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.