During its annual Toy Trends Briefing last week, The Toy Association revealed its lineup of top toy trends for the year ahead. The top five are Eco-lasting Play, Eerie Enchantment, Vitamin P(lay), Anime Mania, and Entertainment Update.
The first trend on the list is eco-lasting play. According to a Toy Association survey of U.S. parents, 45% of parents under 40 consider a toy’s environmental impact, including the use of eco-friendly materials along with extended play value and craftsmanship. Vitamin P(lay) includes toys that promote social emotional learning along with active toys that get kids moving. In particular, sports toys are expected to surge in popularity surrounding the Olympics this summer.
Enchantment themes for 2024 include magical, spooky, and supernatural toys, as The Toy Association expects to see an array of toys that leverage new technologies, hidden features, secret codes, and unfolding narratives, with Wednesday and Stranger Things driving this interest.
In 2024 the Association predicts to see more toys taking inspiration from entertainment inlcuding video games, social media, and digital worlds like Minecraft and Roblox. Toys with cross-generational appeal and properties celebrating anniversaries are expected to rise in popularity. Toys and other products inspired by anime are also trending with the launch of Netflix’s live-action One Piece, the launch of a Tamashii Nations flagship in Times Square, and more.
“With budgets continuing to be carefully curated, today’s toy shoppers seek more than just playthings; they seek enduring play experiences — and the toy industry is delivering,” says Adrienne Appell, Executive Vice President of Marketing Communications at The Toy Association. “This year’s top toys will prioritize consumer budgets, durability, and sustainability, while also emphasizing how toymakers are broadening their product ranges in ways that lean into cultural trends and make play more accessible for all ages and abilities.”
The Toy Association’s trend experts meet with hundreds of global toy companies year-round to track developments in toys and kids entertainment along with parallel industries.