Slime, dinos and games: Trends from New York Toy Fair

Sarah Whitten | CNBC

The annual New York Toy Fair offers a preview of the hottest trends in the toy industry, featuring big names like Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and Crayola, and revealing up-and-coming toymakers.

The toy industry grew 1 percent to $20.7 billion in 2017, according to the NPD Group. This growth was attributed to strong sales for collectibles, plush and dolls and social media trends like slime and fidget spinners.

From beloved brands like Marvel and "Star Wars" to break-out hits like Fingerlings, the show gives a preview of what kids will be putting on their wish lists during the holidays.

Slime, goo & putty

Sarah Whitten | CNBC

It seems the slime craze of 2017 was just the beginning.

From make-your-own slime to already-made buckets of the gooey stuff, kids will have no shortage of gunk to play with this year.

Crayola's Color Chemistry Lab Set contains a number of fun experiments for kids, including slime and Cra-Z-Art concocting its own line of glue and borax-free "slime activator" for those looking for a DIY experience.

Other companies like Wowwee and MGA Entertainment are saving parents from the mess of making slime and providing kids with already-made goo. Liquid Lava Putty is part of an extension line for Fingerlings, and Num-Num Dippers are a blind-pack collectible.

In addition, Cra-Z-Art and Jakks Pacific have partnered with Nickelodeon to produce products that take slime to the next level. Both companies are offering games that incorporate slime into the competition.

Tiny tech


You can thank Fingerlings for the influx of tiny, technical toys flooding the market this year.

The success of smaller, more affordable animatronic pets has spurred a number of companies to innovate for 2018.

Hasbro's line of FurReal Pets now offers three smaller and more affordable pets. Munchin' Rex, a snack-loving dinosaur, retails for $49.99. Check-up Zandi, a pet vet monkey, will be sold for $29.99, and Shaggy Shawn, a Yorkie pup that needs some grooming, has a suggested retail price of $24.99.

SpinMaster is selling Boxer, a small robot with a number of preprogrammed games, for $79.99.

The team at Mattel showcased Kamigami Robot raptors at Toy Fair over the weekend. Kids Fold and snap the plastic shell over the animatronic dinosaur shell and use the adjoining app to code and customize the raptors' movement, interactions, lights and sounds. It will retail for about $60.

Yuck! That's gross. 

Jakks Pacific

Kids like gross things, and the toy industry is capitalizing on it. This year, games and toys feature pimple popping, poo side-stepping and disgusting smells.

SpinMaster showcased Flush Force, collectibles that pop out of toilets, and Dr. Pimple Popper, a game that's all about popping zits, at Toy Fair. And it wasn't the only one. The brand is also launching a line of "Fuggler" a new twist on an ugly doll, featuring realistic looking human teeth.

Jakks Pacific has its own pimple popping game, Pop-A-Zit, and plans to launch a toilet paper spitball shooter.

From Mattel comes Flush N' Frenzy, a game that features a plunger and requires fast reflexes to catch a piece of flying poop as it bursts out of the top of a plastic toilet bowl.

If that wasn't enough, Hasbro is launching Don't Step In It, a game where kids have to make there way down a strip of "grass" while blindfolded and avoid as many squishy poops as possible.

Wowwee also joined the fray, debuting What's That Smell?, a board game where players have to scratch and sniff cards and identify different, sometimes disgusting smells.

Surprise! What'd you get?

Sarah Whitten | CNBC

Collectibles remain one of the strongest drivers of growth in the toy industry, and that trend isn't slowing anytime soon.

In 2017, sales of collectibles worldwide grew 14 percent to $3.9 billion, boosted by the popularity of L.O.L. Surprise, Hatchimals and Lego Mini-figures, according to NPD. In total, collectibles accounted for about 8 percent of total industry sales.

Expect to continue to see new collectibles from Hatchimals, L.O.L Surprise, Funko, TY, Fingerlings, Disney's Tsum Tsums and more.

Slow-rise squeeze toys, soft-gummy figures and glitter-coated animals will be among the most popular of these collectibles.

I used to play with that! 

Sarah Whitten | CNBC

This year, toy companies are tapping into its customers' love of nostalgia.

Adrienne Appell, a Toy Association spokeswoman, told CNBC that millennial parents have become a target for toymakers. She said to expect sales of toys that millennials used to play with as well as toy industry staples, like Monopoly and chess and checkers, to spike this year.

Last year, Hasbro kicked off its celebration of the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars" by selling toys from the series that resembled the packages from the early days of Kenner Toys. That continues this year.

The brand is also selling My Little Pony merchandise that goes back to its launch in 1983.

Cra-Z-Art has done something similar this year and released a retro package of its Magna Doodle.

Other brands are creating new merchandise that taps into that love of nostalgia. Funko is selling characters from "The Princess Bride" as well as Bob Ross ("The Joy of Painting") and Mr. Rogers figures.

The Jurassic Effect


With the release of "Jurassic World" this summer, several toy companies are producing dinosaur-themed toys.

Mattel owns the master license of the film, and has a number of products and promotional items to celebrate its release, including figures, dolls and role-play items.

Hasbro has Munchin' Rex, a small animatronic pet that's part of its FurReal line, Funko has a line of Pops! from the original "Jurassic Park" and the new film and Big Mouth, known for its odd pool floats, had a massive T-Rex on display.

Not so bored games


More and more shoppers are reaching for games in the toy aisle, especially games that have a shareable quality.

Fueled by interest in games like Hasbro's Speak Out and Pie Face, the games segment rose more than 20 percent in 2016. While that growth tempered slightly in 2017, the fervor for quirky, silly games has not.

This year, Hasbro has once again reformed its hot Pie Face game. Pie Face Cannon pits two players against each other, one with a cannon full of whipped cream and the other with a pair of buttons that when pressed at the right time bring a large red hand in front of their face.

Hasbro has other new games coming, including Chow Crown, Speech Breaker and Awkward Hugs.

Mattel is offering Handimonium, the tiny hands game, Escape Room in a Box and Dos — a new twist on Uno.

Those looking for a fun, and thoughtful, twist on tic-tac-toe should check out SpinMaster's Otrio, a game from Marbles, the brain store.