Soccer Mania! Toys for World Cup Fans of All Ages
June 12, 2014 | For the next month, football (OK, in the U.S. it’s more commonly known as ‘soccer’) fans around the globe will be glued to the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil. From June 12 to July 13, attention will be focused on the national teams from 32 countries that are competing for the championship.
Soccer tops nearly every popularity list – most watched, most fans, most participants, etc. – with millions of kids playing in stadiums, soccer fields, playgrounds, backyards and streets every single day.
“We’re excited to be at the very beginning of ‘soccer-mania’ season,” said Adrienne Appell, toy trends expert at the Toy Industry Association (TIA). “The excitement surrounding the World Cup will build through the final games in July! Whether your child is just being introduced to the game, or already recreating the signature moves of their favorite soccer stars, there’s a fantastic mix of soccer-related toys and games for kids of all ages.”
Here’s a short list compiled by the toy trend experts at TIA:
- Mitre Pop Up Soccer Goal - 2 Goal (Ball, Bounce and Sport, a division of Hedstrom)
This compact set of youth-size soccer goals gives young players a way to play their favorite game and practice their kicks whenever and wherever they want! Includes two pop-up goals, carrying bag and ground stakes. Soccer balls (pictured above) sold separately.
- Soccer Full Game Set (Yard Kids USA, Inc.)
This set consists of a high-quality, digitally printed image on a weather-proof vinyl banner. Score sections are cut-outs in the banner – simply kick through the flaps to score points. The banner can also be removed to play traditional soccer, using the included soccer goal post, netting, and ground pegs.
- Kickback Soccer Goal and Pitch Back (Step 2)
This multi-use sports center includes a 2-in-1 soccer goal and pitch-back. Kids can practice scoring goals or play a game of soccer with teammates. The reverse side of the soccer goal lets players practice throwing and catching. Set comes with a soccer ball, two hockey sticks, a street hockey puck and a pitch back ball.
- Nerf N-Sports Bash Ball (Hasbro)
The Bash Ball is a durable, versatile ball that features a unique hollowed Nerf foam core with grip-able holes, allowing young athletes to make perfect passes and kicks with ease. The innovative design makes the Bash Ball perfect for freestyle soccer and other sports, like dodge ball, handball, volleyball, kickball and more.
- Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Singing Soccer Ball (Fisher Price)
The Laugh & Learn Singin' Soccer Ball teaches babies numbers, counting, colors and opposites, and exposes them to the concept of teamwork and taking turns. Roll the plush ball back and forth to activate the fun – or press the soccer ball’s friendly face to switch modes and play more than 25 songs and phrases.
Did You Know?
German-based toymaker Playmobil is actually the world’s largest soccer ball producer. Since the 40-year-old company introduced its first soccer player figures in 2006 (for the FIFA World Cup in Berlin), they have manufactured more than 11.6 million miniature soccer balls.
- Take Along Soccer Match (Playmobil)
This compact, travel-ready set includes six athlete figures and is fully equipped with everything kids need to have a complete game experience. Goalie figures connect to an included goal joystick that allows kids to control the goalies' movements from behind the net.
- Barbie I can Be Soccer Player Doll (Mattel)
This stylish Barbie doll will teach kids that they can grow up to be anything they choose – including a professional soccer player. Part of Team Barbie, she comes with a soccer ball and features full articulation to help her make the moves necessary to win the World Cup!
- Slide Tackle Puzzle (Melissa and Doug)
Sports-loving kids will get a kick out of assembling this giant floor puzzle – from the vibrantly colored flags overhead to the thrilling moment taking place on the turf. The puzzle features 48 durable cardboard pieces with an easy-to-clean finish.
Trending toys, seasonal play tips, safety information and much more can be found on TIA’s year-round resource for parents and caregivers: www.ToyInfo.org.
TIA members that would like their toys featured on ToyInfo.org are invited to consult the Editorial Calendar and submit product information to TIA’s Jackie Retzer.