2019’s biggest toy trends announced by The Toy Association at its 116th North American International Toy Fair.
“Parents and kids today are looking for toys and games that are fun, engaging, and keep them coming back for more, but that also enrich the play value to help build lifelong skills,” said Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “The toy industry is doing an amazing job of providing innovation along with classic toys and games to deliver cutting-edge playthings to the toy aisle. The top trends announced today reflect a continued demand for toys that include a surprise element, toys that tap into nostalgia, playthings that encourage kids to try out different activities and explore new worlds, and unique licence-based toys that enhance developmental skills through play.”
A summary of the top six trends follows:
- Unboxing 2.0 – Unboxing goes to a whole new level in 2019 with added play patterns and features that extend the elements of surprise by encouraging new ways to play with the toy, making this trend more than just unwrapping and collecting.
- Compound Crazy: Dough, Slime, Sand and More – Activities that are compound-based are a good way to get kids to tap into their creative side, allowing them to familiarise themselves with different textures and styles of design and construction.
- Throwback Toys – 2019 will usher in big anniversaries for some of the entertainment world’s most beloved characters and movies, as well as iconic toys and games that will ignite a wave of nostalgia for parents and grandparents back to their childhood.
- Foodie Fun – From trendy foods to farmer’s markets to food trucks, there are myriad creative ways that food and drink items have made their way into the toy aisle as toys. This is a reflection of the strong priority that millennial parents have placed on being health conscious and fundamentally aware of where their food is sourced.
- Inspirational and Aspirational Play – There is a growing trend of toys, games, and activities that can help prepare and inspire kids for the future. These playthings incorporate features that enhance learning, such as using innovative technology, nurture a child’s natural curiosity, and motivate them to explore skills and interests that could potentially lead to their future career path.
- Explosive Entertainment! – Licensing continues to be a huge part of the toy business, representing about 30% of all US toy sales. These toys continue to be enhanced, infusing popular licensed properties in all types of unique products from plush to play sets to tech toys.