FamilyFun Toy Fair Favorites

Want a sneak peek at the hottest toys for 2014? Our team of editors launched a new award program at the annual International Toy Fair—FamilyFun Toy Fair Favorites.

Each year, we walk the floor at the Javits Center in New York City, looking at hundreds of toys, all with the goal of finding the very best to share with our readers. Normally, you’ll see those finds on the pages of the magazine throughout the year, culminating in our annual Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Awards. This year, we wanted to share some of the toys we’re most excited about with you earlier. You’ll find our 20 picks here, beginning with this super-sweet Hello Kitty Cupcake Cafe.

Add a Comment

Tags: , , | Categories: Kids, Toys

Exclusive: A New Elmo Toy for 2014!

We’re excited to host the exclusive unveiling of the newest Elmo toy– Let’s Imagine Elmo. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor at our sister magazine Parents, got a sneak peek and is our guest blogger:

Elmo is wearing many hats this year! During an Elmo the Musical segment and on episodes of Sesame Streetour furry friend dresses up as a new character each show, taking off on music- and math-filled adventures. In the toy aisle this fall, Hasbro’s new Let’s Imagine Elmo plush will play different games depending on which of three hats kids place on his head: a sea captain’s hat cues Elmo to play a “Sounds of the Sea” game; wearing the cowboy hat makes him play a “Countin’ Cowboy” game;  and donning the crown results in “Prince Elmo Says.”  The toy we got to preview was still a prototype, but it seems like the hats are easy to fit onto Elmo and that a child can goof around with setting them on his own head.

At 13 inches, Let’s Imagine Elmo is smaller than last year’s Big Hugs version, but is only two-thirds the price: he’s $40 and geared for kids ages 2 to 4. And he has all of his usual charm—even without a hat, he reacts with joy when tickled, bounced, or playfully squeezed.

As with all the previous talking Elmos, Let’s Imagine Elmo will require batteries (four AAs) and will be sold at all the major toy outlets this fall as well as Elmo loves the holidays, and we suspect little Sesame Street fans are going to love this toy!

Last fall, Elmo and Murray stopped by the Parents office to film a video series with us entitled “Sesame Street Lessons.” Here’s one of the videos:

Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends
Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends
Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends

Sign up to get parenting tips and tricks sent right to you inbox!

Add a Comment

Oscar Nominated Best Animated Short

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and I was excited to see one of my family’s recent faves, Room on the Broom, receive a nod for Best Animated Short. Based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson (author of modern classic The Gruffalo), the quick flick tells the tale of a cheerful witch, her faithful feline companion, and three helpful animals they meet. The cat’s not so thrilled to share precious broomstick space with the new critters but finds that they must ultimately work together to save their beloved witch from a hungry dragon. The sweet soundtrack and beautifully rendered characters hooked my kids, ages 3 and 6, after just one viewing, and they’ve asked to watch the 25-minute short again and again. Given the lovely lessons the film imparts—the rewards that come from making new friends and cooperating with your peers— I’m more than happy to oblige.–Beth Honeyman, Research Chief

For more great film picks, check out all of the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.

Add a Comment

Cool Pop-Up Book

Have any Transformer fans on your holiday shopping list? If so, be sure to “roll out” and pick up a copy of Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe by Matthew Reinhart.

We love how the pop-ups bring the characters to like.

For an added bonus, check out the author’s instructions for making your own pop-up Bumblee and Optimus Prime. Transformer holiday cards, anyone?





Add a Comment

FamilyFun’s Toy of the Year Awards on TV

Good Morning America aired a great segment on FamilyFun’s Top Ten Toys of the Year this weekend. Not sure who enjoyed the toys most–the reporter or the kids! In case you missed it:

Add a Comment