Play Date 2023: Top 5 Toys
I’m not sure if these events are becoming more frequent or if I’m just now starting to get invited to these things, but today I was lucky enough to attend Play Date. Co-sponsored by Toy Insider, the Toy Association, and The Toybook, Play Date was held in a showroom on Madison Avenue and featured 42 companies, including LEGO, Spin Master, and Playmates.
Today was a pretty amazing event, including breakfast and lunch and showcasing some awesome toys that I’m excited about. You can check out our Twitter for a more thorough round-up of what I saw, but I’d like to highlight the top 5 items I saw at Play Date.
These are presented in no particular order and are purely based on my own personal preferences. Basically, these are the toys that I saw and thought, “I absolutely need to have these.”
You’re Getting Old
This card game from Vango Toys is perfect for my fellow geriatric millennials. Every player gets a “Path to Getting Old” card and a mini-avocado. Then you break out the cards. Each card has two prompts: an “old” prompt and a “young” prompt.
Gameplay is simple. For every “old” prompt that applies to you (for example, “You kept a box because it’s a nice box”), move your mini-avocado one space along the Path. However, if the corresponding “young” prompt also applies to you (for example, “Reddit is your main source of information”), it cancels out the old, and you stay where you are. The first player to reach 10 is the loser, and whoever’s avocado is on the lowest space has the satisfaction of clinging to their youth.
I mentioned that there should be blank cards for people to make their own prompts and was told that the company is taking suggestions for cards if you tweet at them using the hashtag #YoureGettingOld.
Honestly, this game just sounds super fun, and as I am about to turn 41 and all of my friends are in their mid-30s and above, this is the perfect game for us. I cannot wait to break this out at a get-together.
You’re Getting Old from Vango Toys (MSRP: $19.97) is scheduled for a fall 2023 release and will be available at Walmart and Target.
Visitor Center: T-Rex & Raptor Attack
Hey, did you know that this year is the 30th anniversary of Jurassic Park? To mark the occasion, LEGO is putting out two sets – Brachiosaurus Discovery and Visitor Center T-Rex & Raptor Attack. These sets were just announced today (March 8), so Play Date was sort of their debut.
Honestly, it was a toss-up between the two sets. I ultimately settled on this one because 1) I want that T-Rex and 2) for the nostalgia. You see, I had the original Visitor Center playset when I was a kid (as well as the T-Rex and a Raptor), and seeing it like this in LEGO form just hit me in the feels. (I do think it’s funny that this set contains Arnold, who was dead by this time, and seemingly Wu, who wasn’t on the island at all.)
The Visitor Center playset contains 693 pieces and will retail for $129.99 USD. Both this and the Brachiosaurus Discovery set launch June 1.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Sewer Playset
Look. I haven’t really been into TMNT since the first trio of movies, but when I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Turtles. (I even had their album. I know.) So when I walked over to the Playmates Toys display and saw this beauty of a playset, I immediately wanted it. Even though I have nowhere to put it. And probably can’t afford it. (I don’t currently have a price for it; if someone finds out, please let me know.)
You see, I had so many of the figures when I was younger, but we were never able to afford any of the playsets. And this playset is just so cool. The subway station can either attach at the corner or be placed anywhere and connect to the main set via zipline. The set is two feet tall and contains multiple levels and over 20 interactive features.
Some of the things that were pointed out to me:
- Aforementioned zipline (helpfully demonstrated by Leo in the above photo).
- The green ball at the top can be filled with ooze (included!) to either be poured down the pipe onto the bad guys, or you can put the ball onto the sewer and launch it down the tracks. Onto the bad guys.
- Hit the red button by the basketball hoop, and the below chandelier will fall down onto the table, crushing the bad guys.
- The basketball hoop launches.
- The port-a-potty on the lower level is also an elevator.
- The Mikey on the top level is helpfully demonstrating how figures can be used to swing through the doors.
Playmates has an entire line of toys coming out to coincide with the new film TMNT: Mutant Mayhem, which is out in theaters August 4 (in the US and Canada). All of the toys will release on June 25. For more photos, check out our thread on Twitter.
Plushie Tote Bag
I love plushies, tote bags, and TeeTurtle. And now the third thing has combined the first two things into these adorable, practical totes. (As if I needed more reasons to spend too much money on that site.)
The bags themselves measure 36cm x 36cm, and the plushies are 9.5cm x 7.7cm. Theoretically, the totes fold up completely into the plushie. (I say theoretically because I saw evidence of it on the TeeTurtle table, but now that I am home with my own I can’t for the life of me figure out how to do it. Like, I’ve sort of got it, but it looks kind of wonky.) When unfolded, the plushie sits on your shoulder when you wear the tote.
The plushie totes will retail for $20 USD and are supposed to be available on TeeTurtle.com by the end of this month. There are fourteen different totes scheduled to be released in Q1, with another six coming in Q2, and even more styles coming in 2024!
All Paws on Deck Gift Pack
I said it on Twitter, and I’ll say it again here. I don’t even watch Paw Patrol. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate cute characters and really cool vehicles and playsets, which Paw Patrol has in abundance. This year is the 10th anniversary of the series, and Spin Master has put out this gift set, which includes ten of the pups featured on the various incarnations of the show. It ties into a recently-aired episode of the series, “All Paws on Deck”, which required all of the pups to come together.
They’re just so flipping cute.
The All Paws on Deck gift pack is currently available and retails for $29.99 USD.
And there you have it! These are my top 5 toys from today’s Play Date event. Again, if you want to see more photos from the event, including photos of upcoming releases from Funko Games, ToyMonster, and Jazwares, check out our Twitter.
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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