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May 2020
10 Min read
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Toys Story 2020

Natali

Journalist, PR-manager, content creator

Toys Story 2020 21 votes

Coronavirus made its adjustments not only in the life of adults but also had a strong impact on the children’s activity. When the pandemic started to gain strengths, the government had to close kindergartens, schools, and other institutions where children could live a productive social life. This rapid action effectively slowed down the spread of new infections, but it also caused anxiety, sleep disturbance, eating habits, and even cases of depression among children.

Communication is essential to the well-being of children. Its deficiency can very badly affect their further psychological development. And lack of movement and outdoor activities can undermine the physical condition.

At this time, games and toys come to the aid of all parents. It is toys that allow us to develop imagination, learn to understand and perceive the world around them, contribute to the acquisition of communication skills, educate and develop intellectual qualities. This is exactly what is needed when parents want to not just distract their kids from isolation, but to occupy them with some useful things. Market research agency Scheduling decided to take a closer look at the industry of production and distribution of goods for children, main consumer trends, and novelties.

Who Runs the Toy Show?

In order to make a customer journey mapping, manufacturers conduct quantitative research on what toys will be in demand among young consumers. To find out, they take risks, evaluate hits (and failures), test new offers to create a positive customer experience, conquering, and benefits over competitors in B2B and B2C sectors. The results of this work could be evaluated at various exhibitions and fairs.

  One of such fairs is the annual Toy Fair, the largest in the Western hemisphere, held by the Toy Association in New York. Here they show the latest toys and set the industry trends for the current year. In February 2020, one of the central topics for discussion among the exhibitors was Coronavirus. Delays in the supply of goods, the shutdown of production at many Chinese enterprises have greatly affected the toy market.

The fair brings together over 1000 manufacturers, distributors, and importers for the presentation of entertainment products from 100 countries. One of the main component parts exporters was China, of course, but the Chinese pavilion at Toy Fair New York was completely closed. The United States imposed an entry ban on foreign nationals who visited China within 14 days before the start of the exhibition. And the main events of the event were canceled or rescheduled.

Toys Market Research

Industry Trends 

While retail is refocusing on online production, and consumers on online shopping, the hearts of the younger generation (and not only) are being won by the characters from the online galaxy.

  • From online to the real world.

The toys originating from virtual reality are gaining more popularity thanks to social networks, YouTube, and streaming channels. Netflix made a big bet on the TV series “Very Strange Things” and “Mandalorian”, and succeeded. Different licensed products with the TV show design are in great demand among the fans. And the figure of baby Yoda has broken the record for pre-orders.

Baby Yoda became the film’s most popular hero, and the demand for his images has reached global dimensions straight after the first episodes. According to Jungle Scout, within a month after the release of the first episode of “Mandalorian”, Baby Yoda searched 90,000 times on Amazon. By the title of the TV show, the search recorded another 126,000 requests. 

  • Adults love to play, too.

For the toy industry, self-isolation has become a real gift. Millions of people had to stay home in quarantine, and in order not to get bored, they started playing games harder. Against the background of disappointing economists reports, the developers reported high circulation, and platform holders could not cope with the demand for consoles. In 2020, the festival of online games fans called Electronic Entertainment Expo will not take place, but this popular event among the gamers will be superseded by the digital show Summer of Gaming.

Increasingly, manufacturers are referring to retro brands or once-popular table games. Such games help organize the united leisure activities of parents and children, develop the small players’ communication skills and ability to solve problems.

  • Kids rule.

Another trend is the growing demand for toys that allow children to lead the game process. This helps the child to develop leadership skills, creativity, and critical thinking. Among the popular products of this kind are technological toys, blocks, sets for programming, and kits for scientific experiments.

Last year, in 2019, a well-known manufacturer of toys opened 150 stores which led to such tangible improvements in annual performance that the toy manufacturer intended to open as many stores this year. Despite the fact that the main growth in revenue came from sales in China, the company has no reason to be pessimistic about the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the company’s net profit increased by 3% to 1 billion euros. Online sales grew by 27% as the new website began to yield some dividends. The arrangement of retail outlets with the opportunity to try out all the functionality of toys has significantly increased NPS among customers.

  • Sustainable development and responsible consumption.

More and more manufacturers are thinking about environmental protection. Some companies produce goods from recycled plastic bottles (Shore Buddies and Ocean Friends), while others use environmentally friendly materials. Arboform, a by-product of wood processing, that services to replace plastic, is popular among companies.

The trend also works in the toy industry: at the Toy Fair, MGA has introduced its L.O.L. line. Surprise! made from biodegradable materials in environmentally friendly packaging.

  • Playing with H2O.

The toys that change color, shape, size, and even smell when in contact with water are becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, manufacturers often combine the “water” component with the elements of surprise toys.

Thus, an American company Skyrocket Toys has released a collection of Blume dolls: the figures literally grow out of a flower pot if you water it from a special watering can. Each doll comes with 10 surprises — a wallet, a pet, sticker sets, and much more.

What solutions can be undertaken for your business considering the situation and the latest trends:

  • Integrate the physical and digital worlds of toys or games to succeed in the technology market.
  • Do not forget about the parents. For example, try to turn to the nostalgia of Millenials when they buy toys for their children.
  • Be aware of the consumers’ changing attitudes, such as evolving gender perceptions. The boys don’t necessarily want a car, and the girls – a doll.
  • Include influential marketing (such as well-known YouTubers) in your strategy to achieve the best results.
  • Follow the global trend of “unpacking”, creating a surprise for children. Experiment with creating unique packaging that turns into the storage kits or the games.
  • Conduct regular market analysis to play ahead of the curve.

Play and stay safe! Follow the latest trends with us!

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