Modern Play’s Impact on Toys & Games: New Trend Hunter Report

lego-duplo-amazon-alexaDecember 10, 2019 |’s latest free monthly report for Toy Association members explores what’s new in toys, playtime, and gaming.

“The ideas presented in the latest Trend Hunter report offer key takeaways of how companies are tapping into entertainment trends and thoughtfully incorporate new technologies to create a more engaging overall experience for customers,” said Anne McConnell, senior director of market research & data strategy at The Toy Association. “Toy makers are encouraged to draw inspiration from these ideas and seek out ways to implement them into their own businesses.”

The “Modern Play” report covers key consumer insights including:

  • EQ Education – Millennial parents are more focused on the psychological and emotional development of their children than past generations. Speaking to these parents, brand owners are providing products that aid the emotional growth of young consumers, such as Alo Gives’ school-friendly yoga and meditation classes and WeWork’s WeGrow kindness-focused elementary school program.

  • Voiced Playtime – Voice-activated technology is becoming a mainstay in many modern homes. With its rapid growth, toys are helping introduce the technology with interactive and educational content. For example, Thinkway’s Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 toys fall down when told “Someone’s coming” just like in the films, Hasbro’s Yellies require kids to yell at the toys to activate movement, and LEGO DUPLO Stories on Alexa (pictured) helps bring kids’ LEGO creations to life through storytelling.

  • Hybrid Gaming – The board game industry is incorporating aspects of the video game world into its verticals by combining board games with popular gamer themes and live-streaming functions. Big Potato Games has started sharing livestreams of its tabletop gaming experiences on Twitch, while Hasbro’s Fortnite Monopoly adds new gameplay elements inspired by the first-person shooter game.

  • DIY Play – Toys are incorporating more DIY features to create more interactive and educational experiences for kids. These range from toys like Klutz’ Light Up Circuit Art kit that challenges kids through STEM/STEAM learning to toys that let kids control and customize the play experience such as Creativity for Kids DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Terrarium and the Creatibles DIY Eraser Kit.

  • Gross-Out Play – Top-performing toys and games tap into the gross-out humor that kids love. The subjects may be silly, but many of these products also cultivate fine motor skills in the process. This includes skincare-inspired board games such as Spin Master’s Pimple Pete, in which players help extract Pete’s pimples; toilet humor family games like Mattel’s Flushin’ Frenzy, in which kids must quickly plunge a toilet; flatulence-inspired games; and booger-inspired board games.

This report also details unique micro-trends in the toy industry including Montessori-Inspired Coding Toys, Online Toy-Testing Hubs, Smart Language Toys, and more. This is the latest in a series from Trend Hunter offering in-depth perspectives and trends in various areas related to the toy industry and beyond youth markets to help spark unique ideas. For additional relevant trends, toy companies may click on the report’s consumer insights examples, scroll down, and click the images for further information.

Members are encouraged to send topic suggestions for future trend reports to The Toy Association’s Anne McConnell. has accumulated nearly 3 billion views from more than 100 million visitors. The data research company helps clients “Dive Deeper,” “Work Smarter,” and “Save Effort” in order to increase the overall success of their companies and brands.