The latest report from the NPD Group has suggested that children are spending less time playing with traditional toys.
The Evolution of Play report has found that 40 per cent of parents believe that the growth in the popularity of electronic devices has meant their children spend less time with classic toys.
However, the report also shows that 51 per cent of parents believe the devices have had no impact at all on how their children play with traditional items.
“Everyone has anecdotes of seeing little ones on a plane or restaurant grasping a tablet and being completely absorbed in a television show or game, but that behavior is not replacing playing with a car, doll or construction set, said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry anaysis at the NPD Group.
“Where the impact begins is with older kids who become more sophisticated with using these devices to socialize, or for apps, music and video — all of which draw time and attention from more traditional play items.”
The idea that tech-savvy parents resist buying traditional toys is rubbished by the report as it claims those spending the most on technology products are actually the consumers most engaged in buying traditional toys.
The report goes on to state that heavy tech buyers are almost 40 percent more likely to also buy action figures, and when they do, they spend 60 percent more per capita.
“This is a valuable marketing message for the toy industry,” said Crupnick.
“Virtual play and traditional play can, and need to, coexist so that children can develop broader skill sets. This creates opportunities for both integrated products and very distinct traditional toys. Parents get that; they crave it, and marketed accordingly, we’d expect most consumers to respond to such a message.”