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Toys Consumer Insights

DIY Play
Kids’ toys incorporate more custom, DIY features to encourage engagement
Implications - Aiming to support skill-building and independent learning, toy brands are turning to DIY elements to make playtime more interactive and educational. Transforming traditional activities or games into experiences you have to put effort into, brands are utilizing do-it-yourself elements to not only make games more challenging, but to also teach kids about empowerment and work ethic at the same time.
Workshop Question - In what ways could you incorporate DIY features into core products? How can you help make your consumer feel more empowered?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Playoff Activation
Brands take advantage of sports fandom with localized ad campaigns
Implications - Creating ties to current events, brands, typically outside the sports and athletic field, are jumping in to showcase support and loyalty for regional sports teams. Strategically releasing ads around playoffs and championship finals, brands are aiming to showcase pride and support for local teams through everything from referencing star players to highlighting local fan engagement. Such localized references not only speaks to how brands are seeking to become much more connected to their communities, but also the importance of supporting heritage, fandom and consumer sentiments through branding.
Workshop Question - In what ways can your brand create more authentic connections with your consumers? What localized strategies could you employ?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Voiced Playtime
Toys integrate voice technology for interactive, educational entertainment
Implications - With the rapid growth of voice technology being integrated into many aspects of consumers' lives, voice-activated technology is now being introduced to children through toys. By incorporating these features with toys already familiar to kids, brands are helping younger consumers adapt to this developing technology that's quickly becoming ubiquitous.
Workshop Question - Consider how your brand could leverage voice technology to create an engaging experience for your consumer.
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Nostalgic Bonding
Brands present retro products designed for children of Millennial parents
Implications - Brands reinvent 90’s toys and experiences as a way for Millennial parents to bond with their children and reminisce about their own childhood hobbies. From My Little Pony-themed cafes to tech-embedded Doodle Bears, brands are able to provide both products and experiences that will resonate with kids and adults alike. Facilitating these unique bonding experiences showcases how brands can play a bigger role in familial relationships.
Workshop Question - How can your brand create an inclusively bonding experience for your consumers?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Horror Culture
The Millennial fear of "adulting" is perpetuated with ominous pop culture themes
Implications - Brands embrace the Millennial desire to let go of their childhoods by reimagining classic, juvenile pastimes in dark, distorted ways. Brands like Netflix reinventing the once wholesome series’ of Riverdale and Sabrina the Teenage Witch in dark portrayals, sheds light on Millennials desire to move on from their past, while still being able to connect with nostalgic emotions. Creating new products and services around these horror-inspired reincarnations of beloved characters and plots, allows consumers to embrace their past and move forward into adulthood.
Workshop Question - How can you help younger generations to be more accepting of their adult status?
6.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Gross-Out Play
Hands-on kids games explore silly subject matter in experiential ways
Implications - A range of new children's games is exploring the success of toys that engage with the "gross-out" humor of the young child. Silly as the subject matter may often be, these products are designed to cultivate fine motor skills in young players given the experiential nature of game play. This shift highlights the progression of products from simple family board games to more engaging experiences that emphasize hands-on participation and child-like fun.
Workshop Question - What unexpected subject matter can be explored in order to engage with children on their level?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Non-Binary Kitchen
Toy kitchens are re-framed as a gender-neutral playtime activity
Implications - An increasing number of toy brands are aligning with the values of some Millennial parents by offering gender-neutral kitchen play sets. This speaks to the continued efforts many of today's parents are making to create space for their children to express themselves freely, removing any obstacles put in place by traditionally gendered play.
Workshop Question - As norms surrounding gender continue to shift, how will the messaging of your brand contribute to this evolution?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Automated Parenthood
Raising young children is made easier through specialized subscriptions
Implications - Feeding into the popularity of subscription services, companies are debuting subscription boxes focused on helping parents enrich the lives of their children in an automated way. By combining modern parents' desire to not only excel at parenting, but live more efficient, convenient lives as well, this approach to the subscription business model has great potential to expand into a wide variety of different categories.
Workshop Question - How can you provide your consumers with a more convenient way for them to reach their goals?
7.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Mascot Merchandising
Brands launch commemorative collectibles
Implications - Brands hoping to engage with consumers on a personal level are creating collectible dolls and figurines of their admired mascots. For some consumers, the collectibles muster feelings of nostalgia while other consumers simply enjoy the playful approach to brand interaction. From fast food mascots to toys and sports, numerous industries are seeking a new way to seep into the everyday lives of consumers.
Workshop Question - How can your brand connect with its past, present and future consumers through one outlet?
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Connected Doll
The popularity of connected play reaches children's dolls
Implications - With more parents now prioritizing children's play that involves educational, tech-based components, brands are incorporating such features into kids' dolls. The use of educational connected technologies with items that children would likely already be interacting with creates a more seamless learning experience.
Workshop Question - Where could your brand better incorporate smart technologies to ease consumer habits or experiences?
6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends