In many parts of the world, the toy industry is currently struggling to sell their toys. With our current situation and the addition of Corona crisis, video games are getting more popular and declining birth rates are among other problems. Accordingly, the growth of the industry has been limited for years. It is important for toy manufacturers to pursue a digital strategy and to be present online. As a result, more and more toys have digital features. According to most parents, the combination of analogue and digital is the best way.
Toy Industries Growth Is Limited
In Europe, for example, the toy industry has been struggling for years. Between the year 2013 and 2018, the growth of the industry was 2% and in the rest of the world 4%, according to reports. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the number of births in Western Europe is falling. This means that the potential target group continues to shrink. In addition to that, video games are getting more and more popular. Classic toy manufacturers have not yet found a patent recipe to be at least similarly or as interesting as video games. As a of the current situation, such as Corona crisis, the industries are struggling once again.
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Toys Are Being Bought Online
Children’s toys being bought online is rising. In the past years, one in five children’s toys were ordered in the digital world, compared to almost one in three in 2019. Surveys show that users of such offers primarily appreciate the opportunity to compare different providers and their prices online. It is often possible to take advantage of cheap discounts here. They said that they appreciate shopping from the comfort of their own homes because it is much more convenient for them than going to a toy store.
Toys Are Becoming More Digital
Today, the toys that children play with are very different from those of previous generations. This is because the children of the millennials grew up in digital era and the Internet from birth. They are very familiar with new technical possibilities and use them in their everyday life. Accordingly, they expect their toys to meet technical standards and also have digital components. The toy makers are already reacting to this development in order to arouse interest among their target group and not to be overwhelmed by the video game industry.
A very good example of this development is LEGO. The company launched “Hidden Side” in 2019. This is a digital game world in which children and young people play with their analogue building blocks on the one hand and move around the Internet on the other. Mattel’s game “Pictionary Air” is also based on a combination of analogue and digital content. In this game, players draw figures into the air, which then appear digitally on a smartphone or tablet. The others then have to guess what is being painted. It is to be expected that in the coming years even more toy manufacturers will discover digitalization for themselves and adapt their toys or develop new offers.
Analogue games and digital content offered by the toy manufacturers is therefore appreciated by most parents. This approach offers the opportunity to play in a classic way, but to establish a connection to the digital world and its possibilities. However, some of the parents are very strict when choosing. They control the different game worlds and features very closely and get an idea of what their children are playing with. The parents are concerned because in many games there is a depiction of violence. Therefore, they are specifically choosing toys where this is not the case and where they expect positive effects on the development of their children.