A Sneak Peek Inside “The Evolution of Play,” a Tracking Study from The NPD Group

How children and parents are reacting to the convergence of traditional and digital toys


This one-hour webinar provided toy companies with an overview of children’s play patterns and parents attitudes on key dimensions that are affecting sales performance at retail. Participants will gain an understanding of the important role that traditional toys continue to play in the children’s play ecosystem, the rapidly increasing role of technology, and how parents react to both of these play options.

Target Audience:

All toy industry stakeholders. Recommended for retailers and toy companies involved development, marketing and advertising initiatives.

What You Will Learn:

The webinar discussed the level of engagement that children have with both traditional toys and technology based devices, games and apps. The session examined why parents are spending more or less money on toys, what devices are being used by children, and what apps are most popular. The webinar looked into shopping drivers- where is discovery occurring, how can marketers and retailers drive more impulse, and reflections on Black Friday and layaway. How parents feel about the increasing use of technology by their children, both positive and negative, and what the impact of a changing environment does to attitudes towards traditional toys will be discussed. Finally, NPD has developed an intensive segmentation of the toy shopper, and participants will be introduced to the various groups that make up the toy market today, with a discussion of the implications for selling to each segment.

Webinar Access:

Presented by:


Anne McConnell, Director, Market Research & Data Strategy, Toy Industry Association, Inc.


Russ Crupnick, Senior Vice President, Industry Analysis, The NPD Group
Russ has spent several decades exploring consumer behavior and retail sales trends. He began in consumer packaged goods working on new product introductions, market development and retail trends. Russ built NPD’s entertainment practice in the early 2000s and rapidly developed a reputation for understanding market and consumer trends in the emerging world of digital distribution. He brought that history to NPD’s toy practice to work with clients, retailers and media on understanding the changing complexion of the world of play. Russ is regularly quoted in major media such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and has appeared as a guest on Fox Business News, CBS, and CNBC. He is currently Executive In Residence at NYU, where he lectures on marketing strategy, pricing and forecasting. Russ is proud to tell readers that he comes from toy lineage: his grandmother was with the American Character Doll company in Brooklyn, NY until its closing in the late 1960’s.

About The NPD Group:

The NPD Group provides market information and advisory services to help companies and retailers make better business decisions. NPD introduced sales tracking in many of their industries, initially using consumer panels, and are known as the industry authority for market size and trends. NPD started the first retail tracking service for toys in 1984 and has launched services in more than a dozen industries since then. Today, The NPD Group tracks businesses representing more than $1 trillion in sales in the Americas and more across Europe and Asia-Pac.


Questions from members and industry stakeholders may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer; to the extent possible, answers to these questions will be folded into the presentation.