The 104th annual American International Toy Fair got underway this weekend, and Gizmodo is bringing extra batteries. Our coverage of the show will appear throughout the day.

What's new this year? And why did LEGO create this life-sized George Lucas head?

George Lucas was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, that's why. LEGO created a bust of papa Jedi, pictured above, to honor the occasion. Pretty amazing that it's taken this long for him to be inducted considering the way Star Wars revolutionized the toy business.


But licensed movie action figures are yesterday's news. The biggest growth category in the $22.3 billion dollar industry for 2006 was "youth electronics." That means you can expect to see lots more branded USB devices, along with some legit gadgets that use RFID and other fun technologies, in 2007. Gizmodo plans to cover them all, except maybe the Snoopy cellphone charger I saw.

Another big change: The landmark International Toy Center is under new ownership and leases became more expensive. The result is that lots of big brands who used to decamp there, such as LEGO, are instead setting up booths at the Javits Convention Center for the first time. That makes life easier for us, and makes Toy Fair feel like a much larger show than in the past. Gizmodo's coverage begins now.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.