Frightfully Fun: Zombies, Monsters & More

August 1, 2014 | Identified by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) as one of the hottest toy trends of 2014, zombies, monsters and other “spooktacular” playthings have been flying off store shelves and are expected to stay hot leading up to Halloween and right through the holidays.

“Thanks to popular movies and TV shows like The Walking Dead, creepy ghouls are all the rage across pop culture and kids naturally want to get in on the action,” explained Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. “What’s great about this trend is that there’s something out there for every child – younger kids will gravitate toward ‘cute’ zombie and monster dolls with relatable characters, while tweens will love gross-out toys and scarier figures.”

From educational toys and board games to ride-ons and plush, zombie- and monster-inspired playthings can now be found in just about every aisle at the toy store. The following is a small sampling of the many frightfully fun toys and games currently on the market (or slated for release in fall 2014):

  • Razor Jr Monster Kix Scooter (Razor) (3+)
    Kids as young as three can be the “neighborhood monster,” thanks to this three-wheeled kick scooter from Razor. The ride-on has an extra-wide deck to keep little ones stable while they learn to scoot; the monster hands and graphics transform it into a cool and spooky ride!

  • Monsters Line (Lyla Tov Monsters) (3+)
    Lyla Tov (“good night” in Hebrew) Monsters were first conceived by three-year-old Lyla Black. This line of plush helps teach young children not to worry about “scary” monsters lurking under their bed. Each monster is handcrafted by Lyla and her family in New York City.
  • Zombie ZityZombie Zity (Dracco) (3+)
    A line of zombie collectibles that includes squishy and bouncy zombie ‘swobblerz’ with swappable heads and arms; play sets; trading cards; and online games at www.zombiezity.com.
  • Play Doh Monster Smash Board Game (Cardinal Industries) (5+)
    Players must work together as a team to squish and smash the hungry space monsters before they reach the fridge! Monsters are molded from colorful Play-Doh. Great for cooperative play.
  • Monster High Zombie Shake (Mattel) (6+)
    This set includes two Monster High ‘ghouls’ that have been infected with ‘zombie dance fever.’ Dolls are decked out in over-the-top zombie-themed party dresses and accessories.
  • Monster High Gore-Geous Ghoul the Anti-Styling Head (Just Play) (6+)
    Coming this Fall
    Crafty kids can create and customize scary-cute looks with make-up and “creeptastic” tattoos. Includes 33 accessories and a hidden storage compartment.
  • Zombie Run (The Haywire Group) (7+)
    A memory card game that challenges players to escape the town and get to safety before they’re eaten by zombies! The player with the lowest number of zombies chasing them after five rounds wins. Winner of a 2014 Creative Child Preferred Choice Award.

  • Inhuman Squishy Zombie (SmartLab) (8+)
    Kids must read the included zombie book to uncover clues and learn the science behind saving a town from a zombie outbreak, before dissecting a zombie figure by removing its limbs and opening up its abdomen to reveal the internal organs. Encourages scientific learning and imaginative play.

  • The Walking Dead Yahtzee (USAopoly) (8+)
    Coming this Fall
    Perfect for The Walking Dead fans of all ages, this new twist on the classic Yahtzee game transports players into an apocalyptic world where they must attack and defend themselves from opponents.

These are just a few examples of the many spooky toys and games that are trending. More toy trends and tips are available at www.ToyInfo.org, TIA’s year-round resource for toys and play.