FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adrienne Appell
Toy Industry Association
2012 Toy Trends Unveiled by Industry Experts at
American International Toy Fair
“Generation App” …
“Glowing Wild” … “Little Learners” …
“Save ‘n’ Splurge” Among Key Trends
NEW YORK, February 13, 2012 – A slate of hot
new toy trends for 2012 that keep pace with advancements in the tech
world, mirror societal trends and aim to produce well-rounded, lifelong
learners were unveiled today by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) at
American International Toy Fair.
After scouring through 100,000+ products now on display at the Jacob
K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, TIA’s trend experts
have laid out a fresh crop of trends that will connect, glow, teach,
“WOW” and hit a “high note” with kids of all
ages. Significant for 2012 is a resurgence of toys on the higher end of
the price scale as well as an influx of educational toys for tots,
indicating that post-recession wallets – and families – are
“Toymakers continue to innovate at the speed of light to keep
up with trends in other areas – from pop culture to technology
– because they know that kids want to be a part of the mix and
mimic what's happening in the world around them,” said Adrienne
Appell, TIA’s in-house trend expert. “The toy industry draws
upon economic and birth rate data to determine price points and product
lines, which accounts for the prevalence this year of big-ticket items
and toys for infants and pre-school children.”
Appell made the comments during a “Toy Trends Tea” hosted
this afternoon by TIA – owner and operator of Toy Fair and
official voice of the toy industry. A video of the presentation will be
posted to the Toy Fair 2012 and TIA websites (ToyFairNY.com / ToyAssociation.org).
A summary of the six top trends follows:
- GENERATION APP
An emerging trend identified at
Toy Fair 2011, this year there is an abundance of toys that work with
smart devices and apps. Toymakers are using technology to enhance
classic play patterns – not erase them. Physical toys remain
integral to the play experience; in many cases, companies have created
traditional toys that interact with popular devices that are already in
so many homes … while tying in educational or active components
for a well-rounded play experience.
that work with an app or smart devices and products that are based upon
an app or web property but have no digital tie-in.
- GLOWING WILD
Toys that glow in the dark or
light up will infiltrate the toy aisle this year across multiple
categories – from outdoor and active toys to arts and crafts and
creative products. Toys in this category add a fantastical element to
playtime for kids of all ages. They “ignite” imaginative
play by drawing kids into a world of whimsy and wonder – from arts
and crafts toys that incorporate LED components to exciting light-up
toys that safely simulate fireworks.
Includes: Toys that rely on a glow component
to drive the play experience and toys that are equally enjoyable in the
light of day as they are in the dark (i.e. glow-in-the-dark wooden
- LITTLE LEARNERS
Far from simple “watch
me” toys, products in this category build cognitive and
developmental skills beginning at a very early age, transforming little
ones into well-rounded, lifelong learners. These toys also give tykes a
wide range of play options to choose from – allowing them to
explore their interests and talents and develop these skills as they
Includes: Infant to pre-school toys and games
that educate and challenge and educational toys targeted to children of
- MANY WAYS TO PLAY!
Toys in this category
engage kids on multiple levels. Parents can buy one very dynamic toy
that will entertain and educate a child for hours, days, weeks and
months … allowing them to truly get their money’s
worth. These toys have real depth – kids can play
differently each time depending on their moods or interests. Many of
these toys also grow with a child so that they can play in another way
depending on their age.
Includes: toys that combine
multiple play patterns (i.e. active play, role play, game play, etc.)
and customizable toys (playthings become a unique reflection of a
- SAVE ‘N’ SPLURGE
industry data released by The NPD Group showed that consumers are
increasingly making “purchasing trade-offs” – that is,
buying higher-priced toys at the expense of mid- to lower-priced ones.
As a result, 2012 will see a resurgence of toys that fall on the higher
end of the price spectrum, as consumers are willing to loosen their
purse strings a bit and spend more on products that pack a high play
value punch or have a certain “WOW” factor.
However, shoppers will always be attracted to affordable prices.
Affordability was a trend in the past few years and this sub-trend will
persist in 2012 as parents and other shoppers have really come to expect
big play value at affordable prices.
Big Ask” / impressive toys (at higher prices) and collectibles /
expanded lines (at affordable prices).
- YOUNG MAESTROS
A wide variety of musical toys
will hit a high note in 2012 as kids of all ages – from infants to
tweens and teens – rock out with toys and games that teach them
how to play different instruments, practice their singing, or show off
their dance moves. This trend is being driven largely by pop culture
– such as television shows like American Idol, Glee, The Voice and
Includes: toys for young kids that teach music
basics and toys for older kids that let them emulate their favorite pop
The Toy Industry Association also tracks a broad range of ongoing
cross-sector trends, such as toys celebrating significant anniversaries;
entertainment properties that span blockbuster movies or brands; and
re-emergences of nostalgic characters loved by past generations.
“In 2011, licensed toys represented 26% of total industry
sales, and with a slate of family-friendly movies hitting the theaters
in the coming months, there will be a steady stream of new content tied
to entertainment and licensing properties throughout 2012,” said
Additional information about these trends is available on-site at Toy
Fair in the Press Center (through 4:00 pm on Wednesday, February 15 in
Special Events Hall 1D) or via e-mail to the TIA public relations
contact listed on this release. For tips on toy safety and trends
year-round, visit ToyInfo.org.
About the American International Toy Fair
Toy Fair is an annual event that is owned and operated by the
Toy Industry Association (TIA). The largest toy trade show in the
Western Hemisphere, the show brings together more than 1,000 exhibiting
manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from 110
countries to showcase an estimated 100,000 toy and entertainment
products to the 8,000 unique retail outlets scheduled to attend.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys
and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing
more than 550 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic
toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy
industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including
development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30
years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on
ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. For more information,
please visit www.toyfairny.com,
www.toyassociation.org or www.toyinfo.org.