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Latest Toy Trends for Kids in 2023

A girl playing with wooden toys

Toys shape the way children play and learn. In recent years, digital adoption has increased, with a large presence of video games and e-learning toys. With the holidays approaching, parents are looking for the newest toys to keep their children entertained. Continue reading to learn about the season’s latest toy trends.

Table of Contents
The global toy market
Trending toys of this season
To sum up

The global toy market

A collection of different mini toys

The toy industry is a lucrative market, with big brands heavily investing in manufacturing innovative products each year, driving consumer interest and sales. The global toy market was valued at USD 305.57 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.80%, reaching USD 405.08 billion by 2026. 

Toys and games are considered the physical foundation of children’s entertainment because they stimulate the senses, encourage creativity, and increase imagination. Toys for children aged 0 to 8 dominated the market in 2021, accounting for 47.3% of the market share.  Additionally, educational toys, like puzzles, construction sets, and STEM toys, are popular with this age group. 

Furthermore, the fusion of games, technology, and the introduction of movie-themed toys are expected to boost market growth.

Toy trends change every year, with brands investing heavily in developing new and creative items to keep kids excited. No doubt, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest buzz in the toy industry, and each child’s interests vary, making toy shopping tricky. So, this article discusses the major themes in the toy industry and the most popular toy categories.

Big brands draw large crowds

A Chuky doll based on a movie character

Because of their heavy marketing and prominent social media presence, the top players in the game, such as LEGO and Play-Doh, are popular across different age groups. Big brands like Hot Wheels, L.O.L, and Barbie release new collections on a yearly basis, while keeping an eye on the most popular styles and trends.

Furthermore, many shoppers believe that big brands are a safe bet because they have a history of attracting large crowds and are notorious for selling out before the holidays. This holiday season, LEGO sets with connections to other popular franchises are sure to sell out. This includes LEGO sets with Star Wars and Super Mario themes.

On-screen heroes

A child holding toys based on movie characters

Many kids are attached to characters from their favorite cartoons or movies. In response, brands go ahead to release toys, collectibles, games, and other items themed after popular movies and television shows. 

Toys with Pokemon, Paw Patrol, Black Panther, and Jurassic World themes, for example, are in high demand. This is supported by a 2021 report, which stated that revenue for toys based on movie characters increased by 19% in 2019.

This trend is seen with streaming content too. For instance, after the release of a show called Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures on Netflix, sales of Barbie Dreamhouses skyrocketed. Other favorites include Peppa Pig, CoComelon, and Baby Shark-themed toys. Thus, it’s wise to keep up with the latest trends in cinema to capitalize on this lucrative category. 

Educational toys

Girl playing with a toy robot

One trend influencing the toy market is educational toys, particularly those with technology themes. This segment includes toys that improve cognitive, academic, and motor skills. Out of these, academic toys are the most significant driver of market growth. Additionally, increased parent and student interest in early learning is playing a major role in fueling demand for educational toys

Despite their high price, many tech-savvy individuals prefer smart toys with cutting-edge innovations to other learning toys. This is because smart toys are easy to use and have a user-friendly interface with a customizable teaching mechanism. 

The growing adoption of smart toys has created a significant demand for STEM toys that improve logical reasoning skills and creativity.

Sensory toys

Baby building stack of blocks

There’s a lot of interest and demand in the toy industry for products that provide peace and comfort. The toy industry is rapidly adapting to the latest consumer demand for products that create a zen-like experience, spurred by the growth of viral Tik Tok and ASMR videos on YouTube.

Although viral trends are thought to fade over time, sensory toys have held their ground, with brands frequently creating novel products that engage the senses. Fidget spinners, kinetic sand, and textured balls are among the most prevalent sensory toys

Sensory toys are especially beneficial for children with autism because they stimulate the senses and help refine gross and fine motor skills. They also provide children with the sensations they desire in a potentially safe manner. For example, children with ADHD crave high sensory stimulation, and these toys help them relax by providing calming-emotional support.

Eco-friendly and inclusive toys

Many shoppers’ attitudes are changing, with many consumers preferring eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. As a result, to be accepted and celebrated by caregivers and parents, the new generation of toys must meet certain quality criteria. Furthermore, there’s a greater interest in gender-inclusive products and those that create a meaningful play.

Many companies are investing in toys and games that are socially responsible and are developing an inclusive range of toys for all demographics. For instance, they manufacture dolls that represent multiple ethnicities.

Next-generation toys

Girl wearing VR headset

As the digital space expands, kids s have new opportunities to explore their potential by being creative and developing fresh content with new types of toys. These products encourage kids to share their artwork in novel ways across different platforms. 

Many next-generation products promote content creation through photography, coding, drawing, and filmography. They are aligned to social media usage while grounding users in a physical space through sensory toy-building abilities. These products also encourage intergenerational play by allowing children to collaborate with their parents to build fun things together.

Gaming consoles

Person Holding White and Black Game Controller

By 2030, the gaming console market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.37%. The growing demand for 3D video games, e-sport tournaments, and advancements in core wireless connectivity are the primary factors driving the console market’s growth. Additionally, when physical sports were halted last year, many people turned to online gaming as an alternative source of entertainment.

The gaming console market is divided into home, hybrid, and handheld consoles. A home console is popular because it has advanced graphics and can be linked to external devices like television. 

On the other hand, the handheld console is portable and comes with built-in game consoles, a speaker, a screen, and controls all in one. A hybrid console has a docking station or a wired connection that connects the device to a fixed power source.

Classic toys

A vintage toy car

Many toy companies are investing in classic toys such as the Tonka Truck to provide comfort and induce nostalgia in parents. Additionally, it’s an effort to compensate for the losses incurred by the toy industry as more kids turn to video games at a young age. However, classic toys are in demand, as evidenced by a threefold increase in sales of ‘Care Bears,’ a traditional Christmas toy, in 2021.

Fisher-Price, another classic brand, continues to release toys inspired by the 1980s and 1990s. Other brands are drawing inspiration from classic television shows to recreate popular characters and capture parents’ attention.

To sum up

Toy manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that their products provide adequate sensory stimulation and foster creativity and imagination. The list is endless and ever-growing, ranging from anxiety-relieving fidget spinners to board games, jigsaw puzzles, STEM toys, building sets, and eco-friendly toys. This article gives readers a glimpse of the most sought-after products in the toy industry.

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