Tamashii Nations and Egg Attack Action labels.
Looking to dress up a little? Rubie’s has you covered for The Force Awakens and Star Wars Rebels characters…
And Princess Paradise has you hooked up with these absolutely amazing dresses.
The best of the rest (that I saw) includes a functional Jedi Holocron, cross-stitch patterns, adorable can cozies, a Death Star grill, an R2-D2 popcorn maker and teapot, a weird Stormtrooper sled, and more metal wind-up figurines than you can shake a stick at.
Despite all of these pictures, keep in mind that this is still just a sampling of the Star Wars products that were on display at Toy Fair this past weekend. And it’s just a fraction of all of the merchandise coming to stores this year. I certainly hope the Force is strong with your wallet…or your self-control.
Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He’s also a contributor to GeekDad and runs The Roarbots, where he focuses on awesome geeky stuff that happens to be kid-friendly. On top of that, he cohosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates geek culture by talking to people who create it. With two little ones and a vast Star Wars collection at home, he’s done the unthinkable: allowed them full access to most of his treasure from the past 30 years, opening and playing with whatever they want (pre-1983 items excluded).