NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2021 -- After a historic year that saw U.S. toy sales skyrocket with millions of families stuck at home, The Toy Association today unveiled the top toy trends that are expected to drive industry sales in 2021. The announcement was made during The Toy Association's virtual Toy Trends Briefing, which can now be viewed online.
"This year's biggest trends underscore the ongoing impact of the pandemic on play; the toy industry's growing commitment to helping kids become better global citizens; and the many social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of mindful, musical, and 'kidult' toys," said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. "The pandemic did not stop our trends team from virtually previewing hundreds of innovative new products as we set out to determine what will be topping kids' wish lists between now and the holiday season. We are so excited to share a sneak peek at what kids and adults will be clamoring for as we dive deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on the future of play."
Normally held at Toy Fair New York (postponed until February 2022), The Toy Association's Toy Trends Briefing annually attracts media, buyers, and other industry professionals who want to see the latest developments in toys and play. New for this year, the discussion included an overview of the state of the toy industry from The Toy Association's Steve Pasierb, president & CEO, and an analysis of the U.S. toy market from The NPD Group's Juli Lennett, senior vice president & industry advisor for toys, who both helped set the stage for what is expected to unfold in 2021.
A summary of the top trends follows:
With many theatrical releases moved to streaming services or taking a hybrid approach in 2021, licensed toy sales will be driven by what's happening on non-linear channels (Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, and others) and, in the absence of live events, through video gaming (i.e. gaming systems, platforms, and brand anniversaries). This shift will create new opportunities for original IPs bolstered by social media platforms (such as TikTok and YouTube) to cut through the noise and make an impact at retail across multiple categories alongside traditional entertainment licenses.
A video of the Toy Trends Briefing can be viewed online (www.YouTube.com/TheToyAssociation). With the toy, play and retail landscape continuing to shift at an accelerated rate, The Toy Association's trends team will present a mid-year trend update this summer.
About The Toy Association www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $98.2 billion, and its roughly 1,000 members drive the annual $32 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry's voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play's positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair New York and Toy Fair Dallas; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian The Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America's widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.