With print media sales falling and TV set top boxes allowing parents and kids to skip ads, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to communicate information about new toys. But parents are still buying, so where are they getting information from? To find out, youth research agency Dubit surveyed 500 parents

Talk of the Playground: Top discovery trends

Parents are more likely to find out about toys from their own children than anywhere else.

94 per cent say their own kids are their primary source of news about toys, and 67 per cent get that information from other family, such as their own brothers and sisters or the children’s cousins. 59 per cent of parents hear about new toys from their own friends and 31 per cent through social media. Four of the ten most popular ways to hear about new toys all involve people the parent already knows.

Websites owned by brands are consulted by just over half of the parents surveyed. However, we would assume that this may not be their first port of call; instead we believe they head to brand sites to find out more details after learning about a toy elsewhere.

83 per cent of parents get their toy info from the TV, making it more popular than any other type of media, such as print and the internet. Magazines, newspapers and comics are used by just over half of respondents (54 per cent) while online toy review sites and blogs are used by only 28 per cent of parents.

As well as finding out what parents use now to find out about new toys, we also asked them what they’d consider using in the future. Although online news sources and recommendations from friends on Facebook and Twitter aren’t popular at present, it appears that this may change.

Close to half of parents say they may consider using online toy review sites and blogs, and 38 per cent said they’d consider YouTube – a huge increase on the 13 per cent who use it at present. This could suggest that parents are open to using YouTube, they just don’t think the right content is out there.

The bad news for social media is that while 32 per cent of parents said they’d consider asking their friends on Facebook and Twitter about toys, a huge 37 per cent said they’d never consider it – the most negative response to any of the options.

Although online media isn’t top of most parents lists for their toy news, it has great potential.

Of course, TV and kids talking to their parents are likely to be the most popular mediums for new toy information for years; it’s just that the future looks more fragmented.

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