Sweet Suite @ Home: The Ultimate Virtual Toy Expo
For the toy industry, time will tell what the status of the market will be. Yet, many parents are turning to toys to keep kids engaged, entertained, and educated during this COVID quarantine.
One event that connects media to parents is the annual Sweet Suite event hosted by The Toy Insider. It is an opportunity every summer for leading toy manufacturers to share the hottest toys with those that write, play, and discuss toys.
Fun Fact: The name Sweet Suite comes from the first year of the event when the Toy Insider held a gathering in a suite in a hotel in New York City, and served tons of Sweets while press got to see the latest toys.
This event, like so many others, needed to go virtual – and it did – big time! The Toy Insider quickly pivoted to an online event, got toy brands to give it a go, and managed to gather over 600 people from over 20 countries to attend the online event.
There were big names present, like Nintendo, Just Play, Jazwares, KidTrax, Nickelodeon, Sam’s Club, LeapFrog, VTech, and so many more. There were fun events, live video demonstrations, and the opportunity to discuss the hottest toys and the hottest toy trends.
The platform was custom built by Eventique, and it emulated the fun and fabulousness that the Sweet Suite for which the event is known in the toy industry. From colorful booths to ways to interact with toy brands, it provided a multi-dimensional platform for an online event.
Social Media Marvelousness
Social media was buzzing with praise for the platform:
In addition to the platform getting major kudos, everyone loved the brands and the opportunity to talk toys!
Four of the latest toy trends I discovered included Screen-Free Learning, At-Home Activities, Games, and Budget-Friendly finds. Screen-free learning is a hot trend since kids are on the computer being homeschooled or doing remote/online learning. So having the opportunity to have screen-free toys that also offer educational value to supplement learning curriculums is vital for parents. At-Home activities are also a trend because kids don’t have places to go or friends to see. So toys in this category gave things for kids to do that are super fun. Games are a growing trend. It is an excellent thing for the entire family to do when quarantining! Lastly, COVID has challenged many economically, so many toys need to be budget-friendly due to tight budgets.
Toy Picks from Sweet Suite
There were over 50 companies with tons of awesome toys, so it was hard to see all of them and hard to pick just a few. However, I am looking forward to sharing more over the next few weeks. Some of my favorites included Power Treads from WowWee, Pizza Party Throwdown from Hog Wild, Drone Home from Playmonster, Tonies, and Pokemon Battle Academy.
Stay tuned for all the hot holiday toy reviews I will be doing under the Playroom Chronicles in the coming weeks! If we have to continue to stay home, at least we can have fun playing while we do so!