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At One of the World's Largest Toy Fairs, A Computer Tablet for Junior

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The world's third-largest annual trade fair for toy-makers expected to draw more than 30,000 people begins Sunday at the Javits Center.

More than 1,100 exhibitors are signed up to show off the latest in games and puzzles at the American International Toy Fair. Among the hotly anticipated items is an iPad-like tablet computer for kids aged four to nine from Hong Kong toymaker Vtech.

Chris Byrne, content director for timetoplaymag, said he expects to see a lot of adult-geared gadgets adapted for the children's marketplace.

"Here's the thing: kids see technology around them, and the toy industry has always reflected the culture at large," Byrne said. "You go back and look at toy catalogs from the 20s, and what were the toys for girls? Dolls and ironing boards."

Now, he said, you're more likely to see toy mobile phones and computers. Many items on display won't go on sale until fall.

The Toy Industry Association of America said wholesale toy sales in 2010 were $21.87 billion, up two percent from 2009. More than a quarter of all toys sales worldwide happen in the United States.

The fair continues through Wednesday.

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