Make Hamptons Beaches Your Playground with Cool New Toys

Fin Fun Mermaid Tail
Fin Fun Mermaid Tail, Photo:

Dan’s Papers dropped by Toy Fair 2017 at the Jacob Javitz Center in Manhattan on Monday and got a look at some hot new toys and games that will make our Hamptons beach excursions even more fun this summer. The massive Toy Industry Association, Inc. event, from February 18–21, covered a record 443,000 net square feet of exhibit space this year and featured more than 7,000 unique retail outlets showing hundreds of thousands of toys from more than 100 countries. It wasn’t easy finding all the beach-centric goodies!

Fin Fun Mermaid Tail
Offering kids, and adults, the ability to transform into a mythic creature of the sea definitely made the Fin Fun Mermaid Tail one of the coolest items at Toy Fair. Built with a patented neoprene Monofin and 100% swimmable and machine washable fabric leg sleeve, these are not only amazing items for undersea cosplay, they’re also a really fun and functional tool for gliding through the water. Adults and kids will have a blast trying their hand (or feet) at swimming like a mermaid or just flopping around on the beach where ocean meets sand. The breathable, fade-resistant tails come in a huge array of colors and patterns, as well as a couple different styles, including tails for toddlers. Fin Fun also makes matching bathing suit tops and bottoms. Great for the beach, the pool or the yacht, who wouldn’t want to have one of these in the Hamptons? Along with showing the swimmable Mermaid Tails, the company introduced its new Wild Things Wearable Animal Blankets, which put kids inside the body of a shark or polar bear and could be great for warming up in style after a swim.

AquaBattle weapons by Monkey Business Sports
AquaBattle arsenal by Monkey Business Sports, Photo: Oliver Peterson

AquaBattle by Monkey Business Sports
In the ever-growing foam fighting genre of toys, Monkey Business Sports (MBS) had a pretty intimidating arsenal on display from their AquaBattle line of kid-friendly weapons. Unlike Nerf, among others, this combat-ready gear is specifically for water play—each club, axe or projectile is designed to soak up lots of water to drench your opponents when struck. It’s like a hand-to-hand version of a water gun fight. Just eking out a win over the SplashChucks nunchucks, our favorite has to be Thor’s Hammer, a monstrous weapon that can hold a whole lot of water. Add the Mega Bow to the mix and your children have two of Marvel’s Avengers—Thor and Hawkeye—ready to skirmish! MBS also makes a more standard line of play shooting weapons called FoamStrike, including foam bows slingshots, throwers and boomerangs. But the best off-the-beach item is definitely their Hairy Bigfoot Stomp Walkers, which are exactly as they sound: a set stilts with furry foam Bigfoot feet, perfect for young Hamptons hoaxers (though they’d be more successful in the Pacific Northwest, or the Himalayas).

ParaShoot by Djubi
ParaShoot by Djubi, Photo: Oliver Peterson

DartBall, SlingBall and ParaShoot by Djubi Outdoor Toys
Djubi Outdoor Toys showed off some of their tried and true products from the company’s last 9 years, along with the brand new ParaShoot ball launcher at Toy Fair. The company got its start with SlingBall, an updated version of “catch” using hand-held racquet nets for catching, and ball with a elastic slingshot-style loop that launches into the air using a hook on the side of each racquet. Their next innovation, DartBall, employs the same slingshot balls, but instead of catching them, kids fire the balls at a netted target. It’s basically a very beach-friendly way of playing darts—and no one risks getting stabbed in the head. Finally, Djubi shared ParaShoot, their newest product in the line. Parashoot uses the same launchers as DartBall, but the slingshot ball is actually a hollow orb that deploys a parachute once it’s airborne and descending. It’s fun to simply watch sail back down to earth, but it’s even more fun to catch it before it lands.

Bunch O Balloons PR image
Bunch O Balloons in action, Photo: Courtesy Zuru

Bunch O Balloons by Zuru
Water balloon fights just got a whole lot easier. Before Zuru acquired them, Bunch O Balloons started as a Kickstarter sensation, but the it eclipsed even that accomplishment by receiving Toy Fair’s 2016 Toy of the Year award in the Outdoor & Sports Toys category at Friday’s gala. And the award was well-deserved. This totally innovative product allows kids, and mischievous adults, to fill 35 water balloons at once simply by plugging it into a hose. Each Bunch O Balloons pack comes with three bunches of 35 balloons, and Zuru claims an industrious kid can fill 100 water balloons in less than 60 seconds. The balloons don’t even require tying off—each one has an O-ring attaching it to a tube extending out like a spoke from the central hub, which attaches to the hose, and as its water load reaches capacity, the filled balloon simply drops off, ideally into a bucket of water or swimming pool so it doesn’t break. Speaking of swimming pools, the video below shows crazy Korean video blogger Heopop use Bunch O Balloons to fill a 10-meter swimming pool with 50,000 water balloons! It looks like it was a bit of a chore, but imagine how long it would take without Bunch O Balloons? And for those who are surely asking about cleanup, Zuru says their balloons and O-rings are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, and the straws are made from recycled plastic.

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