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The holiday shopping season is upon us, and this week The Toy Association weighed in with a list of four trends to look out for this holiday season.  The Q4 Toy Trends Update follows the Association’s 2021 Trends Briefing that took place in February.

“Trends in the toy and youth entertainment space are evolving quickly, particularly in the COVID-19 era which has more families turning to toys and play to unwind, destress, and connect with each other — an underlying theme of each of the trends we announced today,” says Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “From ‘Fidget Fever’ toys that help ease anxiety through fidget play, to ‘Catering to Kidult’ toys that give older toy consumers a means of escapism, the hottest trends of this holiday bring all ages together through play — allowing kids, teens, and adults to reap the many social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of toys and games.”

Related: #ShopEarly4Toys: The Toy Association Supports Members Amid the Global Shipping Crisis

Q4 Trends from The Toy Association include:

  • FIDGET FEVER: The evolving market for fidget toys that now span multiple categories, including games and preschool toys to STEM/STEAM, collectibles, and more.
  • CATERING TO KIDULTS: Toys and collectibles geared toward an adult audience, often with a retro flair. This trend led to a new Grown-Up Toy of the Year category that will debut at the 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards.
  • BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW: Sustainably sourced toys and toys with messaging that encourages kids to be socially responsible.
  • HOT FOR HOLIDAY: Licensed toys fueled by entertainment are back and the Association expects to see a boom in collectibles, dolls, action figures, playsets, and roleplay and dress-up.

The Toy Association plans to present its 2022 Toy Trends Briefing live and in-person at Toy Fair New York, Feb. 18-22, 2022 at the Javits Center.

Looking for more toy trends and tips? For the HOTTEST toys and games of 2021, be sure to consult the toy industry’s ultimate holiday toy list — the Toy Insider‘s 16th annual Holiday Gift Guide. Featured in the November issue of PARENTS Magazinethe Toy Insider’s Holiday Gift Guide is published by the team at Adventure Media & Events, the company behind the Toy Book and the Pop Insider.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.