At the 109th American Toy Fair, the two words that kept coming up were gadget and plush.
The Fair, which takes place annually in New York, was home to hundreds of exhibits and thousands of consumers, all looking for the breakout hit of 2012.
In the gadget vein, many vendors were offering "AppCessories," toys that required a smartphone or tablet to power up. One example was the Mattel Apptivity, which would allow users to use an iPad as a race track. (Anti-scratch technology on the car's wheels prevents against damage to the much more expensive tablet device.) Other AppCessory-happy toy-makers included Crayola, Hasbro, and Spin Master.
Among the latest Barbie offerings was the Barbie Photo Fashion Doll, which is actually a digital camera, that allows users to take pictures and display them on Barbie's shirt.
Among the big plush offerings was Boo, a Pomeranian that already has more than 3 million Facebook fans. Preorders for the toy, which will be released in the spring, number in the thousands. Other plush toys on offer included Cuddle Barn's Beaver Plush, one of a line of plush animals who sing popular songs, and a revisit to the Care Bears, to mark the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the very popular 1980s characters.
Another 1980s revisitation was the world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with Playmates introducing yet another version of the popular animals as a tie-in with Nickelodeon's upcoming CGI TV series.
Movie tie-ins were prevalent, with toys accompanying upcoming films in the Batman, Spider-Man, and Avengers series commanding center stage. Also showing off movie-themed toys was Lego, with toys tied to the upcoming film The Hobbit and the associated The Lord of the Rings.