Gone are the days when monopoly or a game of building a LEGO spaceship could hold children’s attention. Interactive tech toys or connected toys are a reality that most kids see as a given. A recent study concluded that 90% kids under the age of 2 know how to use a tablet/smartphone.
But, connected toys are not just for the pleasure of kids. They are also gaining popularity among parents who see these as a means to monitor their children while away. For instance, with toys like Teddy the Guardian, they can measure their babies’ temperature as well as heart rate.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the market for connected toys is expected to grow at an impressive CAGR.
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From board games to Iot-based games, children’s play world has transformed in more ways that could have been imagined just few years back. Participants on the consumer-end of the spectrum demand more from what children’s play thing contribute to in their development. Here are some developments that may define the future of connected toys.
2018 – Facebook partnered with Sphero to utilize play for expanding education and making it more accessible. With more visibility in the classrooms and a favourable opinion created in the minds of parents and teachers alike, the move might create more receptivity in the connected toys market.
2019 – Mattel expanded its licensing agreement with Pixar Animation Studios to bring in fresh releases and epochal blockbusters into its fold. For instance, it made good of the opportunity created by capitalising on the deal in case of Toy Story 4 by eking out 1% sales in its Q2. It is looking at making more from the market interactive play experiences in the coming period.
2020 – Hasbro along with Sony plan on launching connected toys called Ghostbusters, ahead of the release of Ghostbusters 2020. This is similar to Mattel’s move in partnering with movie producers to snap up market share. The pattern discerned also shows that strategic partnerships and product developments remain the most important strategies in times to come.
Global connected toys market is partially fragmented. Major players include:
- Mattel (The United States of America)
- LEGO group (Denmark)
- Hasbro (The United States of America)
- Sphero (The United States of America)
- Sony (Japan)
- Leka (France)
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- The toy industry is seeing a rise in the number of children and parents enchanted with the potential of internet of things which can successfully combine education with fun and also allows parents to keep a close watch. One such toy that keeps children hooked to Chemistry through the use of art and colours is Crayola Chemistry Set, a compilation of directions and guidelines to 50 science experiments.
- An increased adoption of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) toys is driving demand in a big way and the number of connected platforms are now facilitating it further. The year 2018 saw an increase of 23% in the sales of STEM toys. The toys make 1% of the United States’ toy industry.