Toy World takes a look at what’s shaking up the Outdoor category for 2023 and speaks to a selection of major players about their latest (and greatest) launches.
At this time of year, the British public are ready for summer. Happily, as anyone who took a stroll round the London and Nuremberg toy fairs earlier this year will know, there’s a whole heap of outdoor fun coming our way for 2023.
We caught up with Reydon Sports, which last year became an official Toymaster supplier to hear how the company considers itself something of a one-stop-shop for sporting goods with toyetic appeal.
One of the breakout trends for this year is blasters that fire waterbased polymer beads instead of the more typical foam dart or water jet. Gel Blaster, an energetic American start-up which is now going global, is leading the charge with its Surge blaster and Gellet Depot. Steve Starobinsky, chief revenue officer, Gel Blaster, says: “We are the category leader for an emerging $200m business in the US alone, and we are so excited to partner with retailers and distributors in Europe and across the globe.”
Other companies are looking to capitalise on the trend, with Hasbro and Mookie Toys amongst the established suppliers who have introduced new lines in this area. Meanwhile, Zuru’s X-Shot Fast-Fill water blasters have recently received a makeover, and Moose Toys has unveiled Föm Mania, the first ever foam blaster range.
Little Tikes’ Cozy Coupe will be showing off its raft of upgrades from this month and Geemac is introducing four new items to its Sportspower x Fisher Price range. MV Sports’ portfolio includes a vast array of high profile licensed properties, including the newly signed Gabby’s Dollhouse. Phil Ratcliffe, joint managing director, highlights the company’s attention to detail: “The amount of features and decoration we pack into each scooter, playhouse or bike really makes MV Sport’s products stand out,” he says. “We try to imbue some of the character’s DNA into every one of our outdoor toys.”
As British summers get warmer with each passing year. Alaina Cornish at Little Tikes says retailers are stocking products such as the Fountain Factory Water Table and Turtle Sandbox earlier than they used to, and Zuru’s Miona Milakov says that as warmer weather lasts longer each year, parents are more likely to look for cost-effective ways to entertain their kids.
New advertiser KidKraft is one of many manufacturers keeping the planet front of mind with its range of playhouses, climbing frames, swing sets, sandpits and more. The Toy World team was also lucky enough to have a go with a top-secret new product currently in development while in Nuremberg, which we’ll bring readers more on when we can.
To read the full article, and peruse all the impressive new outdoor toys coming to market this year, see the feature in our March edition, here.