Toy Companies Embrace Next-Level Reveals

Toy companies are continuing to add innovative ways for kids to unbox their toys to take the exciting experience of the reveal to the next level. Whether it’s incorporating unique packaging that transforms into storage or play sets or using different compounds that kids have to dig through to get to the surprise, the unboxing trend is ramping up in a major way. “Unboxing 2.0” is one of the hottest toy trends this year, according to trend experts at The Toy Association.

“Family influencers truly started the unboxing trend on YouTube,” says Adrienne Appell, senior director of strategic communications at the Toy Association. “And now influencers are not only interacting with families, but they’ve also grown their relationships with brands.”

“The Toy Association has recognized the growing trend, and Toy Fair New York has seen a rise in this burgeoning group of attendees,” she adds.

This year, more than 100 different influencers and channels — including YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview, Stephen Sharer, Ninja Kidz, and ThatYouTub3Family — visited the show.

FGTeeV Giant Mystery Pack

The Next Wave of Unboxing

The newest toy line from Bonkers Toys — which creates toys based on new media licenses, including Ryan ToysReview — will be based on the FGTeeV (the Family Gaming Team) YouTube channel, which has more than 10 million subscribers. Fans can unbox toys based on the popular channel this fall with the FGTeeV Giant Mystery Pack, featuring a giant retro TV carrying case, mystery figures based on animated characters directly from FGTeeV, and surprise toys and collectibles that capture the energy of the FGTeeV videos.

“Just having a surprise toy isn’t going to create loyal and repeat customers,” says Deborah Stallings Stumm, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Bonkers Toys. “Each influencer and channel is unique, and Bonkers works very closely with our YouTubers to find the magic that works for their brand to create the ultimate unboxing experience.”

Orbeez Wow World Wowzer Surprise

Buried Treasure

Compounds, including sand and slime, offer new layers to reveal and enhance the unboxing trend — giving kids a more tactile and satisfying experience.

Maya Toys’ Orbeez Wow World Wowzer Surprise figures come hidden inside a globe filled with clear Orbeez beads. Kids simply add water to the globe to magically reveal which Magical Wowzer they received. Garden of Wonder Series 2 hit stores in March, while Sparkle Surprise will be available this summer, and Polar Magic will debut this fall.

Plus-Plus Mystery Maker

Different Ways to Play

Toy companies are also unveiling unboxing toys that let kids explore different ways to play with collectibles.

Mystery Makers by Plus-Plus USA is a blind purchase construction toy with a twist: While kids can see what color pieces they’re getting, they don’t know what they can build with them. Once kids open the box, they can either scan the QR code for a “swipe-to-build” online experience, or use the included step-by-step instructions.

Candylocks, from Spin Master, transform from a cloud of cotton candy on a stick to a stylish and cute doll. Each doll’s “cotton candy” hair, is super soft, long, and scented. The doll’s unique hair texture makes it simple for kids to create braids, twists, buns, and ponytails that won’t fall out. Shaped like a cotton candy cone, kids can reveal the doll and its unique, sweet-smelling hair with scents, including vanilla cupcake, and unwrap the accessories for additional mystery surprises. There are 25 Candylocks dolls to collect, available this fall.

“With so many fresh and fun concepts that companies are bringing to the unboxing table, kids will continue to clamor for more, giving toymakers a terrific opportunity to continue to further innovate in the category,” Appell says.

For more info on this year’s hottest toy trends, visit toyassociation.org/trends.

Laurie Chartorynsky has been a member of The Toy Association’s communications team since September 2016. At The Toy Association, she is responsible for the weekly e-newsletter Toy News Tuesday, and writes articles based on the latest trends in the toy industry for trade publications. Chartorynsky has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Toy Book.