Our pal Nate Heasley is popping around at Toy Fair finding the stuff we missed, when instead he should be manning his booth to promote his award-winning board game, Wits And Wagers.
Designer toys are one of my favorite areas of ToyFair. There are a lot of independent, new toy companies that spring up here, and other more established companies that work with a lot of independent artists. It's an area of ToyFair that didn't exist when I started going about 6 years ago, but now it's big enough to have its own aisle and some of the best innovation comes out of this area.
Sadly, the current economic climate seems to have hit the smaller companies harder, since there are some empty booths in the Designer aisle where there hadn't been before. But the big boys (well, big for this market anyway) are still here, like Toy2R, who came with a great collection of modded Qee and Toyer pieces, as well as displaying some customizable "DIY" models that are coming up. I love the Toyee, and plan on doing some modding of my own on one of them, but my favorite piece is the Jumping Brain by lapolab. – Nate