“Work hard, play hard” was the motto of this year’s Sweet Suite, the annual event sponsored by Toy Insider that aims to bring you the best upcoming toy lines from various companies. The past two years, like so many other major events, Sweet Suite was virtual, so it was nice to be back and able to see everything in person. I spent a few hours wandering around the show floor checking out the wares, so I’ll bring you my highlights from the event. These are the toys that I’m most excited about.
One of the things I missed most during the pandemic was being able to gather together with my friends for a game night. There were a few games on display at Sweet Suite that piqued my interest.
KingdoMania – Funko Games
Funko Games just recently announced this game, so those of us who attended the event last night were some of the first people to see it. As it was explained to me, it’s based on classic 8-bit video games, and the idea is that you have to stop the game from glitching. It’s a collaborative experience rather than competitive, but I was told it is possible to play the game solo.
There are two ways to build your deck and your figure collections. One person can start the game by purchasing the blind box game ball for $9.99, while two people can start a game with the super game pack for $22.99. There are 40 figures to collect, including the ultra-rare blue tinted ones (which will only be found in the game balls) and several items – like Carpet from Aladdin – that can only be found in the game packs.
KingdoMania will be available starting October 1.
Hand-to-Hand Wombat – Exploding Kittens
Fans of the many iterations of Exploding Kittens may be interested in checking on the brand’s latest offering, Hand-to-Hand Wombat.
Due out in August, Hand-to-Hand Wombat is the opposite of KingdoMania in that you’re directly competing with everyone. The way it was described to me is that it’s similar to Among Us. The basic idea is that there are good wombats and bad wombats. Everyone covers their eyes; good wombats try to build a tower, while the bad wombats try to prevent them from doing so. At the end of the game, you have to guess who the “bad wombats” are.
Disney Trivia – Playskool
Also out in August is Disney Trivia from Playskool. This is the game I am most looking forward to, as a big Disney fan and a huge trivia nerd. Trivial Pursuit has been one of my favorite games since I was a kid, and this has a very similar concept, with answering questions to collect pieces as you move across the board.
One thing that I was concerned about was the difficulty of the questions. There are definitely trivia games that are geared towards young children, which is fine, but I want a fandom trivia game that’s going to test my knowledge. (Like Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, which kicks my butt every time.) Luckily, the good folks at Playskool soothed my fears by telling me that there are easier questions and more difficult questions.
They definitely wanted to bring my attention to the level of detail on the board, the box, and the figures – pointing out the Pizza Planet truck (an easter egg in every Pixar film) is parked outside the Pizza Planet stop and gushing over the gold sketches on the interior of the box lid. Everything was crafted in conjunction with Disney, so those sketches are official Disney character designs, including one of the first concept sketches of Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc.
If there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s something cute and collectible. Nothing separates me from my money faster. I have Funko Pops and Nendoroids and tiny Care Bears figurines displayed wherever I can find space in my apartment.
Disney Doorables – Just Play
I never really took notice of these until I was sent a pack last year (the Nightmare Before Christmas ones), and now I’m obsessed. I buy a box almost every time I see them now, which is very bad for my wallet, but they’re so cute and tiny. How can you not love them?
Doorables are up to series 8, which were on display at the Just Play booth. Series 8 includes Mei and her friends from Turning Red, as well as characters from Hercules, Wreck-it-Ralph, and new versions of the princesses.
Squishmallows – Jazwares
If you haven’t seen Squishmallows yet, you’re missing out. These lovable plushies are soft and squishy and useful! I heard that some people use their Squishmallows to rest their book on when they’re reading, or to put under their lower back for a more comfortable sleep.
The newest additions to the Squishmallows family are from Nightmare Before Christmas! I was told that these come out in August, but the rep wasn’t 100% sure of that.
There’s no denying that nostalgia is a big ticket item right now. From newer properties like Stranger Things to the seemingly near-constant series reboots (like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), it seems like everyone is trying to capitalize on us Millennials who want to relive our lost youth.
GloFriends – Playskool
Where are my fellow ’80s kids at? How many of you had a GloWorm? Playskool is bringing them back with GloFriends.
These toys are designed for kids ages 2 and up to help them with their social and emotional development.
Knight Rider – Playmobil
Fans of the 1980s series Knight Rider can look forward to this upcoming Playmobil set featuring KITT, Michael Knight, and two other characters. The toy KITT will do everything the “real” KITT could do, including talk. While the set comes out in September, they unfortunately only had a print on display at the booth.
This is far from everything that I saw at Sweet Suite 2022! These are just the items that I was particularly excited about. To get a peek at more of the toys that I saw, check out my Twitter thread, which is full of photos!
And now, on to Farid who was able to attend the Virtual Sweet Suite 2022 held on July 14, 2022!
I enjoyed attending my first-ever Sweet Suite Virtual Day. The website worked well and there were a bunch of companies ready to showcase their wares with live demos and Q&A sessions. The event began with a 30-minute-long virtual press conference with Toy Insiders’ Editor in Chief, Marissa Silva. She talked about the trends in the toy world and the impact the pandemic had on the toy industry. It was quite an informative session that ended on a positive note about an upward trajectory in toy sales.
As far as the highlights go, I will talk about things not mentioned above.
With tech toys being one of the trends Silva mentioned during the press conference, I want to talk about two offerings that caught my attention.
The Snorble is all about helping kids with bedtime and developing healthy routines. The Snorble can play games with kids and teach them yoga and meditative techniques. Priced at $299, it is scheduled to release later this year.
The artist in me loved the fun being offered by Pixicade Pets. From what I could understand, Pixicade Pets allows you to create a virtual pet that you can look after without any fear of them ceasing to exist. While virtual pets have been a thing for a long time, Pixicade Pets changes it up by giving YOU the ability to create what you want.
Whether it is a cotton candy rabbit, a chocolate dinosaur, or even a unicorn dolphin, Pixicade Pets allows you to have the virtual pet of your dreams. You draw whatever pet you want and then scan it into the Pixicade app. From there you can select which landscape the pet should live in, decorate their house, play games, and more.
For those who aren’t the most confident in their drawing abilities, Pixicade will offer how-to-draw manuals as well as pre-drawn furniture and accessories.
DOLLS AND FIDGETS
The fidget toy industry is quite big and so is the one involving fashion dolls. The fact that Sunny Day decided to make Fidgie Friends is just wow. Getting ready to debut with four dolls, each 10.5-inch doll features fashion and fidget components. There’s Watermellow, who has a flip sequin tail, Dandelion Wishes with a stress ball skirt and popper wings, Boba Bubbles with a glitter gel tail, and Unicorn Sprinkles wearing a slow-foam skirt. I want them all!
The Fidgie Friends are looking at an August online launch, exclusively at Walmart for $19.97. That’s a very good price point for such articulated dolls. A series two will launch sometime next year.
Also, I did ask a question, during the presentation, about the “Fashion” part. Turns out, a bunch of fidget elements can detach from the doll. For example, Dandelion Wishes’ stress ball skirt and popper wings can be separated from her if you wish. The hair clips and bodices can come off too.
For those looking for something smaller, there is the Fashion Fidgets line from Wowwee. Each doll features three or four fidgets. Rare dolls have more than 4 fidgets. The 10 fidget features include spinners, pop-its, soft press, gears, switches, joysticks, monkey hair, phone wires, and more. The dolls also have a keychain. There are 18 dolls to collect in series one.
Which Sweet Suite 2022 toys and collectibles are you most excited about?
Let us know.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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