I have really loved the innovation that has come out of the toy industry over the past year. There have been some really neat products released with many more to come. The Toy Industry Association revealed the hottest toy trends for 2013 yesterday during the 110th American International Toy Fair. Their experts combed through the 150,000 products on display at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City and uncovered a new crop of trends that are sure to show up on your child’s wish list in the near future.
The six trends you can look forward to include:
So Retro! ~ Many toymakers have gone back-to-basics and you will find quite a few nostalgic, vintage and classic playthings. The beauty of retro toys is that they bring kids, parents and grandparents together in reminiscent fun.
Pop Culture Persuasion ~ Reality television is here to stay so the companies are working with that trend. A new range of toys, games and crafts have been inspired by this media phenomenon inspiring kids to build abilities across several areas, such as cooking, fashion, design and performance arts.
360 Degree Play ~ Toymakers are always coming up with new and innovative ways to leverage technology and new production techniques to enrich playtime. As advancements are made in other industries they trickle down and find their way into toys of all kinds – from educational games to active toys and everything in between.
Enticing Teens & Tweens ~ During the “KGOY” (Kids Getting Older Younger) phenomenon a few years ago, the toy industry was of the belief that older kids were beyond the age of playing with toys and more interested in technology and electronics. Now, toymakers are responding to tweens and teens who are looking to engage with something other than a computer or TV screen. For older, “digital” kids, classic game play is even considered novel.
24/7 Play ~ Compact, portable toys fit into lives that are busy and tightly scheduled, allowing kids to enjoy more “free” play time – in the car on daily errands, at the dentist’s office, during recess, at family functions, etc. There are also an increasing number of multi-function toys that appeal to practical, value-conscious parents.
Construction Craze ~ According to NPD Group point-of-sales data, the building sets category grew nearly 20% in 2012 … and 2013 will be even hotter. Many manufacturers are diversifying their existing building lines and other companies who may not have previously specialized in building toys are responding to this surge and creating construction sets for kids of all ages, interests and abilities.