Toy trends 2017: Educational toys, collectibles, movie heroes rise to the top | Inquirer Lifestyle

Toy trends 2017: Educational toys, collectibles, movie heroes rise to the top

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VTech Electronics’ Star Wars Stormtrooper Camera Watch. Image: Courtesy of Playmobil via AFP Relaxnews

Now that the recent toy fairs in London, Nuremberg, and New York have all wrapped up, some key trends have emerged from the events, revealing some of the products that parents can expect to be asked for later this year.

Here we round up some of the growing toy trends set to be big in 2017.

Collectibles continue

According to the New York Toy Fair, collectible toys grew by 33 percent last year, and in Britain, nearly one in every four toys sold last year was a collectible, according to the British Toy & Hobby Association.

The toys are still expected to be big in 2017, with Spielwarenmesse also identifying collectibles as one of their three toy trends for the year.

And good news for those who want to start collecting this year: collectible toys are set to not only include higher-priced, licensed collectibles sought after by avid fans, but also basic and affordable collectible toys that can be enjoyed by all.

Spielwarenmesse highlight the My Mini MixieQ’s from Mattel as an affordable way to get started, or suggesting trading cards such as the Pokémon Company’s PikachuEx.

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My Mini MixieQ’s™ Camping Playset. Image: Courtesy of Playmobil via AFP Relaxnews

And even more good news for parents, collectible toys help children develop lifelong skills, including social skills (when negotiating and trading with friends), organization skills (as they maintain their collections), and perseverance (not giving up on the “hunt” to add to and complete their collection).

Make room for movies

Licensed toys have been on the rise for a few years now, making up around 30 percent of total Unites States toy sales.

With two LEGO movies (“Batman” and “Ninjago”), “Cars 3”, “Smurfs: The Lost Village”, and “Beauty and the Beast” all hitting theaters this year, the trend for toys tied to the movies doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

The New York Toy Fair is predicting movie characters to feature in a variety of different products this year, including ride-ons, plush, action figures and puzzles, with the British Toy & Hobby Association also awarding Playmobil’s Ghostbuster Playset first place at their Toy Fair 2017 Editors’ Choice Awards, closely followed by VTech Electronics’ Star Wars Stormtrooper Camera Watch in 2nd place.

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Playmobil’s Ghostbuster Playset. Image: Courtesy of Playmobil via AFP Relaxnews

Entertain and educate

The trend in educational toys, often referred to as S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) or S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toys is also increasing.

Classic, non-tech toys such as puzzles, memory games, building blocks and stacking toys, will be given an educational aspect, to teach children important learning skills like problem-solving, creativity and critical thinking.

As modern technology develops, the New York Toy Fair is also predicting that STEAM is set to become STREAM in 2017, to also incorporate robotics in toys like LEGO’s much-anticipated Boost line, coming later this year.

The UK Toy Fair also added a new category to their Best New Toys for 2017 awards to reflect this growing popularity. Galt Toy’s Science Lab from the Galt Explore and Discover range, Learning Resources’ Playground Engineering & Design STEM Activity Set, and Great Gizmo’s Eco-Engineering Maglev Train Model earned the awards for best toys in this category. JB