So as the season draws nearer and retailers scrap for every sale, predicting the big hitters this Christmas, what’s on the agenda?
Buzz Lightyear? A Furbie? iPads and Apple gadgets? What will the kids be clamouring for this Christmas? The answer may surprise you.
Retailers are gambling that in our modern technological world, the presents kids need are educational and just that bit cleverer than archetypal ‘toys’. To this end several huge companies are bringing interactive tech toys to the market, and hoping for some huge results.
One area in which several are concentrating their hopes is coding, and encouraging youngsters to start early. This may be in programming the motion of a scooter your doll rides around on through an app, as Danish company ‘SmartGurlz’ have created, or Fisher Price’s ‘Code-a-pillar’, for age three and up, in which rearranging the segments of the toy make it move in different ways and directions. Regardless, both are expecting big things this Christmas, and a generation of super-coders may be beginning!
This activity can be seen as a natural follow-on from several developments in the modern world which have led to younger and younger children actively using technology, and is certainly a pleasant breath of fresh air.
Once upon a time toddlers and older were using old iPhones and hand-me-downs, often with wildly inappropriate or unsuitable content on them. Recently more and more apps have concentrated on a young market, but with educational aims, as such, new toys are simply the next step.
Estimates as to the toy industry’s value in the UK place it at roughly £3.2bn, and this emphasises why the area is such a battleground for market share. As companies grow and improve their offering in this way, so others will chase and catch-up. Here’s hoping the educational elements remain integral, as an arms race encouraging children’s learning can never be a bad thing for future generations.