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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Airbnb because I like to travel on a budget.” –Female, 22, NY

Traditional entertainment brands have been tapping into online talent at an increasing rate, and Nickelodeon took advantage of the recent VidCon digital celebrity event to scout for new talent. The network, which is “exploring distributing content from online video creators via its digital brands” held a casting call at the event to find creative among the hundreds of assembled vloggers. Google says that YouTube reaches more people in the U.S. than any cable network among 18-49-year-olds. (Business Insider)

For the first time in years, and after a prolonged period of increasing obesity, American kids (and adults) are finally eating less. The number of calories that the average child in the U.S. takes in each day has fallen by 9%, and a cutback in soda drinking is a major reason behind the drop. The amount of full calorie soda the average American drinks has dropped a full 25% since the ‘90s. Obesity rates have also been reversing for younger children, “suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference.” (NYTimes)

Going to a Millennial wedding? Bring cash, not a toaster. The generation is reportedly eschewing traditional gifts to instead request “cold, hard cash” for their nuptials. Couples are using their wedding funds for things like fun honeymoons they wouldn’t be able to afford themselves, or to start a house down payment savings. The fact that more Millennials live together before marriage and are very likely to have all the household goods they might need is a big reason behind the trend of tossing gravy boats and dishes in favor of financial gifts. (Refinery 29NYTimes)

MTV is tackling some current debates in the Millennial generation by creating content on the subject of racial bias. The generation has idealized color-blindness, but is maturing to find the approach doesn’t solve racial issues. MTV’s documentary special White People asked young white people across the country to look at their privilege and education, and the network has also launched a digital anti-bias campaign featuring content like a “Bias Cleanse” and a “snap judgment quiz.” (USA Today)

Watch out Uber, another car sharing platform is amping up their creative marketing. Taxi app Gett has partnered with Veuve Clicquot to create a champagne on-demand campaign that delivers bottles of chilled bubbly, along with two flutes, around London within 10 minutes. Gett’s marketing in the UK is a “bid to snatch market share from Uber” and the app is clearly borrowing from their competitor’s “everything on-demand” promotional strategy. (Marketing Magazine)

Quote of the Day: “I unplugged because I just wanted some me time- also wanted to see if i would be able to do it.” –Female, 32, NC

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies