Active duty: ToyNews’ round-up of the latest outdoor toys

From playhouses to bikes and ride-ons, sand and water play sets to trampolines, outdoor toys experienced a popularity boom during lockdown as families looked for fun ways to keep active, prompting manufacturers to rise to the occasion with innovative new products and fresh spins on old favourites. Any toy that unglues a child from a screen and tempts them to get active is guaranteed to be a parental hit, and these latest releases – from some of the biggest names in outdoor play – promise another summer of strong sales. 

Spin Master

Sponsored

Check out Spin Master’s new Sonic Fin High Performance ball.

Officially endorsed by Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, this aerodynamic ball puts the power of a pro in the user’s hands. The innovative hollow gyroscopic design creates ultimate lift and max distance in the air, meaning it can be thrown up to 100 yards. With its customisable calibration ring, this ball is great for both right- and left-handed throwers, letting every player challenge themselves while having fun outdoors.

Wind up, throw, and listen to the whistling sound while it flies through the air. The Aerobie Sonic Fin is perfect for kids, adults, and anyone in between, making it great for outdoor family fun.

spinmaster@stripecommunications.com

Smoby

A one-stop shop for outdoor toys, Simba Smoby Toys UK’s trusted Smoby brand continues to go from strength to strength, with the company reporting massive growth for the collection in 2021. And this year promises to be no different, thanks to a host of exciting launches and significant investment in the range.

There are some magical licensed lines in the Smoby portfolio this year. The Disney Frozen Playhouse (left) is the perfect place for little ones to recreate all their favourite moments from Frozen. Presented in the Frozen colourway and themed with images of Elsa and Anna, little Frozen fans will adore this nature playhouse.

Another playhouse not to be missed is the Sweet Corner Playhouse (right). It looks just like an ice cream parlour and comes packed with fun features to make role-play as realistic as possible. Customers will be invited to place their orders at the window, then kids can pretend play at preparing and serving up treats.

Also new for SS22 is the Smoby Garden Kitchen. Kids can host their own barbecue summer parties with this outdoor kitchen playset. With a grill, fryer, and sink with water pump, children will have all the tools and accessories required to pretend play at cooking up a treat.

Meanwhile, perfect for encouraging active play, there is the Smoby Adventure Course. This exciting course is perfect for indoor and outdoor games, helping to develop balance, coordination, sensory and motor skills. It comes with four bases and four walking boards; parents can create endless configurations to help little ones develop intuitive skills and imagination.

sales@simbasmoby.com  | 01620 674 778

Hape

New for 2022, Hape has launched three new balance bike designs to its collection. For an early start, My First Balance Bike (pictured left) is a 3-wheeled adjustable bike aimed at 18 months+.  The bike simply clicks into place – no tools are needed – and has an adjustable seat. Best of all, the wheels are made using a soft foam so they won’t scratch floors. Available in three colours: light pink, light green and light blue.

The Learn to Ride Balance Bike is aimed at 3 years+ and is available in two stylish colours: Classic Green and Wine Red. The frame is made from lightweight aluminium and magnesium alloy and the handlebars are designed to be slightly bent for a comfortable, relaxed grip.  The handles, ergonomically designed saddle and footrest are made from renewable and eco-friendly cork, which is warm and soft to touch.  The tyres are durable and puncture-proof.

The New Explorer Balance Bike (right) is made from lightweight magnesium alloy and features an in-built handle, making it easy to carry around with you.  The seat and handle bars can be adjusted to suit your child’s height. The wheels have an anti-skid grip pattern. Available in four colours: blue, red, green and pink. Suitable for ages 3+

Hape has also expanded its popular Nature Fun range, with the introduction of the Nature Fun Exploration Set. The set includes four of the bestselling sustainable, eco-friendly outdoor toys for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers: the bug jar, nature detective set, butterfly net and hide-and-seek periscope. All products are made from bamboo, the most sustainable plant in the world, and bioplastic; by the time a set of the Nature Fun toys reaches a child’s hand, the bamboo used to make it has already grown back! Age 5+

Hape is just one of the many great brands Toynamics UK & Ireland offers. All brands are supported with full marketing support, including shop-in shop solutions.

sales@toynamics.co.uk  | 0116 4785230

Plum Play

Plum Play, the active play specialists, has the hottest outdoor toys to cool down with this summer. Trampolines, new for SS22, include water jets, mist spray and interactive lights.

The Water Jet and Mist Trampolines are available from 8 to 14ft; the unique water features simply hook up to a hose pipe for garden water fun. The Plum Water Jet Springsafe Trampoline and Enclosure includes up to six patented water jets that spray water into the trampoline jump space. As children bounce, the water jets move with the child to ensure a full soaking. All Plum trampolines use Springsafe technology, which separates the jumper from the springs and frame, allowing children to bounce safely. Trampoline frames are made from galvanised and powder coated steel for rust-free protection and added strength.

Children will be bouncing all year round with the Plum 4.5ft Interactive Lights Junior Trampoline and Enclosure; interactive LED lights are sound activated and flash to music via a built-in audio sensor, and have colour and speed settings. Print and sound trampolines for juniors come in ocean and jungle themes. Four interactive animal sounds activate when children bounce on the printed mat. Giving an excellent bounce, the bouncer is suitable for children aged 18 months+. It has a battery powered sound box, which is easy to install and has a pocket to keep electronics away from little fingers. Also available in 4.5ft.

Plum is the official UK distributor of Globber scooters, Injusa ride-ons and Happy Hop inflatables. New scooters include a Globber Explorer Trike 4-in-1, designed to help children develop all the essential skills before transitioning to their first push pedal bike. It is compact, adjustable and comfortable for little ones, and has a 100% screwless design. Globber Junior Foldable Scooters have a three-wheel structure and a low-ride foot deck, with a height adjustable t-bar that can be changed as children grow and folds down for travelling. The Junior Foldable Scooters are suitable for 2 years+. Kids can go electric on the daily commute with the Globber One K E-Motion 10 V5; promising a safe ride, reaching speeds of 12km/h, a smart accelerator sensor controls speed and the scooter has a dual-brake system.

View the full range and more in person when you visit the Plum Play Showroom for SS23 previews, with dates starting from April.

BWild@plumproducts.com

Flair

Flair’s Messi Training range, which is endorsed by Lionel Messi, will take outdoor training to a whole new level in 2022, allowing kids to improve their football skills with a professional training method and equipment that are both fun and dynamic.

Essential to the range is the Soft Touch Training Ball, which will help kids work on their aim and control. It’s ideal for young kids, thanks the extendable, height adjustable cord and the size-2, solid foam ball, which is printed with an image of Messi in his No10 shirt so kids can practise with their hero. For older kids there is the Pro Training Ball S3, which is made from a durable TPU material that will withstand endless hours of training. Next, it’s time to brush up on fancy tricks, with the Tricks & Effects Ball. Its streamlined design allows kids to make the best plays, whilst also helping them shoot like a pro. It’s available in size-3 or size-4. Meanwhile, for a high resistance ball with quality rebound, there is the Flexi Ball Pro. Available in size-3 and size-5, this ball has a hi-tech air chamber and a surface texture for better control. And there will be accessories, too, such as the Messi Large Foldable Goal, which comes with a ball and pump, while for a smaller set-up there is the Messi Small Pop-Up Goal.

sales@flairplc.co.uk 0208 643 0320 

 

Little Tikes

For over 50 years, Little Tikes has firmly established itself as the UK’s leading outdoor toy brand, consistently creating new ranges of outdoor toys that have gone on to become firm family favourites. With the ability to help development of mobility and coordination skills in a social environment for little ones, outdoor play is an essential part of every child’s early development. Getting children outdoors and away from screens gives them an appreciation of nature, wildlife and exploration from a young age, which is why all Little Tikes outdoor toy innovations are designed to keep kids having fun whilst learning about the world around them.

New to launch for 2022 from Little Tikes is the brand-new Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table. The Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table has both a bubble machine and a foam machine with a motor, perfect for fun and engaging play. Included with the water table are exciting water play accessories and a Ferris wheel that picks up the foam and spins it around.

Iconic and compact, the First Slide gives children their first experience of sliding fun and promotes fitness, balance and co-ordination. Designed for great stability as children build their confidence, this simple slide is guaranteed to have them climbing up and sliding down over and over again. The slide is available in two colours, pink and blue, perfect for any mini adventurer.

Helping little ones create a home from home in the garden is the Cape Cottage. Encouraging role play and imagination at its best, little tikes can copy the grown-ups in their very own mini abode. This little house packs a lot of fun into a small, compact design and is perfect for gardens that don’t have much space to spare. The Little Tikes Cape Cottage is available in Tan, Red and Pink.

The Fountain Factory Water Table inspires children to build endless combinations with 13 interchangeable pipes and fittings for pumping, spraying and endless playing. Simply pump water through the main tower to create splashing fountains. It’s a must-have for endless garden fun.

The Turtle Sandbox is an iconic toy that will have parents reminiscing about their time in their sandbox when they were younger. It’s ideal for sunny days and is so versatile it can be used as either a sandpit or a ball pit. With moulded-in detail on the bottom to encourage digging and two seats, it’s perfect for active play and social interaction.

Alaina Cornish, Senior Brand Manager for Little Tikes UK & Ireland, says: “We have some great products launching in the outdoor toy market in 2022m such as our new Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table, which we are excited to see children across the UK playing with. Not only do we have our newer innovations but we are excited to also see the continuity in play of our classic lines such as the Cozy Coupe, Turtle Sandbox and Cape Cottage, which have been providing family fun for decades. We are really looking forward to seeing parents reminiscing about their time with their Little Tikes toys, providing a nostalgic bond with their children.”

Little Tikes anticipates continued growth throughout 2022 in outdoor toys and beyond, which will be supported with heavy TV advertising and continued investment in PR, digital advertising and social channels.

A new Little Tikes campaign launching in spring will encourage families to continue to enjoy play in their own back gardens and make full use of the outdoors.

littletikes@carouselpr.com | 0161 302 0206

 

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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