Exclusive: Copy that! – dress up & role play

Published on: 13th July 2021

Rachael Simpson-Jones looks at what’s driving trends in the dress up & role play category and speaks to suppliers about their latest product offerings.

With films and audiences alike returning to cinemas, parties and annual celebrations to look forward to, and a summer of shopping on the cards, the dress-up & role play category is set to enjoy a good year.

Role play remains an essential element of childhood growth and development. It helps kids engage their imaginations, assists in the understanding of social constructs, and introduces day-to-day tasks necessary for adult life in a fun and enjoyable way. Over the past year, kids have spent an awful lot of time at home, and more time than perhaps they’d otherwise have had in the presence of their parents or caregivers. It’s therefore fair to assume that there might be a renewed demand for role-play toys that let kids emulate household chores, for example, or gardening tasks.

Phil Cassidy, managing director of role play specialist Casdon, which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary, told Toy World: “Families are looking for toys that promote togetherness as well as having educational benefits. We know that children love to imitate the grown-ups and help out in the home, and so even day-to-day chores have been inspiring play. Role play allows children to come up with their own rules, games and stories, and, most importantly, to have fun. At Casdon, we want to continue to create products that help children do exactly that.”

David Allan, managing director, Toynamics UK & Ireland, added: “Role-play is a brilliant way for children to utilise all those little things they pick up and learn in everyday life. Recreating real-life scenarios is a valuable way for children to develop their imagination and social skills.”

In recent weeks, the easing of lockdown restrictions has also presented kids with other opportunities to enjoy events that have been on hold for some months. Disguise says it expects the opening of cinemas and the release of major upcoming movies, as well as the return of parties, to have a positive impact on the dress-up space in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, Rubies wants its catalogue of costumes to inspire those who wear them, whether that’s children playing dress-up or adults choosing to express their love for a character by donning a costume.

One thing’s for sure, consumers of all ages are looking for more new ways than ever before to get dressed-up and embrace imaginative play this year.

To read the full feature, which appeared in the July edition of Toy World, click here.

The article is followed by the latest information on how suppliers in this space are helping consumers of all ages looking for new ways to get dressed-up and embrace imaginative play this year.



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