The NPD group has released data on the toy categories that saw the biggest gains in 2012, and the list is led by building sets/construction toys, sales of which increased a whopping 19.7%. Arts & crafts, dolls, and infant/toddler toys also saw a boost in sales. This aligns with a couple of the TIA's predicted toy trends for 2013, namely, construction toys and arts & crafts (learn more about the TIA's predicted 2013 trends).
Sales of licensed toys increased by 2%, and made up 30% of all toy sales in 2012. According to analyst Lutz Muller, licensed toys based on movies to be released in 2013, like Mattel's toys for the movie The Croods or Hasbro's offerings for Thor - The Dark World, are expected to sell very well in the coming year.
With this in mind, we have selected the toys below as representative of categories that are expected to do well in the coming year. Take a look and decide which trends would fit best with your store.
Blue Orange Games is releasing their first line of toys called Engenius, a collection of three wooden construction sets. With interchangeable parts, kids can design and build their own toy. The pieces are easy to screw, push and bolt together into dozens of models. Everything stays in place for hours of play until they're ready to disassemble and build again. Available in Airplane, Helicopter and Spaceship sets. Blue Orange plants two trees for each tree used to create their wooden products.
Explore your imaginative side with this 35-piece castle-themed block set. Includes wooden knights , horses and a variety of colored and non – colored blocks. Made of PlanWood, a sustainable material created from recycled sawdust.
Create up to 5 different layouts with this 20-piece play set. Includes Thomas, 17 pieces of track, a bridge and a tunnel. — Grafton Stein, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly in a May 2013 survey that Thomas the Tank Engine toys are their best-selling licensed products. — In a February 2014 survey, three out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Thomas & Friends sets from Fisher-Price were among their best-selling wooden toys. — In a February 2015 survey, Sue Hottel, co-owner of No Kidding (aka Sand Castle Toys Inc) in Mattapoisett, Mass., told TDmonthly that Thomas & Friends trains are her some of her store's best-selling wooden toys.
The ultimate swamp battle is on. Leonidas and Lonnex are making a jet-bike escape with the Croc tribe’s CHI, but it takes more than that to outsmart croc prince Cragger. Fire up Cragger's Command Ship and go after them. Activate the huge snapping mouth, swipe the croc tail and fire the CHI-powered missiles. Call in their Raven ally Rawzom to track them from the air or to swoop down from above and catch those CHI-nabbing cats. Then, deploy the stealthy mini boats and high-flying croc helicopter to stop them from ever leaving the swamp. Includes 6 minifigures with assorted weapons.
Based on an award-winning SmartGames design, Angry Birds Under Construction challenges players ages 8 and up to solve 48 puzzles by using four playing pieces to cover the correct number and type of pigs and angry birds to match the challenge in the included booklet. Launch date: 2013.
When kids look into the Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror, which is used with an iPad, they can see their reflections. Then, using the accessories provided, they can digitally put on eyeshadow, lipstick, and other makeup - without actually getting anything on their face, thanks to the mirror's augmented reality software.
Tape up the town. Create your own Tape Town by taping roads, ponds, and trees onto a paper landscape. Then add buildings and cars to your tapetastic town by bringing them to life first with colorful tape. Easy to tear tape in six colors and stickers makes it fun to create your own town. Decorate the paper landscape, then enjoy hours of interactive and creative play in one deluxe activity. — In a July 2013 survey, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that products from ALEX were their best-selling toys overall.
Adora’s exclusive Fab Fairies™ spread love & joy! They are absolutely adorable, a perfect blend of sweetness and love for infants on up. Fab Fairies™ are made of ultra soft and cuddly microfiber plush with adorable fairy faces and are available in three cheerful colors accented with a sweet flower appliqué.
Little ones are sure to fall in love with Hasbro's first feature Elmo toy that can hug them back! When tots give their red furry friend a hug, Elmo will wrap his arms around them to show how much he loves them! This cuddly 22-inch lifelike Elmo has flexible arms and a soft head. He sings a sweet song about hugs and a bedtime lullaby, and encourages pretend play. This all new design makes the BIG HUGS ELMO Hasbro's largest, cuddliest, most lifelike Elmo interactive plush ever! Requires four AA batteries, not included. — David Hesel, owner of The Toy Shop of Concord Inc in Concord, Mass., told TDmonthlyin a May 2013 survey that "Anything Elmo" is their best-selling licensed toy.
Ubooly is a stuffed animal powered by an iPhone or iPod touch. Put the device in its fuzzy pocket, and Ubooly comes to life. Includes the Ubooly stuffed animal, the Ubooly software, and free monthly content updates.
Aurora will initially release 18 My Little Pony styles with suggested retail prices ranging from $15-$20. Twelve small ponies each with a personalized carrying bag (Aurora’s popular Fancy Pals™ style; size: 6”) and six soft plush ponies (just over 10 inches in size) highlight the line. My Little Pony plush will be available for purchase in both the United States & Canada in Aurora’s retail channel of more than 25,000 specialty stores and gift shops as well as online at http://shop.auroragift.com. For more information, visit http://auroragift.com, email email@example.com or call 888-287-6722. — Gary Green, owner of Toy Box of Asheville Inc in Asheville, N.C., told TDmonthly in a May 2014 survey that Aurora's My Little Pony was their best-selling line of licensed toys.
Writer's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author