New Era At Toy Fair
was “cyber-optic” city for sporting goods at Toy Fair 2002. It
seemed like the unofficial theme of this year’s sporting goods,
displayed at Javits Jacobs Center recently, were bats that talk,
flying discs with sirens, footballs that look more like UFO’s
with flashing lights and the countless number of glow–in–the–dark
balls. While all these toys are fun to look at, and certainly
add a new dimension to playing, simple may still be better. A
sporting goods star of Toy Fair was a larger adapted remake of
the 1960’s classic “frisbee,” called Beamo. This 30-inch diameter,
flying hoop shaped like a beautiful flat donut – is made of spandex
and offers an open invitation for everyone to jump right in.
glides through the air,” says Victoria Akins, an 11–year–old from
New York City. “It’s spectacular. The visual effects are so pretty.”
What’s truly wonderful about the Beamo is its rare combination
of size (approximately 6 times larger than a regular frisbee)
and softness. Because of this unique blend, it’s ideal for younger
children and children with disabilities. Beamo is especially good
for kids who are visually impaired, allowing for a high success
A great start-up product for beginning grippers, catchers and
throwers, is the “Oball”. The challenging part for most beginning
catchers is gripping the ball. Because it is hollow, the tips
of youngsters fingers can fit neatly into the interior of the
Oball, thus turning the initially potential painful throwing experiences
into a pleasurable skill.
Who wouldn’t be in the market for fancy feeling colorful balls
in a variety of different types- football, volleyball, and junior
size balls. Two standout companies that produce great balls are
CoopSport and Saturniani. Coop’s products are waterproof and made
of the same material as wetsuits. Saturniani ball’s, while just
as colorful, have a raised rubber feel that allows you to make
the great grab seem easy while at the same time providing the
grip necessary to throw a steady pass.
As usual, “Americas Favorite Pastime,” was highly represented
at Toy Fair. Baseball bats were in abundance. Franklin made a
statement this year with a line of bats for beginning hitters.
With the “Oversized Foam Bat,” and the “Areo-Strike Bat” and ball
set–a clear bat that actually stores 3 balls inside of its barrel
– there should be big time “hits” this season. Another bat that
has a wood-like appearance, but is actually plastic, and has a
real good swing to it is from Classic Sports. It features the
Diamond Zone plastic baseball. A different recommended product
is the Yomega Quick ball – a smaller sized durable plastic ball
really jumps off Yomega’s hard plastic bat.
Smaller sized items that can make a large impact on family fun
include the adorable line of spider products from Monkey Business
Sports. The balls are cleverly disguised as spiders complete with
a spider face and rubber legs. One more neat little product is
the neon colored Aeromax 2000 toy parachute. The parachute is
simple to toss, fun to watch and even better to catch. Bunjeez
Ballmerang’s stayed in line and came up with their own version
of the beeping electronic ball that glowed in the dark and made
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