In a digital world, kids are becoming disconnected from technology and more connected to interactive learning.
General Manager and Co-Owner of Specialties, George Bell, “I have people come in on a regular basis and say ‘I want an educational toy,’ my remark back to that one has always been ‘all toys teach something, what is it that we want to teach.'”
Toy stores have seen a double in numbers in science related stores.
“Science is not something that gets heavy advertising on TV, but if you understand science and you can talk to people about science, then they are going to think that science is really cool,” says Bell.
Engineering based toys have also increased.
“Building sets have been really big for us this year,” says Bell.
Due to other Big Box stores going out of business, stores like Target have seen an increase in sales as well as resurgence in classic toy games.
General Manager of Target, Susan Ratliff, says, “we do see a lot of sales in activity based toys so kind of the STEM type of creative learning toys are pretty popular, but definitely shying away from just technology gifts.”
For the next year, the choice of toys might be expected to change, but they will still be expected to stick to a socially engaged activity.
“I think as we get into the Spring and we are more focused on Health and Wellness, we see activity based toys.So, toys where you get up and you’re moving and you’re doing things outside,” says Ratliff.
One thing both big box and local toy stores can both agree on is the play value of the toy.
“Will that child have a toy that they are willing to play with for twenty minutes on Christmas Day and then forget about or is it a toy that they are going to come back to come back to come back to,” says Bell.