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A seized opportunity

Emili Alsina, Director, Ediciones Just

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According to NPD data, 8 of 10 parents let their kids play with mobile devices, and in half of the cases these devices are connected to the internet. But what is really important is that the same report explains that “we don’t see a trend of children, or their parents, abandoning traditional toys. ” That is, kids are playing both with smartphones and traditional toys.

As we have noted on other occasions, the toy industry is taking advantage of the fact that children are increasingly playing with smartphones and tablets, by launching products adapted to kids, underlining its educational potential, as well as games that combine traditional toys with the use of electronic devices, such as Skylanders, from Activision Blizzard, and Apptivity, from Mattel.

Some years ago, the toy industry lost kids between 9 and 12 years, who now spend more time with videogames than with toys. This is not happening again: first, because parents are very aware of the importance of traditional game; second, because kids still love playing with toys, and third, because both manufacturers and retailers, this time, are aware that they have to offer a wide range of toys and games which respond to the needs and preferences of children. They are who know best what children want and how to offer it.

We find proof that toymakers are responding to this situation in market data also from NPD: the electronic toys segment grew by 38.6% in value between January and July in Spain, thanks to Furby and tablets for children. All indicates that these devices will be part once again of the top products of the Christmas season.

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