Last month, Hinda buyer Cindy Deeg attended the annual Toy Fair to get the scoop on the latest and greatest merchandise coming out of the toy industry this year. Here are some of the highlights from over 100,000 items and 1,000-plus exhibitors present at this year’s event.
Grow With Me
A popular category of toys at this year’s event include items that appeal to the pocketbooks by lasting through multiple stages in a child’s life. This was present in products as well as technology, as it tied in with the largest trend in tech toys. Many toys being introduced have features that allow the height to be adjusted so that the toys can grow with the children.
This was, by far, the largest trend, which started last year with a few apps designated for certain products. This year, there was plenty of integration between the iPhone®/iPad®/iPod® and toys, and this helps tie back into the “grow with me” trend which allows parents to download age appropriate apps and games to these products to keep their children engaged.
Old is New Again
Companies are bringing back some of their old-school toys but revamping them with added technology. Traditional games have been updated to include modern marvels such as zapped branding, apps and avatars. Other old faves haven’t been given the tech treatment but are being re-introduced into the world of toys.
This category features art-focused occupations from the stage to the showroom, with a focus on music stemming from the success of “American Idol,” “The Voice,” and “X Factor.” Products in this category range from microphones and karaoke machines to DJ-ing kits and fake stages. Most of these items are licensed by one of the above shows or by a variety of other companies, making these items appropriate for any age. Last year there was a similar showing of craft items, and while this year was no different, there was an emphasis on future careers. From architecture and interior design to fashion and jewelry, children are being prompted to use their imaginations to create something that they can wear and show off.
Keep your eye out in the coming months for announcements about the new products that Hinda will be adding to its ever-growing assortment!