The 2020 Toy Trends To Track

Whether you are a parent or a collector, knowing what the hot toys will be this year is essential. From birthday party presents to what to start stashing for the holidays. What the toy trends will be for 2020 is key for fun!

The Toy Association announced the 2020 toy trends at its 117th Toy Fair New York.

the hottest toys for 2020

“The top trends announced today reflect a new wave of toys inspired by the shift in how kids and adults are consuming content,” said Adrienne Appell, senior director of strategic communications at The Toy Association.

The Toy Association’s team of experienced trend-spotters meets with hundreds of global toy companies throughout the year to track the latest developments in toys and youth entertainment. At Toy Fair New York, the team combs through thousands of products on the show floor before making an official announcement of the year’s hottest trends.

A summary of the top trends follows:

IRL

Where kids are watching is influencing every aspect of their lives. Digital-first brands originating from nonlinear platforms (like Netflix), social media, and esports platforms are infiltrating the toy aisle. From action figures and dolls to unboxing toys and board games, this trend includes digital toys. Digital toys that crosses into the physical world and encourages active/social play and traditional and nostalgic toys with a digital twist.

H2O Play

Toys that transform before your very eyes using one simple ingredient – water! – are making a splash this year. Water is readily available, and safe for kids to use on their own. Plus, its easy to clean, making it an increasingly popular addition to toys in several categories. This trend includes unboxing/surprise toys that use water to reveal a hidden message, color, or character. There are arts & crafts that use water to create beautiful designs that wipe clean or dry and fade for no-mess. Then there are aquatic-themed toys like mermaids, sharks, boats, etc. for both inside and outside play. Lastly, there are water-based educational toys that teach kids about underwater life.

Kid Powered

The sky’s the limit with “Kid Powered” toys, which put the power of play in kids’ hands. It helps them build creativity, leadership, discipline, confidence, and critical thinking skills. These open-ended toys are more inclusive and let children control and customize how they play. They can be found across a range of categories, from tech toys to building and coding kits, to science experiments, arts & crafts, dolls, and more.

Boom, Smash, Crash!

A new wave of activity toys for kids is helping them push their physical boundaries. From toddlers to tweens, kids are gaining independence. They are developing gross motor skills, engaging in friendly competition, and finding more excuses to get up and moving – whether playing inside or out!

Generations of Play

When play is infused into family life, everyone has more fun! Whether you’re six or 60, play is beneficial. When younger and older generations play together, the benefits are even greater. According to The Toy Association’s Genius of Play initiative, when children play with adults, they display higher levels of language development and problem-solving skills. Then parents and grandparents get a chance to reminisce about their own childhoods and enjoy play’s many benefits, too. The year 2020 will see a rise in family games, outdoor toys, engaging crafts, and nostalgic brands that have cross-generational appeal.

Even though 2020 won’t be a huge year for family films at the box office – it will still be a big year for entertainment. Although movies have historically driven licensed toy sales, more recent avenues for kids’ content (think Netflix, Disney+, social media, etc.) are bringing digital-first characters and stories into the toy aisle. Plus there are a lot of retro toys from entertainment properties decades ago.

Get ready to see some of the hottest licenses for 2020 and how they are expected to impact toys and games – from action figures, dolls, and playsets, to plush, board games, and everything in between.

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

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