Top Toy Trends of 2015 Announced by Toy Industry Association (TIA), the Official Voice of Toy Fair
“Maker Movement” … “Smart Play” … “Mini Madness” … and “Under the Sea” Among Top Trends
NEW YORK, NY | February 15, 2015 – Creative toys that epitomize the Maker Movement, innovative “smart” playthings, and toys that make a “splash” are among the top toy trends of 2015, according to experts at the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA). The trade group announced this year’s hottest trends in toys and play during a packed seminar held this afternoon for media and buyers at TIA’s 112th North American International Toy Fair.
“Open-ended forms of play will reign supreme in 2015, with an abundance of toys and games that allow kids to build, customize, create, and develop important skills through play,” said Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. “We are also seeing aquatic- and dinosaur-themed toys popping up in just about every category, while pint-sized collectibles are sure to bring kids countless hours of affordable fun!”
“The top toy trends announced today perfectly illustrate the tremendous benefits and value of play, which has the capacity to teach, entertain and emotionally support children of all ages,” added Ken Seiter, TIA VP of marketing communications. “We are proud to unveil these exciting toys that will be providing children and families with joy and enriching play experiences in the months ahead.”
Leading up to Toy Fair, TIA’s experts work with hundreds of global toy companies to identify the products and trends that will drive consumer spending on play. The toys, games and youth entertainment products shared at the trends briefing made their debut at Toy Fair and will be appearing in stores now through the holiday 2015 shopping season. Each of the toys shared during the presentation can be viewed in a slideshow on the TIA website.
A summary of the seven top trends follows:
- MAKER MOVEMENT
The Maker Movement spotlights toys that allow kids to build and create items that are unique to them. These playthings provide kids with a sense of ownership and pride; they also help children develop important cognitive and physical skills through play. According to 2014 point-of-sales data from The NPD Group, the Building Sets and Arts & Crafts categories grew by 13% and 3%, respectively, proving that kids love to create interesting structures, designs, inventions and other projects that will set them apart from others and let their talents shine through.
Includes: building and construction toys, programmable and
user-generated playthings, cooking and food-themed toys, design kits and
arts & crafts, musical and performance toys, hair and make-up toys,
- OPEN-ENDED PLAYTIME
Open-ended toys and games help promote creativity, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills by allowing kids the freedom to explore exactly how they want to play, depending on their abilities and interests. With many kids today leading very structured lives, open-ended play gives them a chance to relax, have fun, and enjoy being kids without prescribed rules or restrictions.
Includes: traditional / classic toys (marbles, play sets, matchbox cars, bubbles, dolls, balls, blocks, plush, outdoor toys), arts & crafts (Play Doh, finger paints, crayons, chalk), innovative toys (programmable bots, electronic pets, RCs), etc.
- MINI MADNESS
The Mini Madness trend encompasses toys that come in tiny packages, as well as smaller versions of hot-selling existing product lines. These toys pack in lots of play value at a lower price point, making them affordable for families and great items for birthday party loot bags and stocking stuffers. They are also perfect for on-the-go play and are easy to store.
Includes: novelty toys, high-quality miniature versions of existing lines, and collectibles.
- “SMART” PLAY
“Smart” Play speaks to the growing number of educational and academically focused toys on the market. It includes innovative toys that teach kids Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) – a trend first identified by TIA last year – as well as classic games and activities that promote the development of cognitive and social skills.
Includes: classic toys with an educational twist; infant/pre-school learning toys; sophisticated science and engineering kits that teach coding and advanced mathematical concepts; activity-based books and educational board games that teach language and culture; toys that encourage parental/educator involvement and teaching; etc.
- UNDER THE SEA
Toys that are aquatic-themed and / or involve water play are gaining traction in several categories, including dolls, games, collectibles, outdoor toys, and more. Some are educational and teach kids about underwater life, while others are just plain splash-tastic!
Includes: bath toys, boats, water-blasters, sea-pets, aquatic-themed items (e.g., mermaid and other sea animal plush, room décor, games, crafts, etc.), educational activities that teach about aquatic life, and more.
- TOP IN TECH
The toy industry continues to draw on new technologies to create “Top in Tech” toys and youth electronics that will attract the attention of tech-savvy kids. Many of these advanced tech toys incorporate open-ended and traditional play patterns to keep children fully engaged as they explore virtual worlds or new technologies. Some of the latest tech toys also allow kids to control and customize how they play, creating an enriching and immersive play experience.
Includes: robots/robotic pets, RCs that interact with smartphones, apps that allow kids to play with physical toys in new and different ways, smart tablets for toddlers, augmented reality, wearables, etc.
- DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS
2015 represents the Dawn of the Dinosaurs, driven largely by the release of Jurassic World this summer. Expect to see an inundation of dino-themed toys on store shelves to captivate kids of all ages.
dinosaur-themed books, plush and friendly characters to capture the
imagination of younger kids, licensed and educational/scientific toys
and games for older children.
Additional information about these trends is available on-site at Toy Fair in the Press Center (through 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17 in Hall E) or via e-mail to the TIA public relations contact listed on this release. A video of today’s presentation will be posted on the Toy Fair 2015 and TIA websites (ToyFairNY.com /ToyAssociation.org). Visit www.TheGeniusOfPlay.org to learn about the amazing benefits of toys and play.
About the North American International Toy Fair (www.ToyFairNY.com)
Toy Fair is an annual event that is owned and operated by the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The show brings together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents to showcase hundreds of thousands of toys and youth entertainment products to 7,000+ unique retail outlets from 100 countries.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) (www.ToyAssociation.org, www.ToyInfo.org and www.TheGeniusOfPlay.org)
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages, representing more than 750 companies who account for approximately 90% of domestic toy sales. TIA is the owner and operator of the American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry; TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety and works with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.