Rachael Simpson-Jones discusses the breadth of outdoor toys currently available and the increasing role social media plays in securing sales.
The Outdoor Toys category is astonishingly varied, encompassing everything from trampolines and go-karts to water tables and bubble machines, scaled-down versions of essential gardening get-up, kid and battery-powered scooters, giant garden games and much more. The demand for toys that get kids outdoors and active remains high, with parents and caregivers more aware than ever of the benefits of play outside of the home.
Wheeled toys of all descriptions remain best-sellers, with bikes such as United Wheel’s Huffy range one option for getting out and about. For DGL, bringing cutting-edge technology to market has long been the bedrock of the company’s success in the marketplace, particularly with its Hover-1 hoverboards.
E-scooters also remain a popular choice and MV Sports’ Phil Ratcliffe told us the company’s new range of Li-Fe and wired e-scooters will ‘take the category to the next level’.
Wilton Bradley has bolstered its Playhouse brand and built on the strength of its award-winning range of outdoor Mud Kitchens with the new Make ‘n’ Mend Workbench, as Scott Eden, design director, explains: “Our Playhouse brand of garden play furniture complements the desire to imagine and dream, seamlessly blending learning and play to create a range of stimulating experiences kids will love.”
Following the success the Growing Garden range, which launched in March, and the continued strength of the Fountain Factory Water Table, Little Tikes UK’s Michelle Lilley is looking forward to launching a completely new theme: Foamo. “It combines the wonder of water, foam and bubbles – every kid’s favourite things,” she enthused. “It’s disruptive; we’re expecting it to really drive excitement with media, just like when we launched inflatables.”
Funrise’s Gazillion Bubbles brand has been a staple within the outdoor category since its initial launch almost 20 years ago, and Q1 2022 welcomes a selection of new offerings. According to Craig Mair, “We work very closely with our retailers to make sure they have everything they need, from new and ground-breaking toys that will deliver strong sales and profits on shelf, to tailored solutions and making sure they have product inventory even during these unprecedented times.”
Continuing to support their retailers as best they can despite the ongoing logistics issues, all our contributors confirmed they’re placing strong marketing behind all their latest outdoor launches.
Following this article, Toy World readers can discover the other new products getting kids outside and active across the nation. To enjoy the full feature, which appeared in the November edition of Toy World, click here.