Navigating the American International Toy Fair is like plummeting headfirst at warp speed into a kaleidoscopic netherworld designed by a hyperactive 6-year-old Jackson Pollock.
There’s hardly a muted color in sight. Giant, voiceless plush mascots roam the halls, veering toward photo-seeking fans. The sounds of squealing robots, jingly children’s music, whirring motors and beeping buttons waft through the aisles.
Stacks upon shelves upon piles upon hangers of toys – spinning tops, dolls with artificial intelligence, computer puzzles turned board games, spa kits for 6-year-olds – crowd the hundreds of booths.
In the front hall of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, a massive Power Ranger statue looms over the proceedings like a Ramses II colossus at the Temple of Luxor in Egypt.