What are the drivers that are impacting how toy brands engage with their consumers?
Educational toys – the future of toys is not just in the home but the classroom and the childcare centre. Education is beginning earlier with 3 and 4 year olds spending more time in childcare – and in facilities that have a focus on education and development. Therefore toys, of educational benefit, are an essential part of the focus.
Free toys – another change we are seeing is that sponsored educational materials – once anathema to educational institutions, are becoming more acceptable as the barriers between education, business, and community blur. With education (and household) budgets under strain, corporations for altruistic and well as commercial motives, will increasingly be part of the education, community and child-rearing domains – with branded toys a means by which this support is delivered.