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Toy Industry Association reveals 2017’s Top Toy Trends.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) revealed the top toy trends for 2017 at the New York Toy Fair. This year’s trending toys are indicative of the health of the U.S. toy industry. The industry is coming off a great year, experiencing 5% sales growth in 2016. Undoubtedly, there is still room for innovation and risk. Toy makers are working tirelessly to create innovative products, reimagine play patterns, and reignite classic toy brands with technology and new and exciting licenses. These toys develop children with collaborative, imaginative play.
TIA’s trend experts tracked the latest developments in the world of toys and games and evaluated thousands of products before identifying the biggest toy trends of the year.
Here’s a brief summary of the six top toy trends:
- Collectibles 2.0
Collectibles include both basic and inexpensive collectibles. These include collectibles with several play functions and higher priced licensed collectibles. Collectible toys develop life-long skills, such as social skills, organization skills, and perseverance.
- Up & Active
At this year’s Toy Fair, an increasing number of toys encourages kids to get up off the couch and get active. Kids will be burning off calories and getting in shape while having fun. This trend includes tech toys with active features, outdoor ride-ons, traditional games that promote physical activity, and digital toys with face-to-face play.
- Tech Trends
Toy companies are introducing tech features into their toys. With tech becoming more affordable and driving more realistic prices, we’ll continue to see augmented and virtual reality toys, drones, virtual pets, robotics, and more. Toy manufacturers are harnessing technology to enhance traditional play patterns.
- Oh So Classic!
Classic toys will continue to show strong performance after strong sales in 2016. Game/Puzzles and Dolls were among the fastest growing toy categories in 2016. This trend includes retro brands that are reimagined for a new generation of children. Classic toys appeal to families and foster intergenerational play.
- Movie Mania
Licensing has significantly boosted the toy business with roughly 30% of all U.S. toy sales. With the family-friendly movies set to release this year, 2017 is expected to continue this trend. Some of the family-friendly movies include LEGO Batman, LEGO Ninjago, Cars 3, Beauty & The Beast, Smurfs: The Lost Village. Some are expecting this to be a big year for movies and movie-tie toys. You can expect licensed toys based on popular characters in ride-ons, plush, action figures, and puzzles.
- STEAM to STREAM
This educational toy trend is here to stay. It teaches kids important concepts: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). The educational trend will evolve to incorporate Robotics to create STREAM. Even classic toys teach important educational skills, such problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. This includes puzzles, memory games, building blocks, and stacking toys among others.