As we get older, the current lineup of toys seems more foreign. After all, it was just yesterday that the Radio Flyer or Crossfire were all the rage, while now it seems like everyone is simply on their smartphone or tablet, shying away from playing outside or with physical objects.
Although on the surface it seems unfortunate, that doesn’t necessarily have to the case. Even though the toy industry has changed, it still holds true to a lot of the same principles it’s had before, which may not always be visible. However, that’s why we’re giving you a quick rundown on where the industry stands. Check it out below:
The current scope
One of the biggest considerations of the toy industry now is the sheer size of it. According to the Toy Association, the toy industry is currently valued at $27 billion in the US alone, which is a monstrous industry. Even with how smartphones and tablets have started to take the place of some toys of past, toys are still rolling as strong as ever, which when you break down, makes quite a bit of sense.
First, it’s important to note that when you step back and look at the toy industry as a whole, it’s more than just educational or fun devices for kids. Yes, the toy industry includes everything from collectible action figures to fidget spinners (yes, fidget spinners). This makes identifying one simple pattern of the toy industry a little complex, however, the basic overview is that while a lot of technology has taken over toys, companies have been embracing the change. How? By adapting and innovating.
A big aspect of the toy industry has been implementing how tech has a role (both in while we’re playing and when we’re not). Much of the toys coming out right now have been pretty adaptive to current trends, including things like Augmented Reality and more advantage touch sensitivity. However, what’s even more fascinating is how buying toys have changed, which accounts for an entirely different aspect of the industry.
When it comes to the buying process for toys, the industry has had to go digital, where a big part of that has been tackling the $34 billion in eCommerce on mobile. Some companies have been pretty adaptive and offer an immersive experience, which has set them apart from the competition. For example, Jizels offers custom adult toys with an intuitive, mobile buying process.
How social plays a role
As digital has come into the toy buying experience, so has social in how people discover new toys. While we often think that children solely are the ones that do the pickings with toys, adults often are the ones marketed to, with social playing a big role. Especially when it comes to more of the artisanal toys developed locally, social media has been an important place for not only the discovery of toys but building a fan base as well. The most popular platform for this? Instagram.
A big reason for Instagram’s success in the toy industry comes down to the visual aspects they can convey, as well as the types of consumer that primarily visits the platform. According to AdEspresso, 31 percent of Instagram users make over $75,000 per year, meaning they’re willing to spend good money on toys if there’s a value to them. There has been a trend of toys that went viral on social media, so many people look to jump on the next trend before it dies. It’s true, the toy industry has indeed gone fully social, with platforms like Instagram and Facebook being at the forefront of discovery.
Where things are headed
Although the toy industry has changed quite a bit over the years, there are still certain consistencies with it. First, although certain aspects of it are slowing down or being replaced by technology, the industry as a whole is still growing; because as noted by Pymnts.com, there was a 4
Second, the industry also has seen a shift in continuing to invest in emerging tech, which could play out to becoming an interesting phenomenon. And third, while no one can predict what’s to come, expect more toy companies to try and integrate with smartphones, as those are the foundational core for entertainment.
All-in-all, the toy industry is going to continue integrating with modern tech, especially with being immersive in things like AR (via smartphones) as well as touch sensitivity. Furthermore, certain classics will remain constant (such as Monopoly or Twister) as these physical activities never get old.
Believe it or not, the toy industry (by-and-large), has been as constant as can be, and while there will be slight declines from our increased usage of smartphones, looks to be running a steady course. Which, when it comes down to one of the most fundamental aspects of our childhood, is a pretty swell place to be, right?