Toy Association unveils top toy trends for 2023

Published on: 9th March 2023

Back to Basics, Be Authentic, Tween Takeover, Macro to Micro and Pop Culture Lifestyle are named the biggest toy trends of the year.

This year’s biggest trends in toys, play and kids’ entertainment strike a balance between turning back to classic play and leaning into new platforms, technologies and consumer spending habits to drive innovation across the toy space.

New data to support the “kidult” trend has also proven that play isn’t just for kids, and this year, there are new demographics of consumers that toymakers will focus on for growth opportunities. These and other top 2023 toy trends have just been announced by The Toy Association during The Play Date, its Q1 media event held in partnership with Adventure Media & Events in New York City.

“If there is one key takeaway that ties all the latest toy and play trends together, it’s that what consumers want matters more than ever,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “In part due to the current economic climate, today’s shoppers hold the power and the purse strings. Yes, they are being budget-savvy, but they are also being smart about what they invest in. These toy trends underscore the industry’s ability to deftly respond to this constantly evolving landscape shaped by the way toy lovers of all ages are spending their leisure time — on and off their screens — and their money.”

The Toy Association’s team of trend-spotters met with hundreds of global toy companies over the past several months to track the latest developments in play and youth entertainment as well as scout trends across tech, fashion, home, social media, and other industries. The insights they gathered are predicted to drive toy sales now through the 2023 holiday season.

The biggests trends of the year have been named as Back to Basics, Be Authentic, Tween Takeover, Macro to Micro and Pop Culture Lifestyle.

With licensed toys and games accounting for 31% of total toy sales (The NPD Group), The Toy Association also continues to track highly anticipated movie and TV/streaming releases that will have an impact on the toy market.

This year, studios will capitalise on evergreen toy and kids’ entertainment brands with refreshing new takes for the “big screen” (Barbie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros., and more) as well as sequels, trilogies, and spin-offs of fan-favourites (Indiana Jones, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, etc.). In toy aisles, this will translate to fresh, new toys and opportunities for innovation on shelves in 2023. Streaming services, digital worlds, and gaming will also continue to invite toymakers to bring today’s most popular properties to the toy aisles.

An in-depth version of the briefing, featuring more product examples, insights and information about each trend is now available online and on The Toy Association’s YouTube channel.

Those wanting to stay on top of the trends can visit Toy Fair New York 2023, taking place from September 30th to October 3rd in New York City, where 2023 holiday and new-for-2024 toys will be on display.


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