Predicting the future is never easy. I’ve been known to struggle with it every now and then, but the future of toys can be especially confusing to predict. You never know when an old favorite toy will make a sudden resurgence into the mainstream or a new technology will bring about yet another revolution in toy technology.
One thing to count on for the future is that the best video game consoles will always rise to the top of wish lists. Since the new millennium, video game consoles have been top sellers every Christmas. With the wealth of video games released every year, and the newest games becoming greatest hits, kids and adults are screaming to get their hands on the latest and greatest console to play their favorite video games.
Classic toys often come back to take over the lists for top toys, as well. In recent years, we’ve seen old comic book characters and action heroes rise to the top again after being in the bottom of comic bins for years. This year’s Iron Man 2 brought back an old action favorite, and action figures and cars are available with an Iron Man twist. Other movies – Transformers, anyone? – have done the same thing for various toys.
Old favorite cartoons are also being brought to the forefront. A few years ago, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in CGI was released, and this past year, Transformers were all the rage. It wouldn’t surprise me to see He-Man or the Thundercats rise up to become live action or CGI movies themselves. If they do, expect them to corner the toy market after the movie is released.
It would also be prudent not to underestimate the power of toy fads that are still going strong even 12 years later. Pokemon first got big in 1998, and has been a huge hit with video games, playing cards, and T.V. shows ever since. It has been hard for toy manufacturers to dethrone Pokemon, because it’s such a huge hit among kids and even young adults who grew up playing the game. It’s very possible that it could last for another 12 years or more. (What do you think of Pokemon? Leave a comment below and let us know.)
The toy industry is really at the mercy of technology for the limits it can go to. There are only so many interesting ways for them to reinvent dolls like Mr. Potato Head before kids are no longer interested. Dolls like Furby were a step in the right direction, but the fad did not last for very long. Technology working its way into the toys of the future will bring in a wider audience of interested kids, but it has to be directed at toys that are more than just popular, but are fun too.
The future of toys is bright and exciting. Any new innovation could shape the kinds of toys kids play with. You can bet that the toys of the future are going to have something of the past, however.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on the future of toys? What toys do you envision becoming more popular in the future? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.