Toy Trends – Companies Are Betting on Continued Success in the Collectibles Toy Category
July 25, 2017 | Collectibles were a significant contributor to the 5 percent growth seen by the U.S. toy industry in 2016 – totaling approximately 9 percent of the year’s toy sales, per The NPD Group. Toy companies are looking to continue the collectibles momentum this year by rolling out many items in this popular category.
Collectibles 2.0 is one of the top toy trends for 2017 identified by Toy Association experts during the 114th North American International Toy Fair back in February. The collectibles trend has proven to be strong so far this year – according to data from NPD’S Retail Tracking Service, collectibles sales in the U.S. rose 21% year-to-date through June.
The selection of collectibles is truly diverse – toy companies are launching fun and engaging basic and affordable collectibles, collectibles that have multiple play functions (such as those that also serve as an active toy, game or puzzle), as well as higher-priced licensed collectibles with intricate styling details for the most avid collectors and passionate fans.
“Collectible toys are extremely popular among kids and toymakers have recognized the opportunity within the category,” says Adrienne Appell, toy trend expert at The Toy Association. “In addition, collectibles help children develop critical life skills, such as social skills when negotiating and trading with friends, organization skills as they maintain their collections, and perseverance as they continue to hunt for rare or prize-worthy additions. The play value of these toys has also been expanded as companies create entire playsets around a particular product line leading to hours of fun and enjoyment.”
One of the largest growth area within the collectible category are blind packs. Sales of blind packs grew 60 percent in 2016 and since 2013, sales have grown more than six-fold, NPD says.
Here are examples of toys within the Collectibles 2.0 category new for this year.
Little Sprouts (4+) by Wicked Cool Toys is an extension of the popular Cabbage Patch Kids line. The collectible toy line features 120 miniature-sized kids, babies, and pets, that live in the Cabbage Patch Kids world. Little Sprouts figures are available in blind packs, 4-pack or 8-pack sets, which include a mix of kids, babies, pets, accessories, and surprise limited-edition pets. To add to the fun, Wicked Cool Toys has also created the Little Sprouts Lil’ Patch Vet Center, Cabbage Academy, and BabyLand General Hospital for additional hours of fun.
Bbuddieez (ages 5-12) by Jupiter Creations, Inc. is a wearable, playable, and educational collectible toy line. Helping kids learn about the world they live in, each Bbuddieez represents a country and can be viewed online where they will find maps and more information about each country. The patented toys are fun for kids to collect, play, and wear on their shoes, backpacks, or as bracelets. The collectibles also become a game where players aim to shoot the Buddieez through each wearable band, with the highest score winning. Currently the line includes 26 Buddieez characters from all over the world and outer space.
Spin Master has expanded the popular Hatchimals line, with its recent launch of Hatchimals Colleggtibles (5+), bringing a new level of play to the popular toy. Hatchimals Colleggtibles come in small, speckled eggs and need a child’s touch to hatch. Kids hold the egg, rub the heart, and when it changes from purple to pink, it’s ready to hatch. Gently crack the egg to reveal a miniature Hatchimal with magical, glittery wings. With more than 70 Hatchimals Colleggtibles to collect, finding the ultra-rare species is half the fun and kids can enjoy discovering each character's name, backstory, and Hatchtopia habitat.
Awesome Little Green Men (6+) by MGA Entertainment Inc. is a new take on the little green Army men, where kids can engage in battle and game play with new characters that are small in stature, but have larger than life expressions – letting kids know just how serious they are about the mission. The first series offers kids more than 100 unique characters to collect, including four super-rare figures in the green army and blue army. Each pint-sized character is a member of a special unit, and all have funny names such as “Private Porkchop,” “Captain Obvious,” and “Sergeant Swag.” Awesome Little Green Men will be available at retail starting next month, via 4-pack starter packs and blind boxes. The blind boxes include one solider, a dog tag with chain, and a new recruit poster. A battle pack with game piece stickers is also available.
Sweet Shop Scented Jewelry (5+) by Zorbitz started out as scented necklaces and charms shaped as donuts, cookies, and lollipops (complete with a recipe inside). This year the line has expanded to include Fun Foods featuring popcorn, taco, fries and more! Fun Foods charms are also scented and include a comic inside.
For more information about the hottest toy trends of 2017, visit www.ToyAssociation.org/Trends.