The trends were chosen by the TrendCommitee, made up of toy industry experts, including Toy World’s John Baulch.
The first trend is Ready, Steady, Play!. Balancing, jumping, climbing and leaping is what most kids do. Unfortunately, they are becoming increasingly less active. Only a small percentage now achieve more than 60 minutes of activity a day. Mobile phones, TV and the like have long reigned supreme. Wanting to promote the physical health of their children, parents see toys that combine exercise with fun as the best way to encourage children to get active. On top of this, sporting pursuits also improve body awareness, our sense of balance and response times.
The second trend is The WOW Effect. Excitement, play and fun – the familiar lucky bag combines all of these. Nothing fascinates children more than anticipation of the unknown. They like to shake, poke and feel the weight of such products in an effort to guess what might be inside this time. The packaging is slowly removed and the secret revealed. But many of these kinds of toys also conceal unexpected effects which can only be discovered during play. Whether through water or heat, technical gimmicks or sophisticated mechanics – the toy is suddenly transformed into something very special and astounds with its additional play effect. Children love surprises and are only too delighted to be amazed.
The third trend is Toys 4 Kidults. Toys are no longer the domain of children alone. Adults also enjoy playing and wish to escape reality at times. Kidults were once made fun of, but now their ranks have swelled and they hang out at conventions with other likeminded folk. Many action heroes now serve as an eye-catcher in living rooms, while construction kits with 3,000 pieces are painstakingly assembled and then showcased in glass cabinets.