The world is changing, and the world of toys is keeping pace! Toy manufacturers have their fingers on the pulse of society, and are catering to emerging interests and concerns. Here are some of the hottest and most exciting trends in toys:
– Toys Go Digital – Largely inspired by the incredible success of Ganz’s Webkinz, toy manufacturers are starting to build online worlds around the toys they sell in stores. Neopets rivals Webkinz in popularity, while even dolls such as Barbie and Bratz have created extensive websites to stimulate kids’ imaginations. With the advent of online toys, kids and parents are spending more time with their new friends!
– Toys Go Green – Parents don’t want to feel like they’re giving their children synthetic or harmful toys, or that they’re setting a bad example for them. In response to this, most leading toy companies have expanded into eco-friendly toys that are made of organic or recyclable materials and use less packaging.
– Due to recalls and scares in recent months, there has been a significant backlash against toys made in China. Distributors are increasingly looking for products made in the United States or Europe.
– Another backlash in the toy world has been against the rise of edgy or ‘trashy’ dolls. Wholesome toys like Webkinz have enjoyed incredible success, while Barbies and similar dolls have toned down their edgy attempts to appeal to teens and tweens.
– Of course, safety is still of the utmost importance to concerned parents. Parents are asking questions about the materials and manufacture of the toys they buy, and toy companies have been forced to respond. Many of the most successful manufacturers now not only meet but exceed safety regulations.
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