Tag Archives: trends

A Sneak Peak at 2019 Toy Trends

Well, it’s February, so you know what that means. Parents@Play headed out to the New York Toy Fair to check out all the newest toys and games. Some of this year’s trends are continuations of last year’s, albeit somewhat updated. For example, dinosaurs, “mermaid” sequins (the kind that flip from one color to another), llamas, unicorns, glitter everything, narwhals, and coding games and toys are everywhere. As are blind bags, DIY and make it yourself kits, toys that require or interact extensively with apps, and poop. Yes, all sorts of poop in all sorts of ways. And the winner for combining trends goes to…. Glitter poop that uses an app. Wow.


hornsYes, they’re still as popular as ever. However, in the spirit of inclusiveness, now anything can have a magical horn. Cat? Yes. Llama? Of course. Marshmallow? Even you, little sugar spun bit of sweetness. If you like it, you’d better put a horn on it. Now. Otherwise, someone else will.

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2017 Toy Fair Trends—But Wait, There’s More!

Last week, we told you about toy-and-game trends we’ll be following (and sharing with you, of course) in 2017. That was just the beginning. Here are a few more we didn’t have room for.

A Little Spit and Polish

Some of your favorite toys from last year are back again, but have been updated, upgraded, and given new bells and whistles. As we all know, sometimes the first iteration doesn’t always turn out exactly right. Some of these second tries aren’t worth the trouble, but others are fantastic.

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2017 Toy Fair Trends

Every year at about this time, every toy, game, collectible, and indoor- or outdoor plaything goes on display at New York Toy Fair. And, as usual, your Parents@Play team fearlessly braved the frigid weather (although, this year it was practically balmy) to bring you a glimpse into this year’s up-and-coming trends.

Play with Your Food

play with foodFrom dolls to teddy bears that look like cupcakes to real food decorating kits to jewelry, it’s all about food. Capitalizing on the success of toys like Shopkins, and TV shows like “MasterChef Junior” and “Man vs. Child,” kids are now allowed—and even encouraged—to play with their food. You can make your own foodie toys and designs to wear, or just snuggle up at night with your favorite muffin. Some are scented, others not so much.

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Toy Trends for 2016

Every year, hundreds of toy manufacturers descend on New York in what is almost always the coldest week of the year, to unveil their latest and greatest offerings. And every year, the Parents@Play Team braves the single-digit temperatures to identify what we believe you’ll be seeing a lot of in the months ahead. So, without further ado, here are the trends we expect to dominate in 2016. Over the next few months, we’ll be doing detailed reviews of many of the products we mention here—and plenty of others.

Sloths and Puppies

secret life of petsAnimals are always popular. But this year, there’ll be a new species in town: sloths—the slowest mammals on earth—who are memorably and adorably featured in Disney’s “Zootopia” (opening in March). The other heroes from “Zootopia” will probably still be in line at the DMV when DreamWorks’s “Secret Life of Pets,” hits theaters in July, bringing to life a dizzying number of dogs, cats, and other hilarious animals.



code gamerThe terms STEM and STEAM are being overused to the point where they’re nearly meaningless. But the underlying skills, including coding, are going to be critical to today’s children, who (hopefully) will become tomorrow’s leaders. Fisher-Price’s Code-a-Pillar and introduces coding concepts to toddlers. Code Gamer from Thames & Kosmos brings those same skills to kids 10 and up.

Build-it-Yourself Robots

maker MiP

mix and move busyVTech’s Mix & Move Bizzy introduces the basics of robot building to toddlers, while WowWee helps older kids refine those skills with their Maker kits, including Maker MiPosaur, Maker MiP, and Edu MiP.

Girl Power

ladybug and cat noirWell, it’s about time! We’ll be seeing plenty of DC’s and Marvel’s female superheroes, including Black Widow, Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and others. We’ll also get introduced to the eponymous heroes of Nick’s “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.”


budsiesThis year, kids will be able to design Barbies and other dolls in their own image. But one of our favorites in this category is Budsies, which turns your child’s artwork into incredible, custom made (and wonderfully detailed) stuffed animals. The whole process takes a few weeks, but the end result is well worth the wait.

Real Construction

real constructionWill all the talk about technology, there’s still a place for good, old-fashioned construction. Real Construction has some great kits that combine tools and wood-like material to let young kids build practically anything—without any danger of hurting themselves.

Food Toys

yummy worldVeggie Tales was all the rage a few years ago. This year, there’ll still be healthy food toys for kids to play with, but Kid Robots is introducing a line of smiling French fries, donuts, pretzels, cupcakes, and more for kids who like to play with their food.

Video Drones

mota jetjat nano

sky viper These incredibly fun toys come in all sizes. Mota’s JetJat Nano is the smallest we’ve ever seen. And Skyrocket’s Sky Viper series now incorporates a variety of features (including GPS, auto hover, and auto landing) that make controlling your drone a lot easier, meaning you’ll be able to spend more time flying and less time retrieving your drone from your roof or your neighbor’s tree.

New Construction Systems



yoxoDon’t get us wrong—we adore LEGO. But there are a lot of other building systems out there that deserve a look. Kits from YOXO let kids connect paper towel tubes and other found items to create amazing structures. Brackitz and Miclik both use unique—and very versatile pieces to create equally amazing structures.

Toy Trends to Look For in 2014

Every year, manufacturers of every toy, game, electronic device, and outdoor plaything you can imagine descend on New York for Toy Fair. It’s a completely overwhelming wonderland for your inner child—and the Parents@Play team is right there to cover it all. Our goal was to find out which trends will dominate the industry this year. Some things, like monsters, zombies, mustaches, and duct tape crafts (which we picked last year as trends to look for) are still holding strong. But there are also a number of new trends waiting to pounce on this year’s unsuspecting toy buyers. Here are our favorites:
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A Glimpse into the Future of Toys and Games

The American International Fair gets underway next week in New York, and the Parents@Play team will be there. As in previous years, we’ll be meeting with manufacturers (small, medium, and large) and checking out the latest, greatest, unique, innovative, weird, entertaining, puzzling, creative, and just plain fun toys and games that parents and children can play together.  Naturally, we’ll be telling you about the very best.  One never knows from year to year what the hottest trends will be, but when it comes to making predictions, we’ve got an excellent record. Here are some of the categories we’ll be watching this year.

Digital tech. Doesn’t it seem that there’s an app for just about everything these days? Over the past few months, we reviewed a number of tablets and other tech devices aimed at kids. We expect to see many, many more this year.

Tech crossover. From Furby and Build a Bear to Skylanders and talking books, there are getting to be more and more toys that include a video game/web component with physical toys.

Social responsibility. Anti-bullying campaigns are everywhere. And they’ll be showing up in stores near you soon, where you’ll be able to buy toys and games that emphasize and encourage compassion, empathy, and ethical behavior.

Licensed figures. Just about every popular TV show, movie, and performer is getting involved in licensing. So in addition to classics such as Star Wars, Toy Story, Iron Man, and other superheroes, expect to see characters from The Hunger Games, Doc McStuffins, Miley Cyrus, Mr. Peabody, and even Breaking Bad. They’ll be available as action figures, plush toys, and even Lego figures.

Building systems. Although Lego still dominates the building space, there are dozens of other systems out there that encourage creativity, teamwork, and engineering.

Fitness. 2013 saw a huge boom in family fitness apps and gadgets, including fitness trackers that go far beyond old fashioned pedometers. Expect to see games, apps, and hardware that encourage families to get their daily 60 minutes of exercise.

Remote control. Joysticks may still be the primary way of maneuvering RC devices, but they’re no longer the only way. One of our favorite RC toys from 2013 was the Puzzlebox Orbit, which uses brain waves to move a helicopter up and down. We can hardly wait to see how far the technology has advanced in the past year (and what else RC will control besides robots and helicopters).

Retro. If you’re experiencing a sense of déjà vu when you walk through your local toy retailer, you’re absolutely right. Many of the toys and games we played with as kids are making a comeback. Some are exactly as we remember them (but safer). Others are pretty close.

Back to the basics. As much emphasis as there is on technology, there’s also been a resurgence in wooden toys and other items that don’t squeak, blink, whistle, move by themselves, or talk back.

Environmentally friendly. Manufacturers will be flaunting their green chops. We’ll see a lot more BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free toys, products made from recycled or all-natural materials or painted in non-toxic dyes, and games that encourage players to use items they have around the house.

With more than 1,000 exhibitors previewing tens of thousands of new products, we’re going to be seeing more than we can possibly write about in a weekly column. However, we’ll be tweeting and blogging as often as we can, so we encourage you to visit parentsatplay.com for regular updates.