Toys sales are rising this year. According to The NPD Group Inc., a market research firm that tracks about 80% of the U.S. toy market, toy sales are projected to rise 6.2% to $19.9 billion in 2015. That’s up 4% over last year. It’s also the biggest increase in 10 years!
The reason behind the rise in sales
Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of Time to Play Magazine, says, ‘The selection is much greater than in the past. Technology is much better in the toy aisle, and it’s really inspiring young kids to play but also bringing older kids to things like radio control and role play items.”
Toys are making a comeback – but not just any toys
As of recently, kids are choosing toys over videogames and mobile apps. Toys have changed over the years, and there are several contributing factors: The popularity of collectibles, toys based on popular Hollywood films like ‘Frozen’ and ‘Starwars,’ better technology that makes toys more interactive, and a focus of toy manufacturers on the long-ignored preteen or “tween” market.
The focus on interactive toys and improved technology has been a big boost. For example, Hasbro’s StarLily My Magical Unicorn responds to voice and touch with more than 100 sound and motion combinations. Marketed to tweens, Spin Master’s Meccano Meccanoid G15 allows kids to build and program their own personal four-foot-tall robot that records and plays back audio and it learns from them. It has more than 1,200 parts and features 64 megabytes of memory.
‘You want to make sure that you give them enough that they’re going to want to walk away from their iPads and phones,’ said Mattel’s Executive Vice President Geoff Walker.
It’s like Siri or Cortana for kids – but arguably cooler!
So what toys are really popular right now?
Hot toys most any kid would love
Unless you have a niece like mine who hands everyone in our family a piece of paper with the gift you’re supposed to get her written on it, shopping for kids can be tough! But, luckily, some of the biggest retailers have created gift guides this year – and for most sites, it’s easy to search for bestselling items and check reviews. Check out some of the toy bestsellers below!
- â€‹Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo: $32.99
Paw Patrol – Paw Patroller: $48.99
Cool tech toys
- MiPosaur: The intelligent robot dinosaur that responds to you! $92.99
- LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack: $84.99
- Anki OVERDRIVE Starter Kit: Use your mobile device to take command of real robotic Supercars! $149.99
- View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack: $29.97
- Fisher-Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex: $78.99