Toys are as old as human beings, toys are us; literally. In prehistoric times, the very first toy was probably a pebble in front of the cave. As you have noticed, we have evolved way past that. What is often not mentioned whenever there is some archaeological digging is that they encountered quite a few toys. Vases and pots aside, toys were a part of every household, regardless of the continent. And, just like us, they have undergone a substantial change, and it seems like it’s a never-ending process, too.
So, let’s take a look at what we can expect when it comes to the forms of future toys, and how the toy industry is going to deal with consumers’ desires.
Toys of the future
Toys nowadays hardly resemble what we used to play with when we were kids, not to mention the fun objects our parents used to play with. Their generation could not even imagine what would come about today. Actually, just to think that we already have a sort of a hoverboard from Back to the Future sums up the advances quite nicely. Toys have evolved beyond everyone’s wildest expectations, so let’s take a look which superb features they will become a part of our households in the future (if they already aren’t).
● 3D printers – The biggest threat to toy industry, along with the notorious tablet. At the moment, the tablet still holds first place in the eyes of most children, but chances are it is all going to change soon enough.
There are several perfectly legitimate reasons why 3D printers are going to replace traditional toy shopping. Firstly, because it can be a lot cheaper, every parent knows just how much it costs to buy Lego and if there is a cheaper option, it’s one worth exploring. Lego is one of the most creative and addictive games for both adults and children, but does not come at a cheap price. If you need some more building blocks, you have to pay dearly. On the other hand, a 3D printer will quickly provide you with as many blocks as you could wish for. Also, should a piece of a plastic toy break, it wouldn’t be too hard to replace it, you could just print a new one and the toy/game would be as good as new.
While most of us are not really sure how 3D printers work, that’s not going to stop us from using them excessively, and that is actually going to be a good thing. A 3D printer is going to become extremely popular in every household since it’s a great asset for channelling the child’s creative energy. Kids are able to create their own toys and see their ideas manifest. This surely is an amazing confidence booster, showing that what you imagine can actually become a real thing.
The forecast for the global 3D market says it is expected to be worth some $21 billion soon enough, and we’re not talking decades.
● Personalised services
Now, who says that toys are only for the kids? There are plenty of adults who still enjoy creative and fun toys, and toy retails are paying special attention to this consumer group. Bearing in mind how much effect 3D printers are going to have on the overall retail profit, toy shops are going to focus on offering more personalised services to the older generations. This will encourage them to shop more and be confident of their choice when choosing a present for the latest member of generation Z.
● Virtual reality goggles – We are all witness to how much time kids spend online and seem completely immersed in digital reality.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that reality goggles are one of the best ways to experience artificial reality. In addition, they can be used for educational purposes, for example, a child can really see the mountains they are learning about at school, or even go down its slopes at fast speed.
● Drones – indeed, they have been around for quite some time now, but what we can predict with certainty is that they are going to take different shapes.
They no longer have to look like helicopters or planes. For instance, a drone can look like anangler fish, too. We can expect other forms to be flying around us in the future. We’ll just have to wait and see how creative the manufacturers are going to be.
● Face recognition – Xbox One already can recognise your face. The screen will readily greet you the moment you turn it on. This is very pleasing to our egos, so it’s quite possible that your kid’s teddy bear will memorise not only your child’s face and habits, but there may be some memory left for parents, too. As we have already mentioned, it’s all about personalised services nowadays.
According to some predictions, China is the next big toy market. Actually, it will be the biggest consumer market for toys by 2022. This will have US companies recognise its potential and start investing in the foreign market.
Online shopping is not going to lose its value, despite the industry’s efforts to overtake Amazon. Why go to the shop to buy what we need, when we can easily do research online and find the best offer in town?
All in all, the toy and game market is expected to have reached$135 billion by 2020. Truth be told, 3D printers make quite a big part of the total amount.
With a plethora of different blogs and YouTube videos, there seems to be an opportunity to help toy retail retain its former glory. For example, a retailer could let children open their presents in the story, and film it if they want to. YouTube is full of videos with people excitedly opening boxes. This would make a good technique. Also, another way to attract customers would be create rewards programs, such as certificates, or a personalised pizza. Surely every person has their preferences.
The play is eternal
So, what is to be said in the end? Toys are evolving together with us, and though they are changing their shapes, one thing is for sure. Young or old, humans are always going to feel the need to have them, whichever their form may be.