Traditional Toys and Games - US - April 2014
“Shoppers are looking beyond price and are willing to pay a slight premium in exchange for quality and a great toy-shopping experience. Toy buyers’ pre-planning stage, an essential part of shoppers’ path to purchase, is an important opportunity to actively engage children and adults. Brands and retailers could leverage children's ‘pester’ power and the recommendations of friends/family via various advertising mediums (eg TV spots, online ads, social media, etc) to generate additional buzz and influence kids’ ask factor.”
– Ika Erwina, Retail and Technology Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How would digital technology transform the playing field of traditional toys and games?
- What should be the core messages in marketing toys and games?
- How relevant are traditional toys and games for children today?
- How can retailers combat lingering price sensitivity?
While children exert a tremendous influence over the traditional toys and games industry, the role of adults both as decision makers and gift recipients should not be underestimated. In terms of messaging, brands and retailers need to appeal to parents, particularly Millennial moms and dads, with products and marketing that emphasizes relationship-building or education. While marketers could appeal to primary toys and games recipients in the hopes of triggering their ‘pester’ power, grandparents are particularly influential in the gift-giving sector. Themes that may appeal to the older group may emphasize on nostalgia, bonding, or indulgence.
Online retailers and mass merchandisers are taking market share from specialty toy stores primarily due to their low prices. Although the slow economic recovery has made many shoppers price sensitive, they are willing to pay extra in exchange for a good in-store experience, necessitating the need for brands and retailers to critically review the path to purchase. For instance, Mintel finds traditional toys and games that achieve multiple characteristics (eg education, fun, family bonding, or creativity) can justify higher prices.
The report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Traditional Toys and Games Market – US, June 2002.
For the purpose of this report, traditional toys and games include product categories as followed:
- Action figures (eg battling toys, action figure dress-up, etc)
- Vehicles (eg trucks, boats, remote-control vehicles, trains and accessories, etc)
- Outdoor/sports-related toys (eg ride-ons, tricycles, scooters, etc) – excluding bicycles
- Dolls (eg fashion dolls, collectible dolls, baby dolls, dollhouses, etc)
- Arts and crafts (eg clay, dough, sand, crayons)
- Stuffed animals and dolls (eg plush, customizable stuffed animals, etc)
- Building sets (eg LEGO, K’NEX, wood blocks magnetic, preschool building sets, etc)
- Puzzles and board games (eg card games, dice games, trading cards, board games, puzzles, travel games, etc)
- Electronic developmental and learning toys (ie kids-specific learning systems)
The report also discusses small hand-held electronic versions of traditional games, as well as versions of traditional games found on video, PC, online, mobile, or game consoles. However, online and mobile games and gaming are excluded.
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