The toy industry, annually, strives to identify, meet, and exceed the trending toy demands of previous years, in a ceaseless effort to promote happiness, inspire imagination, educate, excite, and entertain families with an innovative spirit, and cutting-edge mentality, which transcends the efforts of the past. At the recent, 2019, Four-day, 116th North American International Toy Fair, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, a record-breaking, and impressive, 26,000 professionals from 98 countries, came to bring their" grown-up” brilliance, and “eternal-child-like heart’s” to the largest toy trade show event in the Western Hemisphere.
Steve Pasierb, the President and CEO of the 950-member, not-for-profit, Toy Association, described this year’s gathering as an energetic, sold-out, toy buyer, trend-seeker, play and licensing professionals, assemblage of enthusiastic toy fans and aficionados.
Toy Trend Experts Came to Work and Play?
Many of those in attendance were trend experts, who abandoned the toy isles, and came to this engaging gathering, to glean the best, newest, most in-demand, relevant, and intriguing toys, and youth entertainment products, imaginable. These teams, who meet with numerous global toy companies throughout the year, did the laborious footwork to cover the enormous showroom floor, (an expanse the size of nearly 8 football fields), to review and discern the best of the best, most collectible, creative, mechanical, retro-reinvented, family classic, techno-infused, miniature, blind bag, and surprise reveal toys, out of thousands of offerings, conceived to entertain and inspire.
The Growing Toy Market
The estimated value of the U.S. toy market is roughly $28 billion. It is highly influenced by the global markets of the world. While trend experts deftly scrutinized the thousands of offerings, they kept in mind the information shared by Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association: parents’ today favor toys that inspire creativity, enrich the play value and skill sets for children, and youth entertainment too; leading them to achieve lifelong prowess, artistry and even mastery of particular actions. Children are currently mesmerized by everything from the newest reusable compounds like neon putty, glowing slime, kinetic play sand, and challenging, nostalgic, board games, which improve their abilities to think, remember, and strategize. The growing trend and phenomena of unboxing, surprises, and blind bag products is also surging in popularity.
What Toy Fair Attendees Did
While order writing, in-booth-demonstrations, and serious networking were occurring; trend experts scrutinized thousands of toys and games. An official announcement of 2019’s most in-demand products was then shared with buyers, the media, and many other toy show guests via the “Top Trends Briefing”. Those trends mirror the continued demand for many types of collectibles, family-oriented games, and creative toys which encourage exploration and discovery.
Every exhibitor, 1038 of them, offered products such as vintage games, loved and reinvented for the 21st Century; to the newbie first-timers, found in the “launch pad” area, who showcased their creations to over 8,300 specialty and large box buyers, and 22 of the nation’s top toy sellers, importers and retail outlets.
Toy Trends Revealed for 2019
The toy association, since 1916, has proudly served its industry as the guiding force for articulating the importance of developmental play time, informing not only parents, but the media as well. The critical perusal of play products exerted by the Toy Trend Experts, and later, announced at the briefing, will be offered at Christmas, 2019, to the delight of children, and their parental figures. The top 5 trends revealed were:
• Unboxing - 2019 is soaring to a whole new level of demand, thanks largely to social media, and the two-fold mesmerizing enjoyment “mini-consumers” receive from unpacking and removing a surprise toy, and then interacting with it. Everything from tiny animals, to science experiments, and puzzle pieces, when blind packaged within a box, becomes a “hot” item which children crave. Lucky Poke Games offer a colorful box which peals open, and within it, kids get to poke open 24 holes, to seek 15 unique and amazing prizes. Every child loves to poke holes.
• Creative Crazy Compounds – Reusable compounds of slime, putty, dough and kinetic sand now come in layered mixtures, for tactile fun, which stirs the imagination. The compounds, require unboxing, and contain hidden surprises which must be excavated from within these substances. The Toy Association defines these toys as their “Genius of Play Initiative”. These toys stimulate artistic thinking, design development, and other skills which will last into adulthood.
• Throwback (Nostalgia) Toys – which have stood the test of time, and are still cherished by young parents today, are a huge trend for 2019. Millennial parents seek to share their past memory making moments with their children, via family game nights, which reflect simpler times. Board games like Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Operation and Simon, are being classically re-packaged to reflect simpler times. Vintage toys like Slinky, Rubik cube, Legos, Barbie and anything superhero related, are being retro- packaged to be enjoyed in the truest “unplugged” style for connectivity, and authentic play.
• Foodie Frenzy – Parents now focus on healthy eating with conscientious and meticulous effort, to offer their children the most organic and nutritious foods and drinks. This avid attention has influenced toys makers to create food-related toys and games which have become extremely popular with young children and tweens who love the “scent factor”. Back packs, charms, pencils, and tiny collectible characters all come with fragrances that both boys and girls love, including sweet, spicy and sticky qualities. This trend is huge for 2019.
• Aspirational Toys – Parents are extremely happy to note that toys which nurture children’s inherent curiosity are another trend which now very popularized. These play-with-purpose toys teach counting, the alphabet, and colors for the very young. School age children love the STEM toys and learn about science, technology, building video games, coding, designing mazes and more. These teaching toys are the foundation for instilling interest which may become future careers for happy, engaged, children at play.
Giving Toys A “Voice”
Since 1916 the Toy Association strived to ensure that the toy making industry crafted playthings which were safe, interesting, innovative, challenging, entertaining, and ever evolving in pace with a constantly reinvented world. Their desire has always been to promote the kind of products for play time experiences which generate constructive thinking, and meet parents, exceedingly high expectations to provide positive play, happiness and joy throughout childhood, tweens and teens. For 99 years, they are the voice which speaks for the happy desires of each generation, and their ever-watchful, loving and caring parents.
Lucky Poke Games are committed to family happiness too. Our games inspire hands-on wonder, excitement, surprises and joy. Visit soon, as you seek the kind of entertainment which instills lasting happy memories.