Finding the Best New Toys – ASTRA Toy Fair 2019 in Pittsburgh

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When finding the best new toys, the best way to start is with the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. ASTRA is a great organization. All the specialty toy retailers around the country get together to share news and get training—and so all the best toy companies come and show their new toys. Of course, that’s just the start for us. If we see something good, we’ll annoy the vendors by playing with it endlessly at the show. If it looks fun, we’ll get samples and then see which staff member’s kids get to test out whether it really works.

Meeting The Vendors

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Luckily Aaron of Crazy Aaron was there to cheer us up, and show us a new crazy putty with actual moon dust on it. 

Crazy Aarons does, indeed, make us all crazy—for putty!

Fortunately Play Monster was there showing off Aqua Diver and some of the monsters there were better looking than the friendly staff we’ve worked with over the years. 

Finding the best new toys means sometimes you come across monsters like this. The green guy, we mean.

We know a lot of uncles and aunts who would like to send this rollercoaster to their nephews and nieces – but then we have to choose parents that aren’t going to force the parents to hire building contractors. 

Everyone Loves New Toys!

But here is precisely the kind of brand new product we’re looking for. Wandini from Fun in Motion. It looks fun and sounds fun. The big question: Is it fun? And how hard is it for a child to learn to do the cool tricks with? As if on cue, this little girl walked by with her mother—and what you are seeing is her getting GOOD in real time. 

No, this isn’t the little girl and her sister all grown up. These are Wandini pros, but they did remind us why finding new toys doesn’t have to be hard work all the time. 

We’re now back home in Maryland, with the excitement of deciding which toys we all thought were good value, great gifts, and would be fun and unique. Then arranging to get samples so we can kid test them properly. And from there, it will hopefully go from our warehouse to one of the kids at your house! 

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