Late last month, from February 22–25, the 2020 New York Toy Fair delivered yet another year of thrilling reveals from the biggest names in the business as well as a long list of innovative small companies and startups. The massive event at NYC’s Jacob K. Javits Center is closed to consumers and the general public, so we did the rounds for our readers in an effort to find some of the hottest toys on the market, or coming soon.
We kept the Hamptons firmly in mind as we delved deep into this rare gathering of folks united in their pursuit of one common goal—bringing fun (and even a bit of education and nostalgia) to kids and adult gamers and collectors alike. Could there be a more worthy endeavor? Here’s what we found.
Perhaps the toy world’s biggest player, Hasbro came out swinging this year, especially with their Marvel Legends line of 6-inch superhero action figures. Specifically, fans were overjoyed to see their series of figures based on the X-Men movies, including two versions of East Hampton’s Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. One super-articulated sculpt, from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, depicts Jackman’s iconic character in jeans and leather jacket with freshly blown hair, while an Amazon-exclusive offering features the adamantium-lined mutant in jeans with gold belt buckle, white tank top, dogtags, a rage-filled alternate head and, of course, his signature claws akimbo (in bone and metal). Also look for Hasbro’s full line of Black Widow movie action figures featuring multiple likenesses of Amagansett actress Scarlett Johansson (pictured at top of page).
Among their many action figures based on horror, sci-fi and action movie franchises, toy licensing giant NECA revealed the world’s first 8-inch action figures from East Hampton director Steven Spielberg’s 1975 hit Jaws, on shelves this fall. Starting with Chief Martin Brody, as played by late Sagaponack homeowner Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw’s Quint—based largely on Montauk shark fisherman Frank Mundus—the likenesses are spot-on. Both highly articulated figures come with actual fabric clothing and lots of accessories, such as bloody chum bucket with ladle, scuba tank, various guns, CB radio, beer cans and more. An in-scale shark is due for release later this year. Also look for NECA’s 7-inch figures of Quogue’s Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future (pic at top of page)!
RELATED – A Long Time Coming: Jaws Action Figures
Pacific Cycle showed off a full line of bicycles from Montauk-inspired Netflix series Stranger Things. Heritage brands are on full display on these eye-catching, retro two-wheelers, like Max’s silver and yellow Mongoose BMX with axle pegs and front light; Lucas’s green Schwinn Predator with right-angled, Vietnam-era Fulton flashlight and pouch (pictured at top of page); and Mike’s Schwinn Stingray-style bike with banana seat, tall handlebars and front light. These will make any local child of the ’80s feel nostalgic for bygone days, and your kids will love the bikes for sporting great designs, functionality and, depending on their age, a connection to this hit show. The Schwinn range also has perfect beach cruisers for jaunts to town and, well, the beach. Check out the Huron for men and Mikko for women. Visit pacific-cycle.com to see the full lines of BMX and beach cruisers.
For history buffs looking to bond with their LEGO-loving kids, nothing could be better than COBI’s extensive and reasonably priced selection of construction block building sets. The scope of the line is truly awe-inspiring, and a bit overwhelming for those of us who might want them all. Choose from dozens of modern and historic war machines, including WWI, WWII, Vietnam and Cold War-era tanks, ships and fighter planes, as well as huge models of the RMS Titanic, USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, USS Constitution (aka Old Ironsides), Space Shuttle Discovery, Saturn V rocket and the Apollo 11 lunar module, which has local interest since the real one was built at Grumman, right here on Long Island. COBI even makes a German U-boat, like the sub that delivered saboteurs to the U.S. via Amagansett during WWII. Find an incredible array of sets at cobi.pl.
Educational Insights’ upcoming Circuit Explorer educational building sets (shown below) aren’t Hamptons related, but they gained lots of attention at Toy Fair. Populated by adorable mini action figures, the space station construction sets boast an attractive design and fun, curriculum-based STEAM play that safely and intuitively teaches kids to create working electrical circuits. Children will figure out how to illuminate lights by connecting various elements—and they won’t even know they’re learning! Due for release this summer. Learn more at educationalinsights.com/circuitexplorer.