NEW YORK — Local entrepreneurs joined hundreds of toy companies from around the world Saturday to show the hottest toys and games of 2017 at the 114th North American International Toy Fair.
The largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere kicked off at the Jacob K. Javits Center for a first look at the industry’s hottest items.
Companies like K’NEX unveiled their new 2017 line with 50 new products. K’NEX, which prides itself on connecting science, technology, engineering, math and arts with imagination is celebrating 25 years in business.
On display, K’NEX showed their new glow-in-the-dark roller coasters and ferris wheels.
Tucked within the doll area was a familiar New York scene. Five dolls stood at a New York City bus stop, one with a MetroCard in hand.
The City Girls from New York Doll Collection features five girls who represent what it is to be a New Yorker.
“Each girl is from a different borough of New York City, has a different lifestyle, has different challenges, different strengths,” said Beth Silver of New York Doll Collection.
Jasmin, Layla, Madison, Harper and Brianna Elizabeth share their stories about what it means to grow up and navigate life in the Big Apple.
Representing Staten Island, Jasmin moved to New York from Australia last year. She enjoys visiting farmers’ markets and planting flowers and herbs.
Madison, from Brooklyn, opens up about having dyslexia and how her parents and teachers help her.
Paired with the hundreds of accessories, New York Doll also has items to give the doll the feel of the five boroughs.
According to Silver, the girls will be very active on social media to tell their own stories.
“You’re going to be seeing the City Girls around New York City whether it’s at the Met or it’s at Third Avenue on the bus,” said Silver.
The 18-inch dolls will be available in the spring for $69.99 in local stores and online.
Among the vendors sharing their upcoming products was Drybranch/ Sport Design.
Vice President Howard Miller started the company in 1975 with his brother in their parent’s garage in Roslyn.
The business started after Miller’s older brother discovered the popular game Kadima in Israel. He brought the paddle board game back to the United States and began selling it.
Miller said the first store they got their game into was Herman’s World of Sporting Goods.
At the Toy Fair, the company showed their upcoming Emoji Reach Volley line for the summer. Kids will be able to volley a tennis ball on a board featuring their favorite Emojis.
When asked what advice Miller would give for someone wanting to start a toy company, he says it’s all about finding a product you love.
“Don’t take no for an answer because you’ll get rejected at times and you’ll find people that will be receptive,” said Miller.