Toy Fads: What's Next on the Horizon?


Image: Alexas Fotos / Pixabay

Remember Tech Decks—the miniature Fingerboards that skater boys AND skater girls went crazy over? What about Furby, the part owl, part hamster, part Yoda robot critter that not only looked kind of spooky but also cute too? Or, how about the virtual pet—Tamagotchi? And, what about Pogs? Did you have any of these? Or, did you have ALL of them?

I for one had all but the "Furby Fever." I think it had something to do with the thought of those big eyes looking directly across the room at me while I was trying to sleep. That was enough for me to say “no thank you.” But, other than that, when a toy fad hit, I was into it. Doesn’t matter if it was marbles, knuckle bones, or whatever had kids buzzing at school about, I was in!


Looking back on those days, even though the toys themselves have changed, one thing that hasn’t is that toy fads come and gone. Some, like LEGO and the Rubik's Cube, will be around forever. And others, like Pokémon, will evolve into new forms to stay relevant with the times. Yes, just like fad diets, toy fads are here to stay. The question is: What’s the next hot toy on the horizon? We can try to crystal ball all day about what the next big toy rave will be but, in reality, it’s very difficult to tell. To try to figure out what will capture the interest of kids is a bit like trying to make a video go viral. You don’t really know until it’s out there.

Image: Lovesevenforty / Pixabay

I mean, who knew that kids would fall in love with Pet Rocks and make it cool! Who knew that a mobile app would generate a mammoth following of people in a matter of days! People who would go out of their way to chase digital creatures in the real world. I’m, of course talking about Pokémon in case I needed to be clear. And, who knew that a piece of plastic with a single ball bearing would have the world flocking to places like Amazon or their local retailer to get their hands on what has become the fidget spinner craze?

If we just think about the ‘idea’ of these—doesn’t it seem crazy to you? I mean, imagine one day I said to you that I was going to take a piece of a venetian blind, wrap it in some funky material designs and sell it to kids as a “slap wrap” and we’d make a fortune. You’d probably ask if I was high on drugs or if I was going through some seriously difficult times in my life. Bottom-line, you would think the idea is absurd and that it would never catch on. Right? Thing is, you would be totally sane for telling me so. But, how would we ever know if we didn’t put it out there? Sure, not all toys are going to be big hits and there’s the risk that a new toy will be rejected. But there’s also the flip-side. What if it does?



Image: Couleur / Pixabay
Like any hugely popular toy fad like the Tech Decks, Furby, Tamagotchi, and the Rubik’s cube, I think we’re always going to see variations emerge. Just look at the fidget spinner. Since the fidget spinner went crazy big we’ve seen the emergence of other types of fidgets like the fidget cube, and the fidget pen. And, there are even variations within these. So, what’s next on the horizon? Will be a clever yet simple variation of a new fidget? Will be a new app? Or will be something entirely different that we haven’t seen before? Better yet, who will come up with it?

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