Tech-Based Toys, Outdoor Fun, Unboxing And Captain Marvel Revealed As Trends For Toys In 2019

February 28, 2019 Sarah Cavill

Climbing, unboxing, slime-ing — toy trends for 2019 have something for every kind of kid. The Toy Association recently held their 116th North American Toy Fair in New York and shared their predictions for which toy trends they think will be winners with kids in the coming year. Encompassing a number of fun ideas, themes and activities, these toys and games offer new innovations, build on existing platforms and, of course, continue to embrace brand licensing, because Avengers is always on the way.

By casting a wide net across genres and toy types, manufacturers are able to appeal to many different types of children. An equally diverse approach can be employed by  marketers when working with brands that engage kids and their parents.                                                                                           

Unboxing Continues To Be Popular With Manufacturers And Kids

unboxing toys

Unboxing, sometimes also called the “wow effect,” is a toy phenomenon that offers a surprise element for kids when they open the box or packaging. And, similar to the very popular Hatchimals from years past, these interactive toys also have a collectible element. Among the many options and variations of the “unboxing” toy trend are Mystery Makers from Plus Plus, these puzzles, which can be anything you want them to be, will have a new twist with QR activated instructions in 2019. Also, Fuzzy Pet collectors can look forward to a new batch of the very popular L.O.L Surprise! Fuzzy Pets, who live in shampoo bottles and can be “washed” to change colors. A new release of special edition Pikmi Pops Surprise! DoughMis and many other fun, weird, collectible unboxing options await in 2019.

treasure x aliens slime unboxing toys

Slime Isn’t Going Anywhere

The “compound” trend, which encompasses toys that allow kids to make slime, putty and sand sculptures, is still trending this year. Slime and other compounds often intersect with unboxing trends, like the Treasure X Aliens, which have a slime feature.

Climbing Courses And Other Types Of Outdoor Fun Are Vying For Kids Attention

Kids are hooked on their tech, but toy manufacturers are creating rigorous and silly outdoor games and activities to alter that reality. The Ninjaline Climber’s Ladder, Slackline and Zipline allow families to create their own Ninja Warrior courses in their backyards. Sumo Bumper Boppers from Big Time Toys and the Star Hammock from Hearthsong are other fun ways for kids to enjoy being outside and away from their technology — at least for a little while.

Tech Innovations In Toys And Games Are Incorporating STEAM And AR

Technology-based toys, or “inspirational toys” as they were referred to at the Toy Fair, continue to evolve and innovate, capturing kids’ attention in a number of ways. The Artie 3000 is a drawing robot, bringing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) cleverly into the toy market. Artie allows kids to practice a variety of different programming languages, from block drop to more sophisticated programming like Javascript. Once coded, Artie rolls around on a piece of paper drawing the picture you coded for him. And he’s a cute little guy, reminiscent of Eve from the movie Wall-E. A Bluetooth-enabled karaoke machine for kids and an AR-enabled globe were other examples predicted to be popular in 2019.

Licensed Toys Will Keep Growing In Popularity As Film And Television Franchises Continue To Grow

disney dumbo toys

The Toy Association expects 2019 will be another big year for licensed merchandise, which already constitutes 30% of all toy sales. Captain Marvel, Avengers, Dumbo, Lion King, Aladdin and Toy Story 4 all open this year, and all of them provide opportunities for licensing. Disney’s partnership with Pillow Pets will yield many different new plush friends, a strategic card game will accompany the release of Captain Marvel and the much awaited return of the Avengers will offer a mix of new promotional items.

This year promises to provide no shortage of fun and innovation for kids, as toy manufacturers approach play time from all angles, a consideration for marketers when targeting this niche market.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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