The Toy Association has unveiled the top trends which it is expecting to drive consumer spending on toys, games and youth entertainment products in 2024.
The Toy Association’s team of trend experts meets with hundreds of global toy companies throughout the year to track the latest developments in toys, play and youth entertainment, as well as parallel industries.
Among the trends identified for 2024 is Eco-lasting Play, with 45% of parents under the age of 40 considering a toy’s environmental impact when making buying decisions, according to a Toy Association survey of US parents. And what consumers care about most when it comes to sustainability and purchasing products is durability (58%), according to a Deloitte 2023 Sustainable Consumer report.
Thanks to a resurgent cultural interest in spooky, mystery and horror genres across movies, TV and literature, expect to see an array of toys that leverage new technologies, hidden features, secret codes and unfolding narratives that tap into our natural curiosity, explore the thrill of the unknown and lead kids to new discoveries – a trend dubbed Eerie Enchantment by The Toy Association.
Vitamin P(lay) sees the toy industry step up to the plate to offer a diverse range of toys that aid both mind and body. Fusing emotional intelligence, screen-free active play and sports-inspired fun, this trend is set to redefine the landscape of children’s play, as toymakers deliver more toys that not only promote physical fitness but moreover stimulate creativity, healthy emotional expression and social interaction.
Meanwhile, for teens and kidults, Anime Mania will come to the forefront in 2024 with its impact on the toy space expected to reach new heights.
Toys inspired by social media trends, video games and digital worlds (such as Minecraft and Roblox) will also continue to carve out a bigger piece of the pie, although The Toy Association also believes that we will see more toys inspired by evergreen characters of the past and small screen entertainment that has cross-generational appeal.
With new preschool entertainment rolling out, keep an eye out for toys inspired by both edutainment and entertainment properties that entice little ones, as well as many anniversary celebrations.
“With budgets continuing to be carefully curated, today’s toy shoppers seek more than just playthings; they seek enduring play experiences – and the toy industry is delivering,” commented Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “This year’s top toys will prioritize consumer budgets, durability, and sustainability, while also emphasising how toymakers are broadening their product ranges in ways that lean into cultural trends and make play more accessible for all ages and abilities.”