With Kids' Plunging Screen-Time, Demand For Interactive Toys & Games Rises

Opportunities in the doll, toy, and game market are expected to rise in the non-electronic toys segment, which is tipped to gain $ 23.21 billion of global annual sales by 2025

This June marks the second academic year in a row that children will be schooling from the confines of their homes, by way of online classes. While adults have to face the wrath of unprecedented times, it is the children who are affected the most with life requiring readapting. The first thing kids do every morning is spend an enormous amount of time glued to the screen.

Keeping children busy and active through toys has now assumed importance. Earlier, a fair amount of physical activity would be achieved through sports and playing with friends. But this form of outdoor activity is not quite recommended currently. To quote, The American Academy of Pediatrics, the overuse of screen technology is the use of screen devices two-plus hours a day for children over the age of two. Kids are now believed to be spending more than 7-hours a day on an average, using a screen when not schooling.

Demand For Toys

Providing relief to parents and offering creative company to the little ones are interactive board games, puzzles, and specific toys that offer more interaction. There is a demand for construction toys such as building blocks. This demand is growing at a fast rate due to the vast cognitive and intellectual benefits offered among kids of different age groups.

Recognition for fostering spatial and creative skills among pre-school kids has also given a boost to sales of toys, dolls, and games. Traditional toys such as microscopes, modelling clay, and magic kits are meeting the growing demand from parents. Parents increasingly understand the importance of creative play and look to provide their children with simple and traditional toys as a break from the toll taken by electronics and screen time.

The history of toys and India is rich and dates back to almost 5,000 years during the Indus Valley Civilisation. The toy market of 2021 is evolved and offers a larger variety that can be broadly classified based on toy type, gender, and distribution channels led by e-commerce.

Opportunities in the doll, toy, and game market are expected to rise in the non-electronic toys segment, which is tipped to gain $ 23.21 billion of global annual sales by 2025. The top opportunities in this segment by distribution channel will be in the e-commerce space, which will gain $ 29.45 billion of global annual toy and same sales by 2025.

Globally, toy manufacturers like Mattel reported a growth story for much of the pandemic, barring a period of lockdown since toys were not categorised as essential goods. For Mattel Inc’s Barbie, this proved to be the best sales year, since being created in 1959. The company reported a 9% increase in the sale of dolls alone.

A market research report by Technavio, the global market for educational toys is set to grow by the US $ 24.30 billion during 2020-2024. Social distancing measures and the lack of an available vaccine for children have made sure people spend more time at home than ever before. It also means that kids are at home when they are meant to be at school or playing outdoors with friends.

Filling in the space depending on the age of the child is the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM toys. Industry reports indicate that revenue will grow at a CAGR of 7% during 2020-2025. The growth in educational robots, coding, and smart toys will drive the segment. Technological toys are preferred among kids as also pre-teens. It is also an activity that the parents too can partake in.

Meeting the Challenges

Toys and interactive games lend a helping hand to parents in building a child’s cognitive skills, learn something new and be mentally active while at home. Major toy makers have chosen to focus on new products while catering to consumer interest. Most innovative toys and interactive learning games that parents are opting for today will go a long way in keeping up with the learning age of a child and not allow a pandemic to ruin their skills in these crucial years of growing up.

The author is Ankur Dayal, CEO & Co-Founder - Primarc Pecan 

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