Last week, the TIA's 113th North American International Toy Fair took New York by storm. The tradeshow floor, which measured 415,00 sq. ft., was stuffed with every imaginable action figure, building set, doll, game, puzzle, and more—and if you look closely, it's clear that electronic technology is a critical enabler or at least prime content in many of these play-worthy inventions.
The toy industry is huge, giving electronics OEMs great opportunity. According to The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service, which represents approximately 80% of the U.S. toy retail market, the U.S. toy market grew to $19.45 billion in 2015. However, when factoring up to 100% for a total market figure, NPD estimates the U.S. market size for the total toy industry to be in the $24 billion range in 2015
In fact, U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in its top toy trends of 2016 pointed to drones, robots and toys-to-life as the leading trend. "The hottest robots of the year will be customizable and teach kids important concepts, including coding, engineering, problem-solving and building," the group said in a written statement. "Younger children will also find them as, or with, their action figures, puzzles and bath toys."
In addition, science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) products will also garner attention. "Parents and educators appreciate these toys because they help prep kids for school by building important spatial, reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills," the TIA said.
Hear more about the trends in the TIA video below:
A quick look at the products that debuted and garnered awards at the show offers a plethora of examples in both these categories and others. Click on the image below to go to EBN and view a slideshow of the hottest tech-enabled toys being offered today.