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The annual New York Toy Fair offers a preview of the hottest trends and toys in the industry, toting big names like Hasbro, Lego and Razor, and revealing smaller, innovative toy vendors.
More than 1,000 exhibitors flock to New York City to show their wares and tempt distributors.
From beloved brands like My Little Pony and Star Wars to break out hits like Pie Face, the show provides insight into what kids will be placing on their wish lists this year.
—By CNBC's Sarah Whitten
Posted 18 Feb. 2016
Your childhood dream of being a Jedi — or Sith — is about to become a reality.
Sphero, which launched its miniature BB-8 droid last year, is giving "Star Wars" fans a chance to use the force to maneuver this little bot.
Slated for release in the fall is the Force Band, a wearable device that allows users to control the BB-8 toy with a wave of their hand.
"We are all about building these fun, app-controlled robots and building connected play experiences that really try to fuse both the digital play that kids are having on their smartphones and tablets with the physical world," Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero, told CNBC. "We don't want to compete with the games on the tablet, we want to be part of them."
BB-8 can travel up to two meters per second and can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet and will react to your voice. Berberian noted that the droids' only nemesis is deep shag carpet and sand, otherwise BB-8 will cruise over any surface.
The robot entertainment company, which sold more than 1 million robots in 2015, sells the BB-8 droid for $149.99 online and at more than 18,000 locations globally.
"If you can dream it, you can make it" is the motto behind Tech 4 Kids' newest toy, the 3-D ImagiPen.
The device, which utilizes ultraviolet gel curing technology, allows children to design 3-D creations in midair.
Although 3-D pens have been on the market for years, this toy is designed specifically for kids and is slated to retail for only $19.99. Other 3-D pens can cost upwards of $100.
The ImagiPen does not use heat and is safe for children aged 8 and up.
A runaway hit last year for both kids and adults, Hasbro's Pie Face was awarded game of the year in 2016 by the Toy Industry Association.
For those unfamiliar the game, players take turns placing their head through a face-shaped placard and spinning a numbered wheel that determines how many times that they must turn the handle of the pie thrower. If the player completes their turn without getting a face full of whipped cream they receive points. The first player to 25 wins.
For 2016, Hasbro will release Pie Face Showdown, a sequel, of sorts, to the original that pits players against each other. The players must press a button on the side of the toy as fast as they can to move the pie thrower towards the other player. The one that gets pied in the face loses.
No doubt your social media feed will be filled with videos of friends and family members challenging each other to this sweet duel.
Who said science can't be fun? Certainly not Briana Gardell, a recent graduate of Lehigh University's Technical Entrepreneurship master's program and CEO of Goblies, a throwable and biodegradable paintball kit.
"[Goblies] are painless like a water balloon, but they create a colorful splatter like a paintball," Gardell told CNBC. "The product is sold as a kit that allows kids to make a hundred [Goblies] with food ingredients and cosmetic dyes while learning about chemistry."
Gardell's toy is part of the STEM movement — a major trend sweeping the toy industry that focuses on teaching science, technology, engineering and math.
The young entrepreneur launched a Kickstarter campaign last June, garnering more than $9,300 in funding for her post-grad project.
A Goblies kit retails at $19.99 online, with refills on sale for $8.00.
Fans of Star Wars will have no shortage of new toys and collectibles this year.
Hasbro's Takodana Encounter set is one of many Star Wars toy sets produced by the company and it will also be recreated in brick form by Lego.
The set is the first to include Maz Kanata, a key figure from "The Force Awakens" and also features Rey, BB-8 and Finn, as well as the chest in which Rey discovers Luke Skywalker's lightsaber.
The set will be available in the spring and is priced at $19.99.
Data tracker NPD Group estimates Star Wars toys rang up $700 million in sales last year.
It's never too early to introduce space exploration to your child, according to VTech, a global supplier of electronic learning products for infants and preschoolers.
The company revealed its newest Go! Go! Smart Wheels set on Sunday: the Blast-Off Space Station. The set is designed to strengthen motor skills and teach cause-and-effect to young children.
It includes a toy rocket and several manipulative play features like a blast-off elevator, a spinning black hole and a slide.
Ahead of the release of "The Angry Birds Movie" in May, Lego has created a handful of sets that complement the new film and honor the original game.
Lego lovers will still be able to build with the traditional bricks, but will also be able to launch bird figures from catapults, fire small projectiles and collect eggs.
Various sets include fan-favorite characters like Red, Chuck and Bomb as well as several iterations of the evil green piggies.
The Drone craze has reached new heights this year, with companies competing to create the coolest flying toys. Some have added cameras to the devices to give users a different viewing experience while others have opted to change up the shape and material of drones.
Auldey, however, has made its drones voice activated. The company's newest Sky Rover helicopter flies and launches plastic missiles all by voice command.
Users can fly the device with a remote control or a headset. It is slated to sell for $44.99 and is designed for children — and adults — aged 8 and older.
For parents who have fallen in love with Elf on the Shelf, the Irish Fairy Door Company is here to spread the magic year-round.
Irish Fairy Doors are small hand-made wooden doors that help fairies relocate into human homes. Children place the door somewhere in their home and leave a small key outside the door at night. If the key is gone in the morning, that means a fairy has "moved" in and will live with the family.
The toy seeks to foster imaginative play for children and parents and provides digital content on its website that allows you to register your fairy's name and download stories.
The company launched two years ago in Ireland and has since spread to the United Kingdom and the United States. In just two months, the company has garnered more than $100,000 on Amazon in the U.S. alone.
For adventurous kids aged 6 and up, Razor has developed Jetts, a strap-on set of wheels that can be used for transportation or for doing tricks at a local skate park.
When strapped to the shoe, the wheels are reminiscent of Heelys roller shoes, but have the advantage of being removable. The product will retail for $39.99 and fit any size shoe.
For advanced riders, Razor offers spark pads that create burst of sparks when struck against the pavement. Extra pads are available for $4.99.