The Phenomenon Of Toy Stockpiling & What It Means For Toy & Kids Entertainment Companies
One of the largest, but largely under highlighted trends we are seeing with today’s children is toy stockpiling.
In previous generations, toys were limited in quantity for the vast majority of children. Each individual toy was therefore more cherished and played with more overall than we find today.
For reasons of confidentiality/security we aren’t publishing any images of kids bedrooms with this article…but nevertheless, we have seen some truly astounding collections of toys during recent in home research sessions. Most children have literally hundreds of toys, and toy related products by the time they reach the venerable age of 7.
The reasons why this is such a critical trend to be aware of for toy companies, and kids entertainment companies looking to stay in or to enter the world of toys are several:
1. Toys Are An Easy, Budget Gift – despite large increases in manufacturing costs, toy retail price points are not significantly greater than they were decades ago. Due to the power of inflation therefore, comparatively toys are cheap from a consumer perspective these days versus some other types of consumer products. Therefore this encourages gifting by those who may or may not have an intimate knowledge of the child’s play preferences (e.g. for children’s birthday parties etc).
2. There Is A Bewildering Array of Brands & Products To Choose From – there is vast proliferation in terms of children’s entertainment brands. This means that critical mass and getting in front of the crowd becomes critical for companies. Moreover, this proliferation vastly increases the risks of launch failure. (Although the risks can be reduced by kids market research with a reputable, proven agency!).
3. Toys Have To Work Hard To Retain Interest/Keep Kids Playing – the reality is that with so many toys owned by children, the play time on each product will be limited, especially when combined with the over riding preference for screen time if allowed by parents.
4. Standalone Toys Have A Harder Time Versus Kids Entertainment Driven Products – brands with ongoing consumer immersion and multiple touch points are going to have a huge advantage in terms of staying ‘front of mind’ for children. When combined with the significant financial risks involved in launching new toy product lines, this points towards ever increasing importance of perennial brands with multiple touch points/spin offs and entertainment licenses.
This trend is just one of many we’ve observed while conducting market research with children across the UK and beyond. If you would like more information about our toy concept testing, kids entertainment content research or anything else related, please feel free to drop us a line…
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