Last week more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in New York City for the 11th annual American International Toy Fair. Organized by Toy Industry Association (TIA), the show took place at the Jacobs Javits Convention Center from February 10th through 13th. The TIA’s more than 500 members account for approximately 85% of the annual U.S. domestic toy market of $21.87 billion.
The Joester Loria Group attended the event and saw a number of key trends that are impacting the toy industry:
*Retro Toys- Oldies but Goodies! Toys with vintage or retro styling, most-loved toys and games of generations past make a comeback.
*Pop Culture- Reality TV shows that celebrate creativity and talent are featured in toy lines, games and DIY crafts.
*Construction- Construction sets designed for kids of all ages and interests. According to NPD Group point of sales data, the building sets category grew nearly 20% in 2012 and will increase even further in 2013.
*Digital Play- Games and activities that offer virtual experiences designed for today’s tech-savvy kids. Manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to infuse the latest innovative technology into toys of all kinds to create a more interactive experience.
*Robots- The new plush? Not just cute and cuddly, but now your favorite pets can eat, sit and even pee on command.
*Portal Games – where a figurine acts as a game cartridge to develop one-of-a-kind game play, is a model that is continuing to thrive. Building off the “Skylanders model”, various entertainment properties are entering this space, with game play ranging from preschool to high school.
*iPad / iPhone Integration – Various companies are building in docks for a Smartphone or Tablet. Offering a digital / interactive approach to normal play time. Fisher Price had a castle that utilized a tablet as a motherboard, bringing the play set to life!
*Motion Sensor – The major players in the figurine space have taken geek chic to a new level. Motion sensors are being incorporated to enhance game play by bringing your action figure and/or doll to life.
Several of our clients also showed their latest licensing developments in the toy category at the show.