15 Jan - 2020

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The hottest trends in Toys & Play come to life at Toy Fair New York

New ways to explore the unboxing craze, compounds that foster creative play, and toys that prepare and inspire children for the future were just a few of this year’s biggest toy trends announced by The U.S. Toy Association at Toy Fair New York last February.

Our trends team predicted that 2019 would see some of the most creative products to hit store shelves in recent years – and we saw that prediction come true,” said Adrienne Appell, leading trend expert at The Toy Association. “Throughout the year, a wave of amazing toys and games that aligned with our trends helped inspire, challenge, and entertain countless children.”

Some of this year’s hottest trends and corresponding toys, many of which were nominated in November for Toy of the Year Awards (toyawards.org), included:

  • “Inspirational & Aspirational Play” (E.g.: Crayola Glitter Dots, Kahootz’s Y’Art Craft Kit, and Flycatcher’s smART Pixelator);
  • “Unboxing 2.0” (E.g.: Just Play’s Ryan’s World Super Surprise Safes, MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Series, and WowWee’s Lucky Fortune);
  • “Explosive Entertainment” (E.g.: Mattel’s Disney Pixar Toy Story Basic Figures, JAKK’s Pacific’s Disney Frozen 2: “Into the Unknown” Elsa Doll, and Gund’s Elmo Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Plush); and
  • “Compound Crazy” (E.g.: Learning Resources’  Beaker Creatures Alien Experiment Lab, ThinkFun’s Thinking Putty Puzzle, and PlayMonster’s Meltdown.)

Additional trends included Foodie Fun (food-themed playthings) and Throwback Toys (nostalgic and retro products appealing to both kids and parents).

With the holidays upon us, we expect to see trending toys topping kids’ wish lists and lighting up little faces come Christmas morning!” said Appell. “It’s certainly an exciting time to be a kid – and we can’t wait to reveal what’s in store for the future of play at Toy Fair New York 2020.”

The Toy Association trends team will unveil its top trend predictions for next year at a Toy Trends Briefing open to all show attendees on the first day of Toy Fair New York this February. The team meets year-round with toy companies and explores trends in parallel marketplaces, reviewing and analyzing new products and emerging youth trends. By opening day of Toy Fair, the team will have previewed more than 1,000 toys and games and will be ready to announce the hottest toy and game trends of the upcoming year.

While I don’t want to give away too much before the show, I can tell you that we have been seeing some interesting developments in play, particularly as digital-first brands carve out even more space in the toy aisle and kids continue to transition more seamlessly from devices and social media to physical toys,” said Appell. “And we are seeing fun developments in toys that promote both active bodies and active minds – not just for kids, but for teens, parents, and grandparents too.”

The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing will take place on Saturday 22 February at 1:30 p.m. in room 1E09 (Level 1, Hall E) of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The team will present each trend and use product examples from the show floor to highlight the themes. Toy Fair New York will take place 22 to 25 February 2020. For many in the industry it’s among the most anticipated toy shows on the global buying circuit, with exhibitors showcasing hundreds of thousands of playthings coming to market next year.

Visit www.ToyFairNY.com to learn more.

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