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DESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

How pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market?

7 November 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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Since past two years our lives have changed massively in terms of lifestyle, health, earning, vacations, basic needs, livelihood, travel, etc. all the sectors and markets have been affected. And so has the Toy Industry. Today, we are going to read a little about how pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market. To understand this we will also have a brief look at the consumer behavior.

Firstly, during this period of time global toy sales performed well. The primary reason for this resilience is the fundamentally sound foundation of the toy business: that desire of being a parent, to bring joy to their children and to aid to their development, especially in tough times to take their mind off current happenings around them. It is hard to see how this underlying demand driver for the toy business would not continue. The toys market alone is forecast to reach revenues of more than $120 billion by 2023.

Secondly, there is emergence of few second-tier groups of companies who never had a look-in at the shelves of the big retailers and who now benefit from this trend. At the same time is shows a possible threat to both the mass retailers as well as the traditional leading companies. Interestingly, both the trends are gaining traction in the market, which are still affected by the pandemic as well as those that have brought it under control.

How pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market? Faced with challenges to supply chains, store closures and shifts in consumer demands, traditional toys are expected to see an overall slower performance globally. However, a number of categories that fit well with needs of at-home children and adult entertainment and education have seen a surge in early 2020, such as games, board games, puzzles, stem toys, construction and educational toys.

While the trend towards the digitalization of playtime and pastime was already taking strong roots, covid-19 stay-at-home mandates had given further boost to video games and there is a rise in competitive tournaments, e-sports, thousands of new games and educational content in the virtual world. There has also been a rise of cross platforms. The physical games and toys are now available digitally/ virtually with cost saving ideas that people seem to love and enjoy with a vast variety of present out there.

There is a growing demand of Themed toys and games mainly based on social and mainstream media featuring cartoon characters from TV shows and movie franchises. Educational, interactive and multi-functional toys are number two as families choose to buy them as a tool for development. The touch of personalization is also driving innovation and boosting demand for custom-made products. Baby toys are getting smarter and greener as parents are looking for innovative ways to help infants develop basic skills. Building takes a virtual turn with many digital options as well as using creative and reusable compounds with the concept of DIY.

As many toy makers in traditional space have repositioned themselves as entertainment providers rather than “toy makers”, mid-to long-term opportunities and challenges include the need to build expertise and operate across multiple platforms keeping in mind the emerging trends and technologies with conclusive tips like, Integration of Physical and Digital, Appealing to millennial’s nostalgia, Gender neutrality, Incorporating influencers, the unboxing trends, and habit focused toys for specific time.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

ARTDESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

A new way of Education with Experiential Learning

7 October 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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In today’s world full of technology and advancement, only theory based knowledge isn’t enough. Narmada Bal Ghar is an NGO that works on providing a new way of education with experiential learning by empowering 850+ schools with Classroom Labs, Providing resources to 1100+ teachers and reaching more than 250K students all over the world. They believe in making kids Future ready by developing entrepreneurial skills.

Narmada Bal Ghar was established in 1999 by Bharatbhai Mehta along with close friends and relatives. Managing trustee is Mr. C. P. Shah, Director Jayesh A. Oza, with Advisory Committee members : Dr. R. A. Mashelkar (Padma Vibhushan), Dr. Sudhir M. Parikh (Padma Shree), Dr. Balvant Jani, Dr. Anamik Shah and Mr. Kirit Vasa.

NBG is focused on giving Experiential Learning of science and technology to School Students of age 3-18 years, on School education. For Physics, Chemistry and Biology they have designed 120+, 70+ and 80+ tests for observations and experiential learning by activity kits based on official school curriculums.

Apart from school studies, they also have subjects for co-curriculum that offers Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiatives that aids our day to life and are clearly the future in every field:

  1. Computer coding (uses Child compatible Blockly language)
  2. Drone Assembly and piloting (mantling, dismantling, piloting, video shoot, and other uses)
  3. 3D Printing (manufacturing prototypes from deductive to addictive with zero wastage)
  4. Artificial Intelligence technologies (with VRs and artificial screens to expose kids to AI)
  5. Artificial Intelligence products (kids build usable AI products with Plug and Play system)
  6. Digital Encyclopedia (a collection of digitally available resources)
  7. Language Juggler (handling text and speech from physical to digital medium)

They have designed a special place called “Makers Room” for Innovation and Incubators. It is facilitated with tools and product sets for learning, making, exploring new designs and innovating. They can be arranged at the schools or shared by group of schools. Maker room curriculum is designed to ensure skill development and technical ability to qualify for a job or promote enterprise.

Product sets are of those products that

  1. Use A.I./E.T. technologies
  2. Have a real life use and
  3. Carry market prices much higher than the set cost

This “no cost learning opportunity” is designed to reach every income group and the believe every school – teacher – parent can adapt to it. And they also learn – the profit on sale or saving by making rather than buying..!

NBG also believes in gaining Confidence with Character by teaching Music, Dancing, Drawing, Debates, Sports, Yoga, Skating and cultivating general reading habits as a part of Holistic Education. Along with the school knowledge and information, they also work on keeping kids grounded to their Cultural values by knowing the historical stories of their origin. This helps kids to always remember their roots and at the same time advance themselves the emerging technologies.

Lastly, they have also worked on creating competitive platforms to teach healthy sporting competitions that builds skills like, critical thinking, problem solving and group learning. They regularly organize Science innovation contests. The experiments made in these contest are never part of any school textbooks. They are fully designed and prototyped by students. Currently, they are planning for pre-2021 contest at Morbi, Gujarat to accommodate over 150 teams and 600 students.

This everyday changing world offers a million opportunities to those who are seeking it out there. Narmada Bal Ghar provides the necessary vision to look out for those opportunity and help kids gain the required set of skills to turn those opportunities into a chance to change the life, society and the future of the design industry by providing a new way of education with Experiential Learning.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

DESIGN SERVING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR KIDS

12 June 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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Artificial Intelligence is making giant strides and it begins to be perceived naturally also in the market of educational toys. If few months ago we talked about more or less static robots, and the discussion that ignited the most careful parents was about the amount of data that a voice assistant could steal from an unwitting child, well today we introduce you to Moxie; in addition to being the latest news in the field of AI for children, it is also proof that design serving artificial intelligence for kids can open new roads for interaction with robots.

EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

AN EASY-TO-BUILD ROBOT

28 January 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that the ‘child-friendly coding‘ is an hot-topic for us (if you have not read the past articles on the subject, you can retrieve here or here); our attention comes both from the boom of products that have populated the toy market and from the great educational potential of these games. In this article we present Robo Wunderkind, an easy-to-build robot that has just successfully completed a second campaign on Kickstarter.

EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

A DINOSAUR TOY THAT HELPS YOU LEARN

27 June 2019 — by Fabio Guaricci

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Dinosaurs have always been one of the favorite topics of children of all times, we have all been fascinated (maybe we still are) and we have owned at least one puppet. To confirm this statement there are also scientific bases that confirm that almost one child in three has an immeasurable interest in this subject. The academics of the University of Virginia have also found that in children interested in dinosaurs there is a higher threshold of attention and greater capacity to process information, mainly because they read a lot about it and try to deepen their knowledge to expand the possibilities of play. Today we present Dino, a dinosaur toy that helps you learn.

ARTEDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

AN ANALOG STEAM TOY PROJECT WITH A DIGITAL CORE

22 March 2019 — by Fabio Guaricci

In this article we will talk about an analog STEAM toy project with a digital core for approaching children to art invented by an English start-up. Let’s start by saying that it is scientifically proven that art is good for children. Probably not new, “I always say!” you will think, but the proof of our assumptions comes from the University of Arkansas that has carried out a thorough research on a large sample of children exposed to works of art. The results show that those who have visited museums or are used to the observation of works of art develop different “soft skills” including a greater educational memory and critical thinking skills.

EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

A TOY TO LEARN DESIGN THINKING

22 September 2018 — by Fabio Guaricci

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The story of Pixel Press starts with a group of friends who was no more satisfied with just playing video games, so begin designing them. So far nothing exciting, indeed probably the majority of companies in the industry were born in this way; the difference is that Pixel Press has done so in a ‘disruptive’ way: it has made the design and creation of video games for everyone, even for a child, creating a toy to learn design thinking.

DESIGNTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

AN APP CREATED TO HELP KIDS DURING THERAPIES

7 February 2018 — by Fabio Guaricci

Once upon a time there was Niamh Barnes, a 7-year-old girl treated in an English hospital. One day she suggested to doctors and nurses to find a system to support the little patients, to distract them and go with them during their stay in the wards. That desire by Niamh is now reality in Alder Hey’s pediatric hospital in Liverpool that introduced Alder Play, an app created to help kids during therapies that combines Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence for a better hospital experience.