Rachael Simpson-Jones speaks to leading suppliers in the Pocket Money & Collectibles sector to find out what’s driving trends in this space for 2022.
Whether it’s things to squish, squeeze and pop, race, play and collect, or simply build and admire, the Pocket Money Toys & Collectibles category continues to expand and diversify at breakneck speed. Far from a flash in the pan, fidget toys appear to be here to stay. The retailers Toy World has spoken to for this issue have all testified that sales in this category remain very strong, and demand continues to be high. The fun thing about fidgets is that they are continuously evolving, with fresh product hitting shelves in what seems like a never-ending stream.
“Our research and experience with buyers so far this year has shown no decrease in demand for fidget toys,” says David Mordecai, CEO of One for Fun. “Lots of exciting additions are now coming through including variations on the fidget theme, and hybrid products which combine best-selling fidget concepts.”
Rick Derr at US retailer Learning Express also says that pocket money toys with ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) features are popular, and to say Squishmallows has been a runaway success is understating things.
Alexandra Painter, marketing director at brand owner Jazwares, tells us: “Fans have a deep emotional connection with the brand, and we have an incredibly passionate and active online community – the single most important element of this brand.”
Social media is also important for MGA Entertainment. The company, which counts collectible brands including L.O.L. Surprise! and Na! Na! Na! Surprise in its portfolio, keeps a close eye on emerging trends that could translate into new product. Michelle Lilley, marketing director UK & Ireland, notes: “This could be anything from a trending TikTok dance that we can bring into influencer partnerships, to spotting young talent that’s gaining popularity. At the same time, we work hard to keep the core brand values of confidence, individuality and self expression at the brand’s heart.”
The soaring cost of living might result in pocket money amounts coming back down – but also Pocket Money Toys & Collectibles becoming a more attractive proposition for adult gift buyers, be they parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles. Competitively priced lines are essential in driving footfall into toy stores in the first three quarters of the year, and the current cost of living squeeze will arguably make it even more important to have a strong offering to tempt kids and adults into stores on a regular basis.
With more on the category and news of new introductions joining the Pocket Money Toys & Collectibles marketplace from the likes of Moose Toys, KAP Toys, Just Play, Schleich, Magic Box Toys and Brainstorm, plus Pog Unlimited’s search for UK partners to be part of the 80s phenomenon’s comeback, read the full article, which appeared in the April edition of Toy World, here.