Toy/technology balancing act

Despite the rise of technology, traditional toys and play patterns will always be popular.
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‘Toy industry terrified of tablets’ has been a much-talked about subject of late, but our cover story this month explains why traditional toy companies shouldn’t be scared of embracing new technology.

To be fair, the toy business is not as reticent as it used to be about accepting new ways of doing things. And the boost that the likes of Moshi Monsters and Skylanders have given to the market cannot be ignored. 

At time of writing, Mind Candy had 90 job vacancies to fill – and this comes after hiring 100 staff in 2012. For those of us who remember the firm in its infancy back in 2003, this is pretty mindblowing. Mind Candy has also just told us it will experiment with its next brand on tablets before it launches toys.

But traditional toys and play patterns will always be popular – look at how well GP Flair is doing currently in the action figures sector for its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. Indies also tell us that wooden products, games and puzzles are among some of their most consistent sellers.

Technology doesn’t have to be an element in every single product – this way surely madness lies as firms try and shoehorn in functions, apps or virtual worlds to something which was perfectly acceptable in the first place. As with most things, it’s all about balance.

On another note, I’d like to welcome Toy Shop UK as the latest contributor to ToyNews. It joins Nickelodeon (which came on board in January to provide TV audience research), Dubit, NPD and Good Toy Guide. For the first time too, we have an exclusive sponsor for our Pre-school section, in the form of VTech Baby. As the industry evolves, so are we, aiming to deliver the info you need to keep ahead of the game.

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