New York Toy Fair

New York Toy Fair 2017

Family Fun Hobbies is once again heading to the New York  Toy Fair! So what does that mean?

Click the Pickachu to watch a quick review of TFNY 2016!

114th North American International Toy Fair™
#TFNY is the largest toy, game, and youth product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere!

OWNER: Toy Industry Association

SHOW DATES: Saturday, February 18 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday and Monday, February 19 and 20 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 21 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. New York, NY

PARTICIPATION: 1,126 total exhibitors from 31 countries
(Pre-registered as of February 2, 2017) 103 first-time exhibitors

11,000 registered buyers representing more than 4,000 of unique retail outlets

21 of the top 25 Toy Sellers representing the $26 billion domestic U.S. toy
industry

This year, Toy Fair will attract more than 30,000 registrants (including nearly 13,000 retailers, wholesalers, importers, buying groups, and trade guests) from more than 100 countries.

EXHIBIT SPACE: 443,000 net square feet on-site at the Javits Convention Center

BASIC INFORMATION:

  • NYC is a playground this week! At the Javits Convention Center and across the city, more than 1,100 toy companies are showcasing the products that will be under the tree this Christmas to retailers only, it’s not open to the public!
  • As the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair is a massive celebration of play.
  • This year’s marketplace is bigger than ever. The show is the equivalent to more than seven football fields filled with creative, innovative, and skill-building toys and games!
  • Who comes to Toy Fair? There are more than 30,000 attendees from over 100 countries. That’s toy inventors and designers, manufacturers, toy buyers from retailers of all sizes, wholesalers, importers, entertainment executives, and more. If someone is connected to the toy industry, they are probably in town this week!
  • Toy Fair has a dedicated area for new exhibitors called the “Launch Pad.” It is a great place to see new up-and-coming toy inventors as well as international companies looking to expand their product to the U.S. Located in Hall 1E of the Javits Center, Toy Fair first-timers represent 17 countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and Poland.
  • Toy Fair is important because play is important. Toys – which are the tools of play – promote the development of children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and fine and gross motor skills.
  • U.S. toy and game sales rose by 5 percent in 2016, according to NPD. This speaks to the innovation and creativity of the industry. Collectibles were a top contributor to the industry’s growth. Sales jumped 33 percent and represented 9 percent of the industry’s total dollars. Additionally, games and puzzles, dolls, and outdoor sports and toys were the top three performing super-categories, each posting double-digit sales growth in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • From board games and dolls to outdoor toys and e-connected playthings, the toy industry is churning out an incredibly diverse array of products for kids to play with!
  • A well-rounded day of play is important for families. There is room for both traditional toys and digital playthings to help round out the play experience.


Based on data provided by The NPD Group and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce

In the United States:
o The average price of a toy is around $10.
o The estimated three billion units sold across the nation each year generate approximately $26 billion in direct toy sales.
o 2016 ended with a 5 percent increase in overall U.S. toy sales, according to The NPD Group. Growth categories included: games and puzzles (+18%), dolls (+10%), outdoor and sports toys (+10%), plush (+6%), infant and toddler preschool toys (+3%), youth electronics (+3%), and vehicles (+1%).
o Interesting to note: Collectibles were a top contributor to the industry’s 2016 growth, with sales growing 33 percent to reach $1.8 billion. Collectibles represented 9 percent of total toy industry dollars. Among NPD super-categories, outdoor sports and toys had the largest dollar amount increase at $328 million.

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage, crowd and text

What does this all mean to you, our customers?

It’s pretty simple really. It means that when you shop with Family Fun Hobbies, you are helping to grow this amazing industry of toys and games. You are helping a small, local business and you are part of a growing trend! To get you involved Katrina and Rob will be posting pictures, updates, videos, surveys….whatever they have time for, to our Facebook and Twitter accounts! We NEED your input so that we are focusing the store in the direction you want it go. As a reward for your help, we will give away all of the #TFNY SWAG we get via random drawing. You just have to interact with us to be entered!

As another reward, we are making room on our shelves for all of the new products. Keep an eye out for in-store sales. Right now all 4M Science and Craft Kits are Buy 2, Get 1 FREE!!!

Watch our Facebook LIVE video for more information!

 

 

 

mtg banned

Competitive Magic the Gathering: Banned Cards

Competitive Magic: the Gathering can often be a stark contrast to what the vast majority of Magic players are used to. Large scale tournaments post attendance numbers in the thousands, and some players make their living traveling the tournament circuit every weekend and playing the most powerful decks comprised of the most powerful cards. And with the ever-increasing availability of information online, the results from these tournaments are often available within moments of the conclusion, complete alongside with deck lists, commentary, and breakdowns from pro-players and spectators alike. As always, patterns begin to emerge and become clear. Newer players aspiring to turn their hobby into a means of income will take note of decks that win and the cards used, then build the same decks in the hopes of putting up similar results. If enough players do the same thing, the focus of the game shifts to compensate for it – until invariably large tournaments become almost routine in their results, with the top decks in each event often being the same in a series of decks. This sounds dour, but oftentimes there are many popular decks and plenty of variance in the format. Other times it can take a lot of the fun out of the game though.

The beauty of the way the Standard MTG format is set up is that cards continually rotate in and out as time goes on so EVENTUALLY the decks are forced to change. Rarely is there ever an issue in that respect that time and the influx of new cards doesn’t correct. However, sometimes a card gets printed that is simply overpowered beyond the game’s ability to self-regulate. At those times the tournaments become irrevocably skewed towards those decks. Content put out from secondary markets and venues reflect this bias as well, and the price of single copies of the cards in those decks increase often beyond what is reasonable for even the more hardcore fans of the game. In these instances, the developers of the game will often try to release cards to counteract the card, though sometimes these interactions aren’t apparent or combinations of cards already existing make these remedies ineffective. In these rare cases Wizards of the Coast steps in and will ban the use of the card from competitive play. To put things in perspective, this is very rare. As long as the game has been in existence (since 1993) it has only happened seven times – now eight, as Wizards has banned not one but three cards from standard format. Bloggers and pundits of the game have been weighing in on the bans every day since they were announced, and opinions fall on all sides of the issue.

But what does this mean to the casual fan of the game? By and large we focus on a more casual crowd here at Family Fun Hobbies, so what happens at large tournaments probably might not matter much to you when you and your friends sit down to play here. It comes down to finance; supply and demand – now these cards are in less demand. Competitive players will no longer be needing these previously expensive and powerful cards. Those who have them will begin to sell and trade them at lower prices, and the singles market will flood with copies. Casual players will be able to acquire copies at lower and more reasonable prices, though their play will be limited to casual playgroups.

For a more in-depth discussion and fulled list of Banned and Restricted Cards Click Here! To learn more about Magic the Gathering in general Click Here!

What do you think of the new list? Let us know on our Facebook Page!

– Sean Brietenbach, Assistant Manager and Events Coordinator

aether pre release blog

Magic the Gathering – Aether Revolt Top 5

It’s a new year and a new Magic the Gathering set is on the horizon, and with the set fully released for viewing online players all over the world are weighing in on card quality, potential playability, and power level. With experts of all stripes making their opinion known the decision to add the opinion of our own prodigiously skilled Magic community was easily made – and the EDH / Commander format most played in the store certainly looks at this card pool as exceptionally interesting indeed.

For those who need a refresher; Commander (sometimes called EDH, or Elder Dragon Highlander) is a format of Magic utilizing a 100 card deck comprised of single copies of cardswithin a specific combination of colors designated by a Legendary Creature card who exists outside of your deck and is usually available to you at any time you could normally cast it (eliminating the variance of having to draw it). The set has been around for about tenyears and is popular enough that Wizards of the Coast releases yearly products to support it specifically, as well as incorporating cards in standard releases that fit in well. It is a casual, multi-player format that is widely regarded as the most inclusive and welcoming format to newer players.
So with that in mind, the Magic Community at Family Fun Hobbies (as polled and moderated by our resident EDH Guru / Assistant Manager Sean Breitenbach) presents for your consumption:

THE FIVE MOST EXCITING EDH CARDS FROM AETHER REVOLT

5. Sram, Senior Edificier
Every new set gives at least a few new options for Legendary Creatures to lead your deck, and Aether Revolt gave us a cycle of mono-colored legends of varying power levels. While Sram Senior Edificier isn’t the most powerful of the cycle, he’s by far the most exciting. Giving white decks the ability to actively draw cards issomething the color has been sorely lacking, making it a less attractive option to play. The card synergies well with the new and popular vehicle mechanic and will definitely be showing up in many lists to come.

MtG - Srams Senior Edificer

 

4. Trophy Mage
Trophy Mage is the latest in a cycle of blue creatures that allow the player to search their deck for an artifact card with a specific casting cost and put that card into their hand. What sets the Trophy Mage above the other cards in the cycle is the caveat that the artifact you search for has to have a casting cost of exactly 3 mana. This is literally DOZENS of relevant cards . . . the options are limitless, and having the ability to search your deck for exactly the answer you need on a creature that can serve as an attacking or blocking creature in addition to said tutoring is highly desirable.

 

MtG- Trophy Mage

3. Whir of Invention
Slightly better than tutoring a 3 mana cost artifact to your hand is literally the ability to search your deck for an artifact and put it directly into play – your only limit being how much mana you putinto the spell. An additional upside to the card is that you can use artifacts already in play to add to the amount of mana you pay into the spell, allowing bigger and better artifacts to come out and bolster your board. To top it all off, you can play the card at Instant speed – meaning at any point in the game, not just on your turn.

MtG - Whir of Invention

 

 

2. Rishar’s Expertise
Sean’s personal favorite card in the set (and narrowly missing the margin for number one on this list) is the green card in a cycle of Expertise cards that tie in to each of the new legendary mono-colored creatures of the set. Each of these spells has an effect that happens upon resolution of the spell and they then allow the caster to cast a spell from their hand without paying the mana cost of that spell – essentially giving the caster two spells for the price of one. The green card in the cycle allows the caster to draw cards equal to the highest power among creatures you control (which in Green decks can be pretty high indeed) and then cast a spell from their hand for free that costs five mana or less. It is entirely possible to draw 5 or more cards from this spell easily, and you then get to potentially cast one of those cardsFOR FREE. This takes two of the most powerful mechanics in Magic (drawing cards and reducing mana cost) and staples them together in one card.
MtG- Rishkars Expertise

1. Paradox Engine
It’s hard to describe the relative power level of this card without using other cards to give context. This card gives a player the potential to use creatures that tap for mana (either from their own rules text or other card effects) to fuel spells which will untap them again. You can then generate more mana, to cast more spells and untap again . . . and again . . . and again . . . ad infinitum. Infinite amounts of mana barely scratch the surface of what this card could do with different combinations of cards. Even something as simple as being able to attack and thenuntap your creatures to have blocking capabilities during your opponent’s turns . . . it’s so simple it’s elegant, and as a colorless artifact it can potentially fit in every deck without restrictions. It’s almost scary to think about from the perspective of veteran players, and with a Masterpiece edition of the card available as well as the regular version, this card will be highest up on the list of desired acquisitions from this set.

 

MtG - Paradox Eginems

 

If you are interested in seeing these cards before they are releaased, we have two full days of Pre-Release Tournaments in Store! You can find more information here: 

http://tiny.cc/AetherSaturday and  http://tiny.cc/AetherSundayaether revolt