Greetings my friends, its time to lend some overview opinion to our friends over at the Toy Insider. By now I am certain that you know about them since we’ve been hitting their events for about six years but based on the COVID-19 Pandemic, their amazing “Sweet Suite” will once again be done in the virtual sense. I’m going to present the same kind of exploration as I did with the 2020 “Sweet Suite” and its companion “Holiday of Play @ Home” so let’s examine the exhibitors that are present today.
The way I did this those past times was screen grab the exhibitor room and then offered up some opinion on it all and now without any further adieu here is the virtual “Main Floor”. This presentation was more fun that I initially expected and it was like being inside a video game.
LKPR: Before I get into the whole affair, I clicked into the room where the PR team was and they double checked that I had all the information needed which I did. I always try to be as positive as possible with the media reps because they deal with a lot of hassles and have much to sort out. Any other scribes or photographers looking to get into this kind of thing should take that as good advice.
Bandai: So onto Bandai I went and I love some of the products coming from this company. I am a big fan of action figures and while I don’t 100% have a grasp on much of the Anime world, they do have a terrific line of Anime Heroes. I am waiting for them to make a Tokyo Ghoul one and hope this is coming down the pike. They also have a great new collection of Gundam robots. These are sized at around 5″ or so and makes storing them a lot easier than some of the bigger stuff. I want to get my hands on the whole group since each one is different and gives you a cool collection.
WowWee: The folks at WowWee are awesome and in addition to their collection of Fingerlings, the company has a lot of Baby Shark items for those proper age fans of the character will enjoy. I am also a big fan of their Power Treads. Fun stuff for sure.
The Noble Collection: The Noble Collection has a whole lot of awesome coming at the consumer. They made a 3D Chess set from “Star Trek” which intrigues me greatly. I am also a big fan of their Bendyfigs which are highly detailed bendable figures. They have a whole bunch of different licenses like Universal Monsters, DC Comics and Star Trek. Having seen many of them in a video feed I know that I must have about a dozen of them. If they secure a KISS license I am done.
Jazwares: Though I didn’t see these items during my quick pop into the Jazwares virtual room, they have the figures for AEW which is All Elite Wrestling and the Fortnite figures. I am more a fan of the latter despite never having played the game. Those characters are just so out of this world. If I can get my hands on any I will likely do an action figure piece for PiercingMetal since that would fit better over there.
Spin Master: Of the many products that Spin Master has under their brand, the recent Batman figures are my own personal favorite. They are smaller and best compared to the GI Joe’s or Star Wars figures of the past. I didn’t spend much time here today because they were spotlighting other items that were not in my zone at the time.
Hasbro: I couldn’t secure any time at the Hasbro room during the event but I do plenty of posts about the more geek-centric things on the other site anyway. I try to keep up with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars lines whenever possible and let’s not forget the Transformers and GI Joe. All four are some of my favorite collectibles of them all.
Hexbug: Readers of the site know we’ve been fans of the Hexbug family of products for quite a few years now. I think that I met them during my first ever Toy Fair in 2011 so that is a lifetime ago in terms of website and blog creativity. My new favorite thing from Hexbug are the Junkbots but I have yet to get my hands on a couple to examine them in person for a video or product overview.
Cats Vs. Pickles: My background on “Cats Vs. Pickles” is limited but I know that they are a series of awesome looking and weird plushies that come in blind bags. While I’ve mentioned that any of the blind packaging stuff is lost on me, I do see the fun in being surprised by what’s inside the package. It’s kind of like wondering what prize was in the old Cracker Jack boxes or the cereal when stuff like that was more commonplace.
LEGO: I didn’t manage to get any time with our friends at the LEGO company but resolving the need for information is only an email away post-event. Collectors of this company’s wares know that they make awesome sets and feature lots of superheroes from both DC and Marvel Comics along with the Star Wars licsences. I haven’t done any LEGO unboxing or building clips so maybe I can get my hands on something and do that and build it for a video on one of the channels. Something to look into later on for sure.
Funko: Though I didn’t do much with the Funko reps today I don’t need much more background on them. You know how addictive their Pops are and how many music and pop culture licenses they have at their disposal. For the Metal side of the fence they have offered up KISS, Slayer, Metallica and Iron Maiden Eddie’s and even a couple of members of Ghost. I still need to buy the Eddie’s but during the pandemic there is only so much disposable cash to go around.
Mattel: Another group that I only popped over too based on having a strong brand background was Mattel. They do Barbie, He-Man and Hot Wheels for those not in the know and these are the most prominent of product lines. I’d like to talk more about these new He-Man action figures over on PiercingMetal since the property is still very popular among that side of the readership fence.
MGA Entertainment: The biggest property from MGA has to be the LOL Surprise and if you’ve kids of a certain age you know this product line well. It’s not in my own wheelhouse but of course it goes over well when the gifting time comes around. Good stuff to come from MGA as they continue to expand the reach of LOL Surprise.
Schleich: The folks at Schleich are continually knocking it out of the park with their figurines and playsets. There is truly something for everyone in the family and even those older types who just want something cool for their home or work office. I love dinosaurs and they have a great batch of these and if you’re a fan of fairies and mermaids they have you in mind. Now they might not be doing the superhero stuff that we saw at a few Toy Fairs ago, they do have an amazing line of fantasy creatures under the Eldrador banner. These are intense looking and I might just look into collecting these myself but first I think I need a T-Rex.
ViacomCBS: While continuing to do my best to maximize the time I had it was only a quick hello to ViacomCBS who have some Baby Shark and Blues Clues items to share with the masses. I will spare you the singing of the Baby Shark song since it will stay with you for the rest of the day.
YouTube Lounge: So I didn’t spend too much time in the YouTube Lounge and that was mostly based on the time left in the event. It was more important for me to engage with as many of the vendors as I could while I was able too and I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on in said lounge anyway. Maybe it was a place to share ideas or learn how to grow ones branded channel but I am sure there is a YouTube video about how to do that on the network itself. It might surprise you to know that we now have “3” branded channels and that’s because there are “3” different websites. Each one speaks to a slightly different audience but each can be appreciated in tandem since I cross-reference the creativity. We would love it if you spent a little time on the Official YouTube Channels for PiercingMetal, Piercing Ken and Ken Pierce Media. Please visit and click “subscribe” and click the notification bell and do leave topical comments for us to know you are out there. If you subscribe it also helps build our demographic and let us know what steps we might need to take to better entertain you. As Captain Picard might say “Make It So”.
Nintendo: I am not currently doing all that much on the gaming side but with all of the super hero and big action games coming up I might need to address this. I don’t have a Nintendo system at the Media Command HQ and am still using a PS3. I know, I know, its time to upgrade the thing. I initially bought that for Blu-ray playing and the streaming abilities but now I digitally watch my movies and stream via the Roku player.
Flycatcher Toys: My brief hello with Flycatcher Toys found me learning about a cool robot called “Smart Sketcher” which will awaken the artist in the creative members of your family circle.
Super Unlimited: One of my favorite things from Super Unlimited are the miniature versions of classic toy products. These are amazing and worth building a collection of for sure. Just think you can own a few dozen of them and fit them with room to spare in a shoebox.
Freeman Promotions: Freeman Promotions are the folks I know from the Playmobil products and I sure do love those. In addition to charming sets and poseable figures they now have Ghostbusters, Back To The Future and Scooby-Doo among their product lines. Believe me when I say that even older collectors like myself will find some appeal in these. Dare I hope for a KISS license? I’m in trouble if that happens.
Just Play All Day: Sadly I didn’t even get into the JPAD room based on time that I had but I wanted to mention them as being here just the same. They have a much younger skew than I speak about here on “The Chronicles”.
Toy Insider: None of this stuff would be possible without the tireless efforts of the Toy Insider. I’ve known them about five years now with my very first forway into their happenings taking place back in 2016 and that event was on a giant yacht. Since that time I’ve attended both of their events each year and really love what they do for the Toy Industry and bringing so many cool things to light. When I recalled back to that first adventure I got nostalgic and looked back on my coverage and if you feel like being sentimental along with me just click HERE to be transported back in time to the bygone days of 2016. I’ll wait for you to return before continuing along.
Stretcheez: I didn’t get to examine this company all that much and quickly investigated with that trusty Google when it was time to write this up. This is stretchable play food. Remember your parents telling you NOT to play with your food? Well now you can as long as its one of the products from Stretcheez. I do kinda want one of their burgers and the pizza for my own personal use here at HQ.
Moose Toys: So many awesome items come from the folks at Moose and I guess that I key into the more geeky stuff like the Goo-Jit-Su figures which are stretchable monster warriors. They remind me of the old Stretch Armstrong figure that I remember friends trying to test the limits of when I was a kid.
Schylling: Some of the rooms I just breezed through were ones like the Schylling folks and this is more based on time left to explore than anything else. They make the “Nee Doh” stuff which is another kind of compound that looks very fun and for a number of different age groups. Like I’ve mentioned, sometimes stuff like this is a good stress relief for the office space.
Play Monster: Though the Play Monster people have the awesome Koosh and Spirograph stuff to offer the customer, I was fascinated by the Snap Ships. These are model kits that just look awesome and I learned during the session that there is a YouTube Channel about them. Very interesting. If I get my hands on one of these I will unbox and try to build it. These kinds of video clips are all the rage it seems so why not do the same.
Photobooth: The photo booth idea is always a fun one and it let’s you take a “selfie” from the comforts of home from your favorite laptop or mobile device. I used the mobile this time around and while my overall coverage is posting here on “The Chronicles”, I posted this year’s Suite photograph on the Official Instagram of PiercingMetal. With that site being the main reason I met the Toy Insider team in the first place I wanted to send some of you over there. Truth be told there are almost 10K images to peruse through and I think you’ll like it. Feel free to follow and engage or comment on as much of the content as you wish.
Please know there is a #piercingken Instagram as well so please search that hashtag to find it 🙂
National Geographic: I just love the folks at National Geographic and all the things they have been putting out for the kiddies. They are big on the STEM stuff which is of course Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in case you didn’t know. There are experiment kits and excavation kits, just so much interesting stuff that is worth examining.
Exploding Kittens: Also present but not managed to get any time with this time around were the Exploding Kittens folks but let me say that they have some truly fun games that keep you engaged and happy.
So that’s going to bring me to the end of this virtual event overview and I hope that you enjoyed it all. I extend a world of thanks to the folks over at the Toy Insider for including me once more and cannot wait to examine the goody box in a brand-new video for our YouTube Channel. Stay tuned for that and in the meantime you can and should follow the Insider group over on their website and respective social media profiles. I’ve linked them below for your convenience and that’s a wrap on this one for now. Until we meet again I say please stay safe out there and wear a mask, maintain social distancing and please, please, please get your vaccination.