China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Construction Toys Shine Bright

9000One of the most classic toy categories is construction toys. These toys successfully compete in a market full of apps and tablets in their simplest form, without any gadgets or technology. Lego, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoy - they’re all names that kids and parents know and love. But just because construction toys don’t need technology in order to hold their own on the shelves doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying to incorporate it, making construction toys an even more interactive play experience.

One of the most popular trends I’m seeing lately is the addition of LED lights to construction sets, turning creations into a flashy toy that you can display. Some companies have built their entire brand around this concept, such as Lite Brix and Laser Pegs. These building sets allow kids to construct creatures, characters, and vehicles that they can plug in and light up with LED lights. With this sort of creative toy, kids can make their own night lights, room decorations, or just fun creations to show their friends and family.

Hasbro's Kre-O Stark Trek U.S.S. Enterprise

Hasbro’s Kre-O Stark Trek U.S.S. Enterprise

But these companies aren’t the only ones embracing the awe of a light-up construction toy. Smart Toys and Games added LED-lit bars to  their new building sets in the SmartMax line, SmartMax Lighthouse and Build & Light. These toys, available in June, take the company’s already existing SmartMax line and enhance it with new innovation. The new Kre-O Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise from Hasbro, which hit shelves yesterday, is the first Kre-O set to feature LightTech technology, making the ship’s command bridge, deflector dish, and the engines glow.

I remember being a kid and building Lego sets or K’Nex creations with my older brother. The appeal of construction toys comes from the high play value–the ability to not only build these sets, but then also to play with the completed creation. However, with new technologies, construction toy companies are able to take products to a whole new level. The trend to attempt to integrate technology into toys is nothing new, but the products that come out of such innovations are perfect for a tech-savvy generation.

For more commentary from Ali, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!