The Top Toy Trends for 2014

Santa’s got nothing on the Toy Fair. The exhibition space of the American International Toy Fair stretches over 412,000 square feet—that’s 7½ football fields filled with toys. Almost half of the toys from our pre-holiday spotlight won awards for “Toy of the Year” in various categories, with hands-on innovators Rainbow Loom and Goldieblox among the best and brightest. While digital natives are growing up with technology at the forefront of their everyday interactions, emphasis this year was not on digital play. Technology is rather being integrated into playtime as a base element for building and creating. Though the video game and toy hybrid market continues to rise, dominated by Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the biggest trends we saw coming out of the Toy Fair involved kids stepping away from screens and interacting hands-on with toys to create their own environments. Here are some of the major toy trends we picked up on:
 
#1—Super Sized Play
In the past few years, small figurines have dominated in the toy market, which has been a reflection of recession production and pricing. As the market rebounds and kids become more laissez-faire about new inventions than ever, companies are looking to “wow” them with the sheer size of toys, from life sized and beyond.
 
Product Standouts:
KidKraft Dollhouses
The interior of these life-sized homes for dolls are decorated down to the last detail, making Barbie’s Dreamhouse look like a starter home. Young girls can use their own dolls to play in the house, and competitor My Girls’ Dollhouse is just plain enormous, allowing for larger 18” dolls to fit.


 
Super Mario Kart Ride-On Vehicle
Millennial parents everywhere are wishing that they had real sized Mario Karts to ride around in instead of plastic vans. So, feeding into their…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without marathoning a television show.” –Female, 31, NV

The Pitches are back. Yesterday the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the cult hit 2012 aca-awesome movie, landed on the internet and the buzz is already huge. The trailer has been viewed over 6 million times in 24 hours. Pitch Perfect 2 will be out in May 2015, so fans have a while to wait, but as you can see in today's Instant Poll they'll be ready to watch. (Slash Film)

Last week, teen singer Lorde taught adults some new slang “the youthz” use when she tweeted out a compliment to Kim Kardashian. Lorde retweeted Kardashian’s internet breaking Paper cover with the comment “Mom,” which many not in-the-know interpreted as a criticism. But in reality saying “mom” to a celeb is a common compliment, meaning “adopt me/be my second mom/i think of you as a mother figure you are so epic.” (BuzzFeed)

Bailey’s is targeting Millennial women with a global campaign that “celebrates the ‘power of female friendship.’” To create a spot that would appeal to a new generation of women, the agency team and production team were predominantly female. The commercial features women around the world going out on the town together and the brand hopes it will show Bailey’s has “a meaningful role in a girls night out…[after] having had been hidden at home for far too long.” (The Drum)

The maker of the infamous Hot or Not site is back with a new, unexpected app for new parents and kids. His latest project, Cakey, is a free YouTube app that allows parents to create playlists of kid-safe videos, and choose from lists that other parents’ have shared. The simple app also includes an option that pauses video and says, “Okay, take a bite” for parents who are using Cakey to convince picky kids to eat. (Recode)

Two high schools in southern California were shut down this week thanks to threats that were posted on Yik Yak, the anonymous app that allows users to see messages from anyone in a 1.5 mile radius. Reportedly threats “of mass shootings, bombings, or other violence” made through the app is becoming a growing problem. (Mashable)

The Daily Instant Poll gives you a quick snapshot of how Millennials are weighing in on the topics that are making headlines, but there's more to our mobile network of 2 million Millennials than what makes the newsletter. Ten of our most recent featured Instant Poll results are available to Ypulse.com Silver and Gold subscribers, allowing them to compare the responses of various demographics. (Ypulse)

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