The toy industry is an ever-evolving industry that features diverse toys globally based on various movies, series, animes, imaginary creations, and other themes. Toys may range from simple plastic cutouts to advanced robots with sophisticated features.
The toys will keep evolving with time and the demand of the consumers. Innovations in technologies play a major role in tech toys. Whatever be the reason, the toy industry has been growing and will continue to grow in the future.
The toy industry trends massively affect the evolution of toys from time to time. And these trends are also dynamic and keep evolving with time.
This article features the top 8 toy industry trends, innovations, and challenges in 2023. Stick till the end to find out everything about 2023 toy industry trends.
Top 8 Toy Industry Trends, Innovations & Challenges in 2023
1. All around, inclusivity for better beginnings
This trend is one of the innovative and praiseworthy trends in the toy industry in 2023 and in years to come. It crushes the idea of standardized dolls of the past and includes dolls of various races, ages, physical appearances, sizes, and genders.
This vision includes and helps children – especially abled or normal- become familiar with real-life scenarios from a young age. It promotes comfortability and confidence among all children to accept themselves as equal with everyone.
This toy industry trend may not take over the world by storm but has a massive potential to do so in the future. Introducing diverse toys to young generations will help them understand the accurate representation of the world and treat everyone equally from a very young age.
It is a massive step by the toy companies worldwide to cultivate such good culture among children through toys. The elements of empathy and compassion amongst kids are the seeds for a better world.
2. Focus on environmental sustainability
In 2023, no one is unaware of the effects of non-degradable wastes, and everyone wants to contribute to the sustainability and longevity of the environment. It has become a general norm that excluding plastics can help save the earth.
Many toy companies have realized it and are shifting toward more sustainable materials to make toys. It is yet another applaudable step in the toy industry trends 2023. Making toys out of sugarcane fibers, bamboo, and other sustainable raw materials should be encouraged globally.
Shifting the business models and operations is a massive challenge to the toy industry in 2023. These huge companies have invested fortunes in infrastructures that might not comply with new sustainable raw materials, which has become a major obstacle for the toy industry.
However, with more and more people drawn toward a sustainable environment, the companies that adopt the trend of sustainable toys will greatly impact the coming generation and the toy industry.
3. Family-friendly games for old-time sake
This trend of family-friendly games includes diverse toys, puzzle games, board games, building sets, and sophisticated collectible figurines. These sorts of games resulted from the pandemic in 2019, which presented opportunities for the whole family to spend time together.
Despite the pandemic fading and life returning to normal, we can assume that these game and toy trends in 2023 will gradually decrease. But, the metrics published by WhyDoesEverythingSuck.net showed that the board games market is predicted to grow by 13% CAGR from 2021 to 2026.
The trend of family games will (of course) decrease but won’t go out of practice soon, as the family members find it easier to bond through such games. Parents can encourage their kids to participate in such activities rather than on their digital devices.
The toy industry trend of family-friendly games will thrive for some more years, at least if not forever.
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4. Parents seeking toys with educational purpose
This toy industry trend started during the pandemic in 2019 when parents had to work from home and look after their kids. Multitasking was almost impossible, so parents adopted toys that could teach their kids while playing.
The companies like Thames and Kosmos, which had been creating science toys since 2001, saw massive potential in 2019 and capitalized on the demands of parents wanting educational toys for their kids. These companies experienced an 80% increase in sales in 2020 and 2021.
This toy industry trend will not fade easily as parents find it useful for their kid’s mental and cognitive skill development. These toy trends with educational purposes are expected to rise by more than $24 billion from 2022 to 2024.
According to these metrics, we can assume that this toy industry trend will thrive for years to come.
5. Advancement of tech toys
It is obvious with the development of science and innovative technologies, tech toy companies will also be upping their game. In 2023, we shall witness various creative ideas and huge toy improvements. These tech toys will make playing time interactive and more educational, aiding a child’s mental health development.
Dot, the robot by Wonder Workshop, is an excellent example of a tech toy that is easily programmable by kids to tell stories and create exciting games. Dash and Cue are for older kids with a bit of advanced features. However, it might need some parental aid and supervision.
The challenge for this toy industry trend is the hefty price, which might not suit all family expenses. It is challenging for tech toy companies to reduce their CPs and make them affordable for every family, which can massively boost their sales.
Despite the challenges, the tech toy industry will keep upgrading its features to keep up with the market fluidity and consumer demands and, more importantly, challenge themselves and the competitors in the niche.
6. More Movie and TV Franchise Toy-Ins
The movies and TV franchises are getting popular with kidult. The toy companies will look to capitalize on the fan base and create character figures/figurines. The fans will (definitely) consider buying them, especially after watching the films and series.
It isn’t news in 2023; new toy companies will still emerge and collaborate with movies and tv franchises to create toys or character figurines. This trend will never go out of fashion as the company is clever enough to categorize figures with limited editions to attract more buyers.
Toys from films and other TV series and animes have a huge fan base who spend their earnings for the sake of collection. These collectors are obsessed, and the company tie-ins have made their dreams come true.
The Sydney Morning Herald published an article that claims movies made $26.5 billion toy industry 5 years ago. Since then, many toy movies have hit the cinemas, and still, many are in the making that will elevate the movie toy industry in 2023 and beyond.
7. Toy subscription service to boom
Many families spend a lot on toys for their children, while some cannot afford much. Several companies have been established to provide toys on a subscription basis to capitalize on this situation.
Another factor is people growing more conscious of environmental sustainability and their desire to contribute to the betterment. These people don’t want toys that adversely affect nature, so instead of buying them, they prefer renting.
Renting toys can help families with limited budgets get new toys for their kids every other month. This approach will also support maintaining the number of toys that go to waste to pollute the environment at some stage. Exploding Topics illustrates a chart showing a 136% increment in 10 years in Google searches for “Toy Subscription.”
This toy industry trend is popular in the UK, US, and China, and it is on the rise with time and customer demand globally. Whirli, a UK-based subscription company, raised around $5.4 million in a seed funding round. It shows the popularity and acceptance of the concept by investors.
KiwiCo is another up-and-coming subscription company that focuses on toys and games like hands-on projects like science experiments, STEM activities, and crafts. Since its launch in 2018, KiwiCo claims to have sold $100M worth of subscription boxes.
This trend has a possibility of success but has a huge obstacle to overcome- the wraith of toy companies.
8. The rise of Unboxing Toys
Unboxing toys is not news in 2023, but it isn’t simple toys that need unboxing. The concept of unboxing has been elevated to new levels by the toy companies, where children can enjoy many mysteries that aren’t revealed upfront by the companies.
The theme of the unboxing toys features several hidden surprises for the kids to find out. The companies have found ways to keep their sales up with unboxing toys.
L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls by Isaac Larian is the best example of this concept. These dolls have customized toys with various accessories and black light that reveal hidden surprises. These dolls became a huge success in 2018, and the company – MGA Entertainment behind the dolls sold products worth $4 million.
The rise of unboxing toys is imminent in the years to come as kids are hugely influenced by YouTube videos where channels unbox series of such toys, compelling kids to ask for such toys in reality.
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Conclusion: The future of the toy industry…
The toy industry is dependent on the number of kids around the globe. We don’t see the birth rate plummeting soon, indicating that the toy industry’s future – strong and sustainable.
Regarding sustainability, the companies should focus on using sustainable materials for manufacturing toys to attract more consumers and, more importantly, aid the longevity and sustainability of the planet.
The toy companies, with effective marketing and sustainable backing of eco-friendly stature, will thrive under various ups and downs of the toy industry.
Grand View Research reported that the global toy industry was valued at USD 10.11B in 2020, with an expected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.5% until 2028. This metric indicates an astonishing future for the toy industry with massive potential.
🌗 How would you segment the toy market?
You can segment the toy market into 4 major categories: age group, product type, sales region, and sales channel.
What is the target market for toys?
Families with young kids are the major target markets of toy companies. They also target various film fan bases with character figurines.
📈 Is the toy industry growing?
Yes, the toy industry is growing at a significant rate. As per BlueWeave Consulting, the global toy market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.7%, with an estimated revenue of USD 401.3 billion by 2027 globally.
🔮 What age group buys the most toys?
Kids under 12 are most likely to buy toys, with 48%, while 30% of adults buy toys and games for older kids and 38% for other adults.
👶 How many toys does a kid need?
A kid needs no more than 15 toys, as indicated by a survey by Premium Joy.