Rachael Simpson-Jones finds out how varied the Arts & Craft category has become, although the play pattern at the heart of the products hasn’t changed.
Arts & craft products have been the saviour of many a household during the past couple of years, and companies have used the soaring popularity of creative play to their advantage, identifying trends and play patterns that are set to keep this traditional category way ahead of the curve.
Flick through this month’s (substantial) feature on Arts & Craft and you’ll see just how varied this sprawling category has become. Options for today’s kids include traditional activities – painting, colouring-in and dough modelling – alongside rather more ‘cutting edge’ activities such as stop-motion movie making, nail polish design and ice-cream making. You can even code a robot to draw pictures on your behalf, if you so wish.
What hasn’t changed is the play pattern at the heart of all the products highlighted in this issue. Creative play is considered a vital part of learning and development – and kids absolutely love it. Of course, so do parents and caregivers: who hasn’t turned to this category on a rainy afternoon to entertain a bored child? It’s for this reason that the category has performed particularly well over the past couple of years, when a series of lockdowns drove grown-ups to seek out arts & crafts products like never before. Happily, as we’ve seen in other categories, this level of demand hasn’t slumped: indeed, the situation seems to have reignited a passion for creative play that is keeping sales healthy months after ‘Freedom Day’.
Hedley Barnes, SVP International, Spin Master Toys, Sarah Dayus, sales director at Great Gizmos, Andrew Welch, head of Marketing at Craft Buddy, Damien Collett, head of Sales – UK and Ireland at SES Creative and Emma Weber, Marketing and Licensing director at Vivid Goliath, tell us about developments in the sector, and there’s also news of the latest ranges from companies such as Ravensburger, Creative Kids and Make It Real.
To read the full article, which appeared in the June edition of Toy World, click here.