Melissa & Doug Luncheon at Toy Fair

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The aisles were buzzing and people from all over the world were in attendance to check out the latest toys, games and products at Toy Fair, one of the largest toy trade shows in the U.S. Held at the Javitz Center in NYC, Momtrends was also in attendance and we were excited to host an intimate luncheon with some stellar bloggers and companies (GayNYC Dad, Peek a Baby, Macaroni Kid Downtown, KidzVuz, Dada Rocks, and Mom it Forward - to name a few) so that they can could learn more about Melissa & Doug and preview some of their latest products for 2012.

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To kick-off the event, Nicole spoke with the group about how Melissa & Doug are beginning to connect with bloggers and even how they are now working with Amy of Teach Mama and Valerie of Fun Frugal Family Blog as ambassadors of the company. Amy and Valerie went on to speak about their experience with the company and noted that Pinterest will be an exciting way to share pictures on how people are using the product line in an innovative way.

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Amy (Teach Mama), Sherri (Momtrends) and
Valerie (Fun Frugal Family Blog) holding down the booth

Maxi (PR and Social Media of Melissa & Doug) went on to state that they are excited to build these new relationships and hear from bloggers on what works and doesn't with their product line. Drew (e Commerce, Marketing and Social Media at Melissa & Doug) also noted that the company is learning more about how influential working with bloggers is and that every relationship and partnership is different. He also noted that the company is committed to being low-tech and with no apps. Although they understand this segment, it is important that they remain a company that focuses on imaginative play.

At the luncheon, Maxi and Drew shared the story of how the company started over 23 years ago. We were not only amazed at the success of the company, but the fact that they started the company when they were dating and now have six kids!

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Amy of Teach Mama and Mitch of Gay NYC Dad

A major highlight for the bloggers was having a chance to tour the incredible Melissa & Doug booth. Featuring products that we all know and love, we were also introduced to 10 new products for 2012.

Featuring products for kids of all ages, the latest products cover everything from puzzles to tea sets to accessories for the pool and games for everyone to enjoy.

We loved the Spanish Alphabet and Letter Sound Puzzles. Since kids pick up languages so quickly these puzzles are an incredible way to learn Spanish as well as the sequential order of the alphabet and letters. The puzzle features wooden pieces that are raised so that kids can easy to grasp them as they hear letter sounds. Available in mid-March, these puzzles are a great way to reinforce the letter sounds as well as introduce new words and practice Spanish-language skills.

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The Louie Lobster Claw Catcher was also a hit and we admired how it allows kids to incorporate imaginative play at the pool where they can handle and snap object in the colorful claws. Louie Lobster comes with three fishy sinkers to grab, plus lots of game ideas to inspire playtime in and out of the pool.

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We also admired the super cute Bella Butterfly Tea Set, a 17-piece butterfly-themed set featuring charming decorations that are also usable for real food!

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Whittle World was also a huge hit as we admired the collection of wooden play pieces, cool vehicles and bold colorful graphics that is designed to build key skills, spark creative narratives and inspire young imaginations.

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For older kids (8 and up), Melissa & Doug is releasing Suspend!, a hanging balance game that is sure to be an exciting family activity for 2012. A few of us tried this game and we all agreed that this is an exciting new addition to game night!

As bloggers it is important to connect with the companies that we care about and through this fun and informative luncheon Melissa & Doug demonstrated how they are ready to connect and eager to hear from a variety of bloggers as well as introduce their educational toys to our communities.

This was a sponsored event put on by the Momtrends event team. Many thanks to Melissa & Doug who made this possible!
To find out how to get involved or invited, email Sherri (at) momtrends (dot) com.

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