Thursday, February 11, 1999

The Toy Fair is in Town

Thursday is always a banner day in New York nightlife. Couple that with Toy Fair being in town and it just being a banner day for (birthday) parties, then you've got the makings of a short novel/cyber column.
  You remember the classics don't you? Classics are the things that you fondly recall
 when unenlightened, that you pick up to feel better, to get inspired, to enrich one's
 mind. Well. The classics are getting updated from Barbie ads to Playmobil toys. In
 fact, this morning (Thursday, February 11, 1999), I spent in the Princess Suite at the
 Sheraton listening intently to product managers and vice presidents of companies
 elaborate on the lovely event of collaborating on three new interactive CD-ROM
 games for children. Laura's Happy Adventure, Alex Builds His Farm and Hype--The
 Time Quest are all based on Playmobil's internationally known and much-loved toys.
 Alain Tascan, producer Playmobil Game Series at Ubi Soft Entertainment passionately
 spoke of how their target is quality and that they are trying to achieve the respect of
 the children and of the games. Kai Perlinger, new media products manager Playmobil
 spoke of how one of their challenges for this project was to take those squatty Little
 People into 3D characters. Vice president, third party relations of 3Dfx, Darlene
 Kindler helped us understand a bit more about the 3D graphics cards that assisted in
 the production of these games and Robin Raskin, editor-in-chief of "FamilyPC"
 presented a fun slide show on the history of games, starting with Pong. She spoke to
 how we have evolved from games that simply showcase technology and seem
 targeted for a sub-set of humans to ones that have plot mixed in with technical
 wizardry. After receiving a warm, snuggly Polartek jacket, a copy of Laura's Happy
 Adventures and a special edition Little People Laura, I swung by the Toy Building,
 which had the Rumpus Road Rocket ( polka-dotted painted bus
 parked outside and a Furby-billboard decorated newsstand. Milia Schmilia! Let's go to
 the Toy Fair!