On the crowded floors of the Javits Center, toymakers are pitching their products this week at New York Toy Fair.
From interactive Barbie dolls that hold two-way conversations to drones and other gadgets, the industry is trying to create buzz and woo parents. But at the end of the day, the toughest critics are tech-savvy kids who can often see past the hype, and just want to have a toy that's fun.
With that in mind, CNBC hit the show with two pint-sized analysts in tow, to find some of the hottest toys that kids will really want to play with.
Among the toys that put smiles on the faces of 7-year-old Noa Suied and 6-year-old Vincent Scolaro were new lines from K'Nex, called Mighty Makers and K-Force Build and Blast.
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Mighty Makers is a line of construction toys targeted to girls ages 7 and up. The building sets, which include a Ferris wheel and a greenhouse, encourage girls to build and then role-play, while K-Force is all about building and blasting. The K-Force line includes eight different kinds of blasters, buildable targets and foam dart packs.
Sales of building sets have been growing robustly in recent years, even as other categories of toys struggled. Last year, U.S. retail sales for the whole toy industry increased 4 percent to $18.08 billion from $17.46 billion in 2013, according to market researcher The NPD Group. Within that, the building-set category saw the fastest growth, with sales up 13 percent, NPD said.