At this year’s American International Toy Fair, I found that the industry’s trend of creating retro and nostalgic toys is hitting the infant/preschool sector in a big way. Multiple companies were debuting new toy lines that were a throwback to the classics: wooden toys.
Chicco’s new wooden line was particularly impressive. Known for their focus on developmental toys, Chicco created a wooden toy line that revamps the old classics that are familiar to parents. From Stacking Cubes and Sailor Friends, to all sorts of instruments and pull toys, Chicco was debuting a line that gave a modern, sleeker look to toys that are generational favorites. The Animal Cottage Wood Sorter, a classic wooden toy with a modern and colorful look that teaches important skills, was irresistibly adorable.
Along with Chicco, wooden toys were popping up in preschool lines from Beanpatch & Co. and Manhattan Toy. With no more proof needed than the success of Melissa & Doug’s wooden toys, classics tend to evoke memories in parents—ones they can then share with their children while creating new ones. In a world of technology-driven toys, there’s something to be said for the simple, classic nature of a wooden toy line, and the quality ones will stand up against time. These wooden toys not only have a crafted look that increases value, they also teach developmental skills to babies and infants in a simplistic way.
For more commentary from Ali, check back each Thursday afternoon. 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!