We are officially done with the 2013 New York Toy Fair and it has been a whirl-wind of a trip! We met many people face to face that we’ve only known online, made some new friends and saw some people in the toy industry that we admire so much.
I have to say my favorite part was meeting all of the amazing people I’ve been working with on toy promotions for years, face to face. To actually get to hug their neck, shake their hand and see more than just a tiny avatar picture was incredible. I’ve been told people in the toy industry are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet and that it’s a tight knit community. I’d have to say I agree!
We didn’t see all of the booths or toys (not by a long shot) but we did attend a Toy Trends Tea hosted by the Toy Industry Association. After touring the showroom floors and searching high and low through 150,000 products, here are the toy trends they saw. These are the types of toys and trends you’ll see on the toy store shelves, on TV and of course – here on ToyXplosion.
We’ll have much more in-depth coverage of the toys we saw in the coming weeks. So get ready!
2013 Toy Trends from the NY Toy Fair
Trend #1: So Retro!
Do you have memories of playing with a slinky, loving on your Cabbage Patch Kid or fighting crime with your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Many toy makers are going ‘back to the basics’ and introducing nostalgic, vintage and classic toys us parents and grandparents know and love. Get ready to do some reminiscing. Kids, get ready to hear your parents say ‘I played with that as a kid!!’ followed by a dreamy-eyed, stare-into-space look.
Trend #2: Pop Culture Persuasion
There are some reality shows on TV that inspire creativity and show off every day people and their incredible talents. Think Cupcake Wars, Fashion reality shows, Singing competitions or DIY competition shows on HGTV. These are the kinds of shows I get into and so are kids!
A couple of our favorites that fit into this theme are Sew Cool from Spin Master and Earphone Couture by Alex Toys (pictured above).
Trend #3: 360 Degree Play
This trend was very evident to us as we walked around the Toy Fair and we witnessed some pretty amazing products that weave technology into them. Technology is always changing and evolving around us in every day life and it’s trickling down to the toys our kids play with as well.
Some examples of this trend were a Holographic game by Goliath Games (They made me a hologram!), the Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror by Mattel and the 360 Spy Cam by Spin Master.
Trend #4: Enticing Tweens & Teens
There was a belief not too long ago that older kids weren’t really into playing with toys anymore and were instead more interested in their computer or iPod. As a mom to older kids, I can tell you first hand – that’s far from the truth. Yes, they absolutely love their gadgets, but they also still love to get up, get active and have some fun! Toy companies embraced this idea this year and created toys that get kids away from the computer. From traditional board games to outdoor activity toys, we saw quite a wide range of these targeting this age group this year.
Some examples of these are the Sky Rippers by Zing Toys, Popular Apps to games such as Bejeweled by Hasbro and licensing products geared to what they’re watching on TV.
Trend #5: 24/7 Play
This trend is for that child who is always on the go. Kids are involved in so many activities these days and they have quite a bit less free time than they used to. They’re always in the car going to school, going to their next soccer practice or performing in a school concert. Kids are busy and they need toys that are portable and great for on-the-go. Parents are also wanting multi-functional toys that give them a little bit more.
Some examples of this trend are the Twilight Turtle Tunes (uses blue tooth and is multi-functional) and the Wishbone Wagon 3 in 1 toy.
Trend #6: Construction Craze
Sales of construction toys were up 20% last year and they’re not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. 2013 is looking to be even bigger. Companies who are already in this arena are adding more to their lines and diversifying them. Companies who have never entered this market are jumping in and creating construction toys for all ages, interests and abilities.
Some examples of this trend are the new LEGO CHIMA sets, LEGO Friends (which won the Toy of the Year Award!) and Mega Brands Barbie construction line (which we love!).
So there you have it! Those are the trends that the TIA noticed as they toured the showroom floors. Do you see your kids interests and play patterns in any of these trends? Which trend caught your attention the most?
We’re looking forward to one exciting year of toys!