FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, December 13, 2004

Impact of Popular High-Tech Toys

Surprise! High-tech toys and gadgets are the hot item this holiday season. Video games such as the red-hot Halo 2, the Robosapien robot, portable DVD players and iPods seem to be at the top of everyone's lists.

In the midst of this, retailers are starting to notice some interesting and significant trends:

  • The boom in high-tech is coming at the expense of more traditional toy manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro. Sales of traditional toys continue to decline year after year.
  • Toys aren't just for kids anymore. One market research survey found that 52% of the adults surveyed wanted toys or toy-like items as gifts.
  • High-tech toys are being developed for increasingly younger children. One item for 6-month-olds is a plush-toy cell phone.
  • The high prices of high-tech toys are putting the squeeze on less affluent families. However, parents appear willing to spend money on toys that foster learning, regardless of cost. Additionally...
  • As they spend more money on toys, parents are becoming increasingly price-sensitive and area aggressively seeking out the best bargains. Hence the growth in toy sales among the "big box" and online retailers, and the decline of premium toy merchants such as FAO Schwartz and Zainy Brainy.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, Textually.org