Toy companies bring the fun and explore the new at annual convention in New York City
There is probably no simpler a childhood plaything than sidewalk chalk, good for doodling away on a sunny day.
But sidewalk chalk in the shape of sushi? Or a frosted doughnut? Now you’re talking a toy with a “boutique” advantage, says Margaux DelCollo, a partner with Twee, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in manufacturing such chalk.
Ms. DelCollo’s company was one of 1,047 exhibitors at the Toy Fair, which is being held through Tuesday at the Javits Center. Now in its 115th year, the convention, organized by the Toy Association Inc. trade group, is key to charting the course for an industry that generated $20.7 billion in U.S. sales last year.
It is also an industry that has faced its share of challenges of late, as children focus increasingly on technology (think anything with a screen) instead of traditional toys. In turn, that has left some toy manufacturers embracing novel products such as “sushi” chalk as a way to stand out.
Otherwise, as Ms. DelCollo said, “Chalk is chalk.”
She added that her product, which launched about a year ago and retails for $8 to $22, depending on the item, is already being carried by 60 stores nationwide.
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