Feb. 11, 2013
From toys that are "So Retro!"…to arts and crafts inspired by "DIY Design" television shows…and playthings for sociable teens and tweens, the hottest toy trends of 2013 were unveiled by the
Toy Industry Association
(TIA) today at its
110th American International Toy Fair
After searching high and low through 150,000 products now on display at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in
New York City
, TIA's toy trend experts have uncovered a new crop of trends that are sure to be on every child's holiday wish list this year.
"Toy Fair '13 is showcasing a huge variety of toys and games that encourage hands-on play and engage
– from the youngest of children right through to tweens, teens, and even adults!" said
, TIA trend expert. "We are also seeing a more seamless integration of technology into playthings…this is a huge coup for the toy industry, which has managed to incorporate up-to-the-minute tech advances into their toys while still preserving traditional play patterns that kids love."
The trends were unveiled at a "Toy Trends Tea" hosted this afternoon by TIA – owner and operator of Toy Fair and official voice of the toy industry. A video of the presentation will be posted to the Toy Fair 2013 and TIA websites (
A summary of the six top trends follows:
- SO RETRO! It's back-to-basics for many toymakers, who are introducing an abundance of nostalgic, vintage and classic playthings. Just like bell bottom jeans and neon colors, the best-loved items of generations past can grab hold of a new generation decades later. These favorite toys and characters bring kids, parents and grandparents together in reminiscent fun. Includes: Playthings that evoke feelings of excitement among nostalgic parents; toys with vintage or retro styling; and beloved tried-and-true staples in every household that kids will always love.
- POP CULTURE PERSUASIONThe runaway success of reality television shows that celebrate the creativity, talent and skills of contestants has inspired a new range of toys, games and crafts that encourage kids to build abilities across several areas, such as cooking, fashion, design and performance arts. Includes: Food-themed toys that allow kids to make actual food or engage in creative role play; sewing and design projects for budding "fashionistas"; musical and performance toys; and DIY design kits for kids who like to build and have a flair for creativity.
- 360 DEGREE PLAYToymakers are always coming up with new and innovative ways to leverage technology and new production techniques to enrich playtime. As advancements are made in other industries they trickle down and find their way into toys of all kinds – from educational games to active toys and everything in between. Includes: Toys that combine real and virtual worlds; products that allow users to 'change' or enhance the physical world as they play; and 3D playthings that create a more interactive experience.
- ENTICING TEENS & TWEENSDuring the "KGOY" (Kids Getting Older Younger) phenomenon a few years ago, the toy industry was of the belief that older kids were beyond the age of playing with toys and more interested in technology and electronics. Now, toymakers are responding to tweens and teens who are looking to engage with something other than a computer or TV screen. For older, "digital" kids, classic game play is even considered novel. Includes: Licensed figures, traditional board games, outdoor activity toys/extreme sports, and accessories.
- 24/7 PLAYCompact, portable toys fit into lives that are busy and tightly scheduled, allowing kids to enjoy more "free" play time – in the car on daily errands, at the dentist's office, during recess, at family functions, etc. There are also an increasing number of multi-function toys that appeal to practical, value-conscious parents. Includes: Toys with storage compartments, toys that function as room decor / nightlights / lunchboxes / music-players etc., toys that can be enjoyed and played with by kids across various age groups, and toys that can be taken "on-the-go."
- CONSTRUCTION CRAZEAccording to NPD Group point-of-sales data, the building sets category grew nearly 20% in 2012…and 2013 will be even hotter. Many manufacturers are diversifying their existing building lines and other companies who may not have previously specialized in building toys are responding to this surge and creating construction sets for kids of all ages, interests and abilities. Includes: New innovations in building sets (i.e. building toys that go "beyond the blocks") and an increasing number of licenses.
The Toy Industry Association also tracks a broad range of ongoing cross-sector trends, such as toys celebrating significant anniversaries and entertainment properties that span blockbuster movies or brands.