new york toy fair

Though Forbes Magazine is not normally associated with board games reporting, it has published the occasional article on the hobby over the past couple of years.  In the intersection of lifestyle, innovation, technology, and family life, Forbes has invested some time in getting to know the board game hobby better.  Recently, it paid a visit to this year’s New York Toy Fair and discovered 30 new board games they felt should not be missed. Included in their report is a 50-minute video of the 30 games explained by the game presenters at the New York Toy Fair.  Some of the games in the video were just announced at the toy fair and provides some of the first looks at the game.  A few were older games that have been out for a number of years or were recently re-released.  Of course, Villainous, which took Toy of the Year award to the New York Toy Fair, tops the list.  Other great games such as Photosynthesis, Planet, Stuffed Fables, and Bunny Kingdom can be found on the Forbes list.  Check out the Forbes article to see their full list and their video report from the 2019 New York Toy Fair.  


Love it or hate it, the board game Talisman is an important part of modern dungeon-crawl board game history. First produced in 1983 by Games Workshop and designer Robert Harris, Talisman is a roll and move game with multitudes of characters to play, items to find, monsters to slay, and expansions galore. The game has seen versions migrate through various companies, most notably the 4th edition published by Fantasy Flight Games jointly with Games Workshop. After the split between those two companies in 2017, the future of the game franchise was unknown, but a recent press release has revealed that the newest publisher to jointly produce the “Magical Quest Game” will be USAopoly. Details are few, but it does appear to be the nostalgic game back again from the dead, rather than the offshoot game recently released from Pegasus Spiele. However, the press release discusses “two new licensed editions”, which could mean Harry Potter, Disney, or even James Bond, all of which have been put into games by USAopoly in the past. For more details, check out the official press release from the New York Toy Fair.

Games Workshop have previewed new board games while at the New York Toy Fair 2018. Blitz Bowl is a smaller, quicker, and more intense version of Blood Bowl. Each player seeks to distinguish themselves in the eyes of Nuffle (Blood Bowl’s patron deity). Blitz Bowl is designed to be a standalone and more accessible version of Blood Bowl.

Space Marine Adventures has players team up to break into a Necron labyrinth. 1-4 players choose their hero, each with unique skills, to battle the Necron guardians and whatever hazards are along the way. The kits will have easy to build figures and feature intuitive gameplay so that those aged as young as 8 can easily play. Space Marine Adventures works as an introduction to the Warhammer 40k Universe and is intended for both family game nights or more serious board game sessions.

Neither game has official release dates but announcements are expected on the Games Workshop Facebook pages.

As it seems to be the thing these days at game companies, North Star Games has announced a new imprint within their company, simply called Happy Planet Games.  The games under this name are said to “raise the happiness level of everyone playing”, which is a lofty and noble goal to have.  The first game that will grace this line is one that is already out, Happy Salmon.  The name Happy Planet derived from the fact that everyone who played the game commented on how fun it was and that they felt happier after playing.  So to continue the warm and fuzzy feelings North Star has announced two other games in the line, Funky Chicken and Monster Match.

Funky Chicken is a new party game n the style of Happy Salmon, but instead of different handshakes now you are performing different dance moves.  You might be bumping hips, spinning people around, or even doing the funky chicken to get your cards played out first.  There is even the possibility to mix Funky Chicken and Happy Salmon to have a really crazy game.

The other is a simpler, but just as fast paced game, called Monster Match.  What’s simple is that in the game you roll a die that gives you some attribute, like three eyes or four arms.  Then it’s a race to see who can find this monster and catch it first.  Each successful capture gets you donut points, and the person with the most points at the end is the winner.

You can find Happy Salmon on shelves now in two different colors, and look for Funky Chicken and Monster Match to make their debut at the New York Toy Fair.  You can find out more in the press release below.

North Star Games Launches Happy Planet Games

Raising the Happiness Level of All Who Play!

Kensington, MD (February 12, 2018) – Set to be introduced at this year’s American International Toy Fair in New York City, North Star Games is excited to announce its new line of games called Happy Planet. It’s not just a new line of games – it’s a brand-new breed of games.

Happy Planet games are unique because they all share one quality: they raise the happiness level of everyone playing. Yes, these games make people happier!

After countless hours of observing people worldwide playing the wildly successful Happy Salmon card game, a 2018 TOTY Game of the Year Finalist, the folks at North Star Games noticed something fascinating: players always commented on how much fun they had and how happy they felt after playing the game – they always had big smiles on their faces. Even those watching the game were laughing and having a great time. North Star Games realized that playing, and even watching, Happy Salmon increased a player’s happiness level. The plan quickly became clear: create games that make people happy.

“Many games are great fun to play, but do they really make people happy? Happy Planet games have the ability to increase a player’s level of happiness” states Dominic Crapuchettes, Founder and Co-President of North Star Games. “We’ve seen it countless times. These quick and extremely fun games instantly get everyone, whether playing or observing, smiling, laughing and feeling energized. As an added bonus, nobody really cares who wins – they just want to play again!”

Funky Chicken and Monster Match join Happy Salmon as the newest members of the Happy Planet line. North Star Games will be playing these games and more at their Toy Fair Booth, #6629.

About Funky Chicken

Take all the excitement of Happy Salmon, add funky dance moves, pack it in a chicken, and you’ve got… Funky Chicken! You’ll be spinning in place, hip-bumping, swinging with your partner and, of course, doing the iconic “Funky Chicken”. Play Funky Chicken by itself or combine it with Green Happy Salmon to create a n- apping, feather- ying good time! Players: 3-6; Ages 6+; Playtime: 2 Minutes

About Monster Match

Monster Match is the screaming-fast game of catching cute, donut-eating monsters. Players roll the special “Monster Dice” and race to find a monster that matches the dice rolled. How fast can you find a monster with 3 eyes…or 4 arms? Just be faster than the other players to win donut points! But watch out… if you go too fast, you might catch the wrong monster and lose your donuts!
Players: 2-6; Ages 6+; Playtime: 10 Minutes

About North Star Games

North Star Games is the publisher of award-winning party, family, and strategy games. Wits & Wagers is the most award-winning party game in history, Evolution is used in the Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Oxford, and Happy Salmon has become a gaming phenomenon. For more information on these games and more, visit

Toy Fair 2018 is right around the corner.  February 17-20 will mark the dates of this New York Trade Show. Cryptozoic Entertainment will be previewing a lot of new games at this year’s fair. Rick and Morty has been a popular IP recently and Cryptozoic is bringing three Rick and Morty titles along with them: The Ricks Must Be Crazy, Pickle Rick, and The Rickshank Rickdemption.   In addition to the Rick and Morty games, Crypotzoic is adding two new entries to their DC Deck-Building series: Rebirth and Crisis Expansion Pack 4.  They are also bringing The Arrival (Martin Wallace), a strategy board game where players assume the role of a tribe leader and Wallet, a 2-7 player party game where players need to convince the cops of their innocence.  Cryptozoic will preview these games (and a few more) at its booth (#5344) during the Toy Fair. 

Gamewright the makers of great games for the family has announced 8 releases.  These additions include a 10th anniversary addition to Sleepy Queens and 3 new expansions for Rory’s Story Cubes.

They will be showing off all of these titles at New York Toy Fair.  At their booth they will have Miranda Everts the designer of Sleepy Queens.  When she did her design she was 6.  You can check out Tom Vasel’s written review from when that game initially was released here.

Publishers description of new titles



A Cooperative Whodunit Game

Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing, and now it’s a chicken chase to crack the case! Move around the board to gather clues and then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects. You’ll have to work together quickly because the guilty fox is high-tailing it towards the exit! Will you halt the hungry hooligan before it flies the coop… or will you be Outfoxed?

Ages: 5+
Players: 2-4
Playing time: 20 minutes

flashlights and fireflies

Flashlights & Fireflies™

The Game of Shine and Seek

Get ready for a backyard dash-through-the-dark in this game of firefly-powered flashlight freeze tag! First, catch fireflies to power up your flashlight. Then shine it on other players before they sneak back to home base. All along, watch out for bats, raccoons, and other nighttime critters that are out to trip up your tracks. Be the first to reach home and you’ve outshined the competition!

Ages: 6+
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 15 minutes

Super Tooth

Super Tooth™

The Dino-mite Card Game

Trap the Triceratops! Apprehend the Apatosaurus! Race to capture sets of matching dinosaurs in this ferociously fun card game. The bigger the set, the bigger your reward. But don’t bite off more than you can chew, or you may fall prey to a Velociraptor, a volcano, or even the dreaded T. Rex! Collect the most sets and you’ll go down in prehistory!

Ages: 6+
Players: 2 – 4
Playing time: 15 minutes

Sleepy Queens

Sleeping Queens™ Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition

A Royally Rousing Card Game

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of this beloved card game with a deluxe tin edition that includes new queens and kings and special stickers! Rise and Shine! The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell and it’s your job to wake them up. Use strategy, quick thinking and a little luck to rouse these napping nobles from their royal slumbers. Play a knight to steal a queen or take a chance on a juggling jester. But watch out for wicked potions and dastardly dragons! The player who wakes the most queens wins.

Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Playing time: 15 minutes



A Game of Dice and Daring

Dare to enter Dragonwood! Deep in the heart of this mythical forest lurk angry ogres, giggling goblins, and even the famed and fearsome fire-breathers themselves! Collect sets of adventurer cards to earn dice, which you will use to roll against your foes. Stomp on some fire ants, shriek at a grumpy troll, or strike the menacing orange dragon with a magical silver sword. Choose your strategy carefully because the landscape of Dragonwood is ever-changing. Only the bravest will overcome the odds to emerge victorious!

Ages: 8+
Players: 2 – 4
Playing Time: 20 minutes

Story Cubes Mix

Rory’s Story Cubes® MIX

Enchanted, Clues, and Prehistoria

Three thematic expansions for the best-selling Rory’s Story Cubes. Add a touch of mystery with “Clues,” a dash of fairy tale magic with “Enchanted,” or even a dinosaur encounter with “Prehistoria!” Mix these with other sets of Rory’s Story Cubes for an experience beyond imagination!

Ages: 8+
Players: 1+
Playing Time: 15 minutes

Go Nuts

Go Nuts!™

The Completely Cracked-Up Dice Game

Take your cheeky chances on this quick playing dice game of nut gathering nuttiness. Pile up points by rolling the dice and adding up acorns, while avoiding any cars along the way. If you roll all squirrels, scurry to score as many nuts as you can before your opponents’ dogs chase you away! The player with the most points wins.

Ages: 8+
Players: 2 – 5
Playing time: 15 minutes

Sneaky Cards

Sneaky Cards™

Play It Forward

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: become a secret agent of joy, spreading art and intrigue to an unsuspecting public. Inside each box is an interactive scavenger hunt that will inspire creativity and reward audacity. Take a selfie with a stranger, create a collaborative doodle, become a flash mob of one. Complete each objective and then pass the card along to an unwitting accomplice, who now becomes part of the game! The fun is ever-expanding, but it all starts with you – Play it forward! Sneaky Cards

Ages: 12+
Players: 1+

spielwarenmesse banner

Over on BoardGameGeek, W. Eric Martin posted a geeklist previewing all the games scheduled to be shown at the 66th Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair in Nürnberg, Germany (January 28 through February 2) and the 112th Annual American International Toy Fair in New York (February 14 through 17). While retail availability is uncertain, these games will at least be viewable, and in some cases demoed, at one of the events.

“Nürnberg and New York won’t be available for purchase immediately, instead appearing in stores over the next few months. Think of this list as a preview of what you might see appear in stores throughout the first half of 2015 (although some games won’t appear until Q3/Q4 2015).”

Here’s the full list of games by publisher:

AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH

Alle Vögel sind schon da!
Bubble Bomb
Five Crowns Junior
GeoCards Europa
Mein erstes Bohnanza
Unser Baumhaus

Drei Magier Spiele

Särge schubsen

Pegasus Spiele

Imperial Settlers
Bling Bling Gemstone
VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game

Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH

3 gewinnt!
Dragons: Wettflug zur Dracheninsel
Wer war’s: Das Kartenspiel

Schmidt Spiele

Bad Bunnies
Bibi & Tina: Voll Verhext – Das Spiel zum Film
Die Maus: Reise durch Deutschland
Funny Farmer
Kniffel Master
Mia and me: Einhörner in Gefahr
Qwirkle Cards
Schnell, Prinzessin Sissi!

Check out the geeklist for descriptions and details on these upcoming releases.