‘You can’t have an experience in the toy space without storytelling from TV, movies or digital,’ says LIMA Licensing panel

Retailers and manufacturers will find it harder to have an experience in the toy space today without storytelling from TV, movies or digital.

This was the upshot of a recent panel session held at Las Vegas’ Licensing Expo in which FAO Schwartz, Amazon and research analysts Jeffries offered their insight into the future of the toy industry.

Called The Shape of Toy Retailing in a Changed World, the session explored ways in which the toy and licensing industries are looking toward the shape of retail as well as how consumers will become exposed to and buy toys over the next ten years.

The presentation featured speakers David Conn from ThreeSixty Brands which owns FAO Schwartz, Eva Lorenz, general manager, toys and games at Amazon and Stephanie Wissink, MD and senior research analyst of consumer products at Jeffries.

Each agreed that when it came to retailers shifting their focus towards a new demographic of parents, experiential activities and an omni-channel approach was the only way to reach today’s consumers.

“You have to recognize the demographic change in terms of today’s parents,” said Wissink during the session. “You’re talking about a Millennial cohort, digitally native and certainly digitally savvy. They are looking for experiences that run the gamut across almost every touchpoint.

“The second thing is content convergence,” she continued. “You can’t have an experience in the toy space today without some form of storytelling, whether that’s movies, TV or digital content.

“One of the things that we are particularly focused on is this idea of ‘kidult,’ where we see entertainment expanding beyond the traditional kid range.

“Over the last two years, we have taken a different view – it’s not online or offline, it’s online and offline. We think this is a new governing model that will really drive the industry over the next decade or so.”

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