OWTK Toy News & Reviews

2013 NYC Toy Fair Was Sick And So Was I

I’m known to do it. And I do it often. When there is a certain something that must be done — gutters that need cleaning, a long drive that needs, um, driving — I execute. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t the strength or the stamina, my body gives it to me in that moment and I finish. Then I collapse. But I finish.

I push myself hard and assume that my body and mind, as they have in the past, will not fail me. But last week, I came undone. Unglued. Unhinged. Undead. Okay, maybe not that last one, but I could’ve easily passed for a wayward extra from Warm Bodies while haphazardly walking the streets of New York City. It is somewhat surprising that I didn’t get mowed down by a cab. I barely remember how I got from one place to the next up there. There may have been a moment where I was standing still in the middle of 8th Ave. I don’t know. It was all a blur.

As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol and has never touched a drug, mainly because of my neurosis about always being present and acutely aware of myself and my surroundings, what happened to me last week was about as frightening as anything I’ve experienced. Its only rival being the codeine incidents of 1986. I was unaware, and not present in the moment, in almost any moment. I didn’t know what in the hell was going on for large stretches of my time in the city. That is my definition of hell on earth. That, and Kidz Bop.

There is a large part of me that doesn’t want to write this next bit because y’all are likely to break out a symphony of tiny violins to serenade my humble-bragging ass right off of the internet. But I must say it to finish this story. I was in Los Angeles for Grammy weekend and burned the candle on both ends, staying out late in Griffith Park (totally NOT making out with random women) and cavorting on the Sunset Strip with funny and talented people, and then waking up early to exercise in the mornings. I felt great, and felt that I looked great(ish). What more could a guy ask for whilst in Tinseltown? The problem was that I booked a nasty parlay of a redeye flight, which I can never sleep on, thus defeating the benefit of such travel, and a train to NYC for Monday evening into Tuesday morning. I was an absolute wreck, and by the time I arrived at the Javits Center to pick up my media badge for Toy Fair, I felt gross, fat, dirty, smelly, and like I was going to throw up. And it was freezing cold. Sooooo, pretty much the opposite of my ab fab time on the opposite coast.

I’d have pissed away the whole event if I hadn’t sold a few stories to a couple of websites. I know, poor me right, I was going to make money looking at all the new toys you’ll be buying and your kids will be clamoring for this year. I was going to Toy Fair not so much for shits and giggles, like usual. I was going there to work. Shudder the thought. And so I pushed myself up there and around Javits and to an offsite for an afternoon Hasbro tour, where, I finally just fell apart. I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t go anywhere, I just had get my ass home. Because I still had 2.5 hours of transport to suffer through before I could be reunited with my bed. Oh yeah, my family too, but mostly my bed.

I say all of this to say that I still think I penned some pretty high quality Toy Fair content for Red Tricycle (published now) and Philly Kids Thing (coming soon). I had sold ideas, specific pitches that I searched and searched for cool products that qualified under one of three banners: Familiar Faces in New Places, Tiny Toys for Urban Family Life, and Dad & Daughter Activities.

Please click on those links above, and show those sites some love for having hired me to almost kill myself write about spiffy new goodies on display at Toy Fair. I’ve got the scoop on some cool new Batman stuff, Skylanders, LEGO, My Little Pony, Melissa & Doug, and more. You’re the bestest. Thanks.

*Photo of the new LEGO Batman game board, and, clearly, of Mr. Short Pants himself, Robin.

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