In such a trend-driven industry, the world of toys is constantly shifting and adapting to meet the needs of the consumer. Toy trends come and go, but there are a few that I view as mainstays. Trends like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and collectibles are a forced to be reckoned with, but today I want to call out an essential pillar to the industry – licensed toys.
Licensed toys are a key driver for revenue in the toy industry making up one third of all toy sales, according to market researcher NPD. The toy industry also strategically capitalizes on movie franchises which have incredible influence when it comes to toy production. In 2017, we’ve seen movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sweep box offices, and the wave of licensed toys released to accompany have been a huge hit.
For example, Tech 4 Kids launched their Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Mash’Ems, a squishy, must have collectible, to accompany the movie release earlier this May. By doing this, toy companies increase brand awareness while leveraging great licenses that consumers know and love.
Licensed toys immerse consumers, young and old alike, into a world of their favorite characters. People relate to and trust familiar faces – this is how brand loyalty is built and fostered. We all have that special emotional connection to specific licenses, and toy companies continue to do a great job of keeping that connection alive. We’re all still kids at heart, after all!