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Toy Fair Preview

From infant toys to ride-ons, from fun furniture to puppets, and everything in between - there is a lot for juvenile retailers to see at Toy Fair this month. Held February 13 - 16th at the Javits Center in New York, the toy universe comes together for one of the most impressive trade shows out there, with more than 25,000 attendees, 345,500 square feet of exhibit space, and 100,000 products. Here are just a few of the highlights from the latest introductions.

Blueper is one of two FolkMonsters debuting at Toy Fair from Folkmanis. Each FolkMonster has his or her own personality traits; Blueper is super fuzzy blue with orange stripes, and his favorite foods are oranges and blueberries; if he doesn't eat enough of these his beautiful furcolors start to fade. He also likes to invent things. www.folkmanis.com

The Fun Travel Nest is new from Chicco and features four different functions: bag, gym, activity mat and baby nest. With melodies, lights and sound effects, the Fun Travel Nest is comfy, practical and lightweight, and retails for $69.99. www.chiccousa.com

Chicco
International Playthings

The new Tumblekins line of wooden toddler toys from International Playthings brings with it action, excitement and personality. Each Tumblkins play set comes with a chunky wooden character that tumbles in the vehicle as it is rolled along. Available in Farm Tractor Play Set, Fire Station Play Set, School Bus, Fire Truck, and Small Vehicles. For ages 12 months+, retail $12.99 - $34.99. www.intplay.com

French-based Boikido Wooden Toys is introducing nine new wooden toys, including the high-quality, easy-to-assemble, ride-on Violette, tested to meet both European and U.S. safety standards. www.boikido.com

Boikido Wooden Toys
Lamaze

A soft and cuddly cow friend for baby to interact with, the Lamaze Farmer Fred activity doll aids in developing fine motor skills and encourages hand-eye coordination. He also helps baby learn a variety of basic dressing skills including buttoning his overalls, fastening his overalls, zipping his pocket, buckling his shoe and tying his shoe. With his colorful satin ribbons, bright patterns, and different textures, Farmer Fred provides tactile fun and is perfect for hours of imaginative play. Ages 18 months+, retail is $24.99. www.learningcurve.com/lamaze

Well Made Toy is introducing a new forest animals theme to its successful PetCakes line. The four furry friends include a sweet squirrel, a playful panda, a beautiful bear and a rambunctious raccoon. The animals have "frosting" tops and sit nestled in their own colorful cupcake wrappers, ready for the imaginative play of children ages 3 and up. www.wellmadetoy.com

Well Made Toy

Kids Preferred is expanding its Eric Carle licensed collection with more than a dozen new toys, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar Stick Rattle, a seven-inch plastic rattle with grooves and smooth edges designed with chubby fingers in mind. Age newborn+, retail is $7. www.kidspreferred.com

The Pretend & Play Ice Cream Shop is new from Learning Resources, and encourages creative thinking, sharing, teamwork, building connections and other important social skills. Includes four scoops of ice cream, two cones, two ice cream dishes, two spoons, a banana that "splits," a scooper, apron, write & wipe menu card and chocolate syrup bottle that "squirts" mess-free pretend chocolate. Ages 3+, retail is $26.99. www.learningresources.com

Learning Resources
Tegu

The 26-piece Jungle Discovery set is the newest color assortment from Tegu. The magnetic building block set includes a combination of natural, mahogany and green tinted Honduran hardwoods. Retail price is $60. www.tegu.com

The Disney Pixar Cars Piston Cup Adirondack set is new from Jakks Pacific, and features colorful inlaid graphics featuring Cars characters. This sturdy, plastic construction adirondack set includes a table and two chairs and features washable surfaces with artwork that won't scratch, fade or peel. Easy adult assembly. Ages 2-6, retail is $29.99 . www.jakks.com

Jakks Pacific
Haba

The Small Sound Workshop, new from Haba, is a first sound studio for little musicians. Contains four beechwood instruments: mini-magic sound flute, drum, mini-metallophone, and a beater. For ages 2+, retail price is $40. www.habausa.com

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