As a result of the pandemic, consumer values have been shifting. Some parents’ toy purchases are being influenced by a need for kids’ toys to be played with in the comfort of their own home. Toys that families can all engage in and play with together, with more of the focus being on things to do inside the home are another factor. Toys that increase scientific and technological knowledge, along with toys that are environmentally friendly and address sustainability issues have also become more important to the consumer, along with a need for toys to relieve stress and anxiety.
Toy sales spiked when parents realized they’d be spending more time at home. At the same time, outdoor activity toy sales also increased, seen by many as a healthier alternative than kids playing together in an enclosed, indoor environment. Licensed toy sales however, did see a decrease when the movies promoting those products didn’t make it to the theatres.
When Toys R Us closed down in 2018, the ability to test new toys to see if they could succeed was lost. That provided the opportunity for small, independent stores to take on that function and their innovation has allowed them to survive and grow thus far.
One can't help but wonder if these consumer trends will continue. Will the focus remain on backyard and in-home toys? Will the out-of-home events continue to be canceled, or begin to ramp up? Some think that these trends and directions we’re seeing were going to happen anyway and that they’re not going away anytime soon. What do you think?