It may not come as a surprise for many parents to hear that children are getting older younger and losing interest in traditional toys such as board games or Lego. But how are manufacturers adapting to this new market?
Research published October 19 by market intelligence company Euromonitor International found that the shortening of age brackets, e.g. childhood, has dramatically changed the way children approach play. Amongst girls the main interests are music, clothes, make-up, talent shows and celebrities, whilst boys are becoming more drawn towards computer games at younger ages.
As a result of this move away from traditional games toy manufacturers are increasingly expanding into the field of video games. Hasbro has developed monopoly for the Wii games console; Lego and Playmobil have also launched video games based around their product.
Companies are also responding to the girls' toy market by expanding their product ranges to cater to what would previously have been considered adult tastes. For example, in an effort to keep girls interested in Barbie, the world's largest Barbie store in Shanghai offers day spas, hairdressing services and even manicures to girls aged around 9-14, or "tweens." Cosmetic kits are also popular on the American Toys R Us website, under the specialist catergory of "Tween girls."
However, pre-Christmas sales on retail sites such as Amazon may indicate that traditional toys may still play a role in childhood. On October 20 the two bestselling products on Amazon.com under the category "toys & games" for the 8-12 age range were the Lego Hogwarts game ($30/ 22€) and Alex Toys, Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit ($18/13€), both toys and manufacturers that would certainly be classified as "traditional."