Trend-Spotting: Larger-than-Life Toys

August 7, 2014 | From oversized plush and action figures to massive dollhouses and building sets, an abundance of BIG toys are making a splash in the toy aisle this year.

“Larger-than-life playthings are so much fun for kids because they are truly life-like – often the same size or bigger than them,” said Adrienne Appell, trend expert at the Toy Industry Association (TIA). “While some supersized items are a splurge, many of the ‘wow’ factor playthings currently on the market are priced well below what you would expect, meeting consumer demand for great value at a reasonable cost.”

Many of the toys listed here were first spotted at TIA’s 111th North American International Toy Fair in New York City and categorized under the “Larger than Life” trend for 2014. Read on for a few examples of the many playthings that will thrill and engage kids of all ages:

  • Fashion Doll Delightful Dollhouse (American Plastic Toys)
    Coming this fall
    This huge, multi-tiered dollhouse features an open-air structure allowing children to play from all sides.  Kids can mix and match the layout to create their very own “dream home.” Includes beds, a couch, footrests, a bathtub, lamps, a washer/dryer set and various household items.

  • HugglesMy Friend Huggles Dolls (My Friend Huggles)
    Classic in style and innovative in substance, the larger-than-life Huggles dolls help to build social skills by teaching children important virtues (including kindness, honesty and gratitude).
  • Wham-O Super BalloonWham-O Super Balloon (Nowstalgic Toys)
    Available at craft and specialty shops nationwide
    With 10 feet of super length, this retro balloon will travel super distances, bounce super heights and make playing with a balloon super fun! Encourages active, outdoor play.
  • wind-up toyZ-Classics Wind-Up Toys (California Creations)
    A large-scale version of a traditional toy, the wind-up monkey plays the cymbals as he walks. Nostalgic parents will love this toy for its ability to engage kids in classic play.
  • GodzillaGodzilla Atomic Roar Action Figure (Bandai America)
    With collector-level detailing, this life-like Godzilla action figure blasts powerful atomic breath and lets out a roar. Great for play – and to display!
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles High Flyin' Blimp (Playmates Toys)
    An iconic group vehicle from the original TV series is back! Features gliding wings, an easy-grip handle and a rappelling system to quickly drop the Turtles into battle. Holds up to five of the Turtles basic action figures; inflates to about 30 inches long.
  • Mass Bricks
  • Mass Bricks 121 Piece Brick Set (Platports)
    Kids can build a colorful, life-sized world with this brick set. Package includes building ideas for bookshelves, tables, fortresses, castles, lemonade stands, dog houses and more.
  • Jenga GIANT
  • Jenga GIANT (Art’s Ideas)
    The classic block-stacking and crashing Jenga game is now bigger and better than ever! Can stack up to three feet and higher; includes 54 precision cut, high-quality, polished hardwood blocks.

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