4 Trends Spotted At The 2019 New York Toy Fair

Across seven football fields-worth of toys at the New York Toy Fair this year, which trends stood out as ones that will rake in revenue? We picked four as ones to watch…

Elmo, PAW Patrol pups, and even the Toys R Us giraffe showed up to the 2019 New York Toy Fair to engage with retailers, executives, and press as they hunted for the trends that will take over kids’ wishlists this year. Plenty of trends that we’ve watched rise through the ranks over the past couple of years continued in full force at the fair, while others faded. STEAM toys remained an important educational angle for toymakers, while slime has expanded into other compounds like putty and sand. One trend that seems to have been shoved to the back of the toy box is gross-out toys and games; though there were some new offerings, like YULU’s PopPop Snotz and WowWee’s Fart Launcher, shelf space seems to have mostly shifted from disgusting to cutesy. Meanwhile, llamas are the new unicorns; the animal was everywhere, and we’re keeping an eye on sloths and narwhals to be big hits in the near future as well.

Unboxing, a trend we called out in 2018, became bigger than ever—The Toy Association is calling it “Unboxing 2.0.” The trend has expanded into an entire YouTube-fueled genre, full of influencers, ASMR, and of course, toymakers putting a spin on surprise collectibles originally inspired by L.O.L. Surprise! and Hatchimals. In addition, several iconic toys and franchises had anniversaries this year, causing toy makers to come out with new spins on nostalgic classics. But brands also went beyond throwbacks to appeal to Millennial parents, catering to adults as much as kids. Find out more about the four trends that took over the New York Toy Fair this year:

1. AR, App-Connected, Animatronic, Etc.

Toymakers want kids’ IRL…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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