Toy Fair happens annually in New York City. More than 1,000 exhibitors from around the world come to display approximately 150,000 toy products every year. Over the years, some of the world’s most popular toys have made their debut at Toy Fair. Barbie made her first ever appearance at the 1995 show.
Flash forward to 2020 and the world of toys looks rather different than it did in 1959. Of course, Barbie is still a household name, but other types of toys are taking over the market. New technology, a desire to be more environmentally friendly, and smart phones have all made a huge impact on the direction of the toy industry. Here were some of the hottest product trends at Toy Fair 2020.
ASMR, short for as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, describes a feeling of relaxation that comes with hearing certain sounds or watching certain videos. An example of this would be neatly cutting soap or listening to rain tap on a window. The world of ASMR has grown in popularity thanks to the internet, specifically YouTube and other social media platforms.
Not only are the adults fans of ASMR, but the children’s toy market is now seeing tons of products geared towards fans of ASMR. Many companies have added slime and putty products to their line-up and brought them to Toy Fair for exhibitors to touch and feel for themselves. Other types of ASMR products included anything you can squish, squeeze, or crunch.
Educational toys have long been popular for parents who want to incorporate learning into their child’s play. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math is a common term for the grouping of these four academic subjects. Incorporating STEM into play at an early age can result in a better understanding later on in life. Parents also want to be able to teach their children STEM in a fun and easy way.
Toy Fair 2020 was proof that many companies are on board with developing new products related to STEM education. For example, Learning Resources brought Botley 2.0, the coding robot. It may sound crazy to think that a toy could teach children how to code, but this interactive robot includes coding cards, interactive obstacles, and coding games that can have children as young as five coding in minutes. This type of STEM toy has children learning how to code, without even realize they are picking up a new skill.
Being more environmentally cautious is important to many consumers in a wide variety of industries. From to cars, people are looking for the most eco-friendly products to purchase in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Consumers are looking for products made from recycled plastics, reusable items, or any type of new or old product that can be made in an environmentally responsible way.
As for toys, parents want to make sure their children are also using eco-friendly products. Tons of brands were at the show to display new lines of toys made from recycled materials and toys made in environmentally cautious factories. PlaySTEAM was at Toy Fair, a company that offers educational toys for children, including a build-your-own wind powered motor glider. This DIY toy lets kids how to assemble their very own eco-friendly wind turbine, teaching them how to convert wind into electricity to light an LED bulb and to power the motor glider.
Although there are tons of different categories at Toy Fair New York, categories like STEM, ASMR, and Green products seemed to shine this year. This show is always an exciting time for the toy industry and for inventors of toy products and this year’s show did not disappoint.
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