Story Planet goes to the NY Toy Fair

Last week, our intrepid ITA Manager Rebecca went on a scouting mission to the bizarre land known to Earthlings as NYC. Her assignment: To infiltrate the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and collect data on the 112th annual American International Toy Fair. The fair is a place where Earthling merchants gather to hawk their wares to toy stores and bookshops, so Rebecca conducted an in-depth study of strange new products to sell in the ITA. Naturally, the report she delivered to Story Planet’s Alien Chieftess upon her return is top secret and classified information, but she did leak some exciting details of her expedition to the Head of Interstellar Communications. Read on, brave explorers!

What is The New York Toy Fair? The NY Toy Fair is a huge gathering of toy companies showing off their product for buyers, store owners, and other “industry” people.  It’s the place to find out what new stuff a company will be putting out, as well as discovering lots of great vendors you didn’t know existed!

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Even Grumpy Cat made a reluctant appearance

What were your top 3 favourite booths? Ooh, number one has to be the MakerBot 3D printers– watching a little machine construct perfect plastic figurines from practically nothing was the highlight of the whole trip!  I also had a blast popping into the Celestial Buddies booth, because how cute is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot nose?!  It was also really exciting to see GoldieBlox in person– these construction toys designed to get girls interested in engineering got their start on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, and the people who work there are all the nicest.

3D Printing
Make something from nothing with the magic of 3D printing

I ♥ NY: Agree or disagree? Controversial question!  New York is an amazing place– so much to see and do!– but it’s also huge, and I’m a Story Planet gal at heart.

Any travel horror stories to share? No, travelling through the Intergalactic Travel Authority is always a pleasant trip!  I grabbed a coffee, checked the Departures board to make sure my flight was running on schedule, and off I went.

What exciting new products will be appearing in the ITA? Well, that depends entirely on how many companies offer intergalactic shipping.  You’ll have to come in and see!

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Travel the universe from the comfort of your own home with a DIY Solar System kit. Might this be coming soon to an ITA near you…?

Katharine Reszetnik

KatharineRPortalIf you’ve ever visited the ITA on a Monday or Tuesday morning, chances are you are already best buds with Katharine Reszetnik. She is one of those people whose sunny attitude and infectious cheerfulness brighten any room. She is as comfortable striking up a conversation with the ITA’s frequent flyers as with new travellers embarking on their first intergalactic voyage. Always ready for a challenge, and eager to find new ways to help out, Katharine is a wonderful ambassador for Story Planet, and we are so grateful to have her on our team!

Here is how Katharine answered our Story Planet Questionnaire:

1. Favourite Planet to live: My favourite planet to live on would be Neptune because in Roman mythology Neptune is the god of the sea and I absolutely love the ocean!

2. Favourite book or the last great one you read: I have two top picks for books I have read this year: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and Brain on Fire – My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. Gillian Flynn’s work is a fast-paced murder mystery that has you fooled until the last chapter, written with astonishing detail and an enticing and edgy voice. Susanah Cahalan’s memoir is an interesting reflection on a rare autoimmune disease. I loved it because it crosses into both the scientific world as well as a creative and artistic one – just like Story Planet! Plus it is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and set in my hometown Summit, New Jersey!

3. Favourite writers: My favourite author is Margaret Atwood, no competition. Every word she writes carries purpose and action…her writing is illuminating and visceral and I can’t get enough of it! This year I gobbled up some of her older novels including The Handmaid’s Tale, Bodily Harm and Alias Grace.

4.  Favourite thing to do on Earth: My favourite thing to do on Earth is dance! Boogie, shimmy, disco, limbo…you name it I’ll jiggle to it! Sitting down, standing up, doesn’t matter I just wanna wiggle!

5. Favourite Earth food: Favourite Earth food is raspberries – they’re sweet, pink, delicious and fuzzy, what more could you ask for in something the size of your thumbnail?

6. Favourite moment/memory from your experience here: My favourite memory from Story Planet is from my first Alpha Workshop when one young girl was reading me the beginning of her story in which her class was  transported to a magical planet. She suddenly stopped mid-sentence and asked me how to spell my name. When I asked why she wanted to know she replied, “Because I want you to come with us!” It seems somewhat trivial but it made my heart tingle and I will never forget my hypothetical travels to that fantastical world.

Valentine’s Day Comes Early

GEA Letter copy

Usually it takes Cupid a little longer to fly through our airspace, and what with this supersonic storm system blowing in from Neptune, we thought he wouldn’t make it at all this year. But boy, were we wrong! We arrived on Monday morning to find the loveliest note waiting for us. Now this wasn’t a love note, per se, but it was definitely a note full of love.

It seems that members of the Graduate English Association at the University of Toronto organized an event recently where they shared writing that they did when they were kids (fun!). Besides having a grand old time rediscovering their writerly roots, they also collected donations to give to a charity…and they picked us!

We are so touched by the GEA’s thoughtful note and generous donation. Thanks to you, we will be able to help more young authors-to-be find their voice. Thank you for being our Valentine! (We only ask that you invite us to your event next time, because it sounds fantastic!)

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P.S. Curious about what we do here at Story Planet? Let us tell you…