How the Pandemic Has Changed the Toy Industry

  • by Jacob Riff

Covid-19 is showing no signs of subsiding. It has transformed every business, and the toy industry is no exception. Objects that were once considered normal for the children have now transformed into dangerous things, thanks to their contagious nature. People nowadays prefer indoor toys as they are less likely to contract the virus. Not only that, certain factors are also influencing the consumers’ buying decisions, with environmental sustainability and safety being the most prominent ones.

Here, we have taken a birds-eye-view of the effects of the pandemic on the toy industry. Read on to know how certain calamities completely alter the traditional norms of life.

What happened in 2020

Covid-19 reared its ugly head at the end of 2019. The advent of 2020 saw a 16% spike in toys sale as people realized that they would be spending more time at home. The most popular toy categories during 2020 were action figures, dolls, and puzzles. Similarly, weather-related toys also became highly popular owing to their utility in outdoor activities.

Though most indoor toys experienced a surge in sales, the sale of licensed toys received a major blow as movies promoting those objects could not come to the theatres. To sum up, the year 2020 was a major success for toy manufacturers and distributors because of the increase in demand.

What Will Happen in Future?

Since most of the outdoor events will continue to be canceled, the focus of parents will be on in-home toys. Similarly, toys focused on sustainability, like water blasters, super soakers, and recycling trucks etc. would also be highly popular.  It is also predicted that the licensed toys will be promoted through streaming channels to grow their sales. However, this trend might be changed in a few months as the films and movies will be back in theaters.

As for the sales, nothing could be said with certainty. It might only be near Christmas that the sale could go to a point where it was in 2020.

Trending Toys during Pandemic

Certain toys remained highly popular during the pandemic due to their efficiency and open-ended play. For example, STEM toys were bought by everyone as they proved remarkably efficient in teaching math and other developmental skills. Similarly, parents also chose the ones that encouraged social interaction as this was the only way to spend more time with children.

The screen time of kids also increased as digital toys entered the mainstream.  This phenomenon helped various toy manufacturers advertise the products through YouTube videos, and as a result, the sale of action figurines reached a whole new level.

Final Words

Toy industry will continue to change its direction. Though some objects might lose their popularity due to decreasing demand, others would see a dramatic surge in sales. But undoubtedly, the pandemic will leave indelible remarks on toy industry that will be felt by the generations to come. 


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