Hot Toy Trends Discovered at Toy Fair ’11 Continue to
Sizzle All Year Long
August 23, 2011 | The 108th American International
Toy Fair may have closed its doors six months ago, but the hot toy
trends identified by Toy Industry Association (TIA) experts at the show
have been sizzling all summer long – and are expected to hold
strong well into the 2011 holiday shopping season.
Identified from among the 100,000 + products on display at last
February’s show, TIA predicted that four trends would persist
throughout 2011: “Performance Play,” “Design, Discover
and Learn,” “Simply Social,” and
“These trends have remained relevant, largely because
toys within each category target every type of child and reflect
exciting advancements being made across other industries, like
technology and science,” said TIA spokesperson Adrienne Appell,
adding that the key trends have been cropping up
“repeatedly” in ToyInfo.org videos since they were identified
at the show.
“Toymakers have really tapped into what shoppers are
looking for – whether they are looking to please children who have
a need for speed and enjoy active toys, or kids who love hands-on,
all-play games that encourage socialization,” said Appell.
Here’s a look at how toy manufacturers have been coming up with
inventive, up-to-the-minute creations that appeal to the needs and
desires of 21st century kids and families:
“Performance Play” – Retailers
have been stocking up on an abundant array of active play products that
have kids up and moving or incorporate a competitive
- Classic outdoor toys with a twist: Glow in the Dark
Junk Ball and Bat (Little Kids), Graffiti™ Chalk Scooter (Razor),
Sky Bouncin’ Baseball (Maui Toys).
- Toys for kids with a “need for speed:”
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks (Mattel), Need for Speed Construction Toy Line
(Mega Bloks), Remote Control Cars (Silverlit).
“Design, Discover and Learn” –
Appealing to tomorrow’s artists, scientists and writers, toys that
fall under this category have maintained strong sales by incorporating
fun into the learning process:
- Arts and Crafts: Xoomy portable light box
illustrating machine (Ravensburger), Bizu Crafts (Spin Master), Color
Blanks (Rose Art).
- Camouflage Learning: Magic School Bus Science Kits
(The Young Scientists Clubs), PathWords (ThinkFun), Computer Cool School
“Simply Social” – Trend
spotters at Toy Fair noticed a huge shift from competitive games to
all-play games that encourage teamwork … and role play toys that
build self-esteem and teach children important lifelong values:
- All-Play: Busy, Busy Airport Game (I Can Do That!
Games), Madeline at the White House Game (Briarpatch), Phone Frenzy
- Role-Play/Pro-Social: Rescue Heroes (Fisher Price),
Everyday Heroes Puzzles (Alex Toys), Boom Boom! Cards.
“Cent-sational” – Affordable
toys that provide immense play value are so popular because
they’re perfect for birthday party loot bags – or to reward
small milestones like straight “A” report cards:
- Mini Collectibles: Zhu Zhu Puppies and Pups
Accessories and Zhu Zhu Babies (Cepia, LLC), Aqua Pets (Wild Planet),
Assorted Figures (Playmobil).
- Mini Games/Battling Minis: Beyblade Metal Masters
(Hasbro), Rory’s Story Cubes (Gamewright), Spot It! (Blue Orange
These are just a few examples of the countless toys and games on
the market right now that align with 2011’s freshest trends. Stay
in the loop about toy news, trends, and safety by bookmarking ToyInfo.org and
checking back regularly.