After a great 2015 and 2016, 2017 wasn’t the best for the toy market. Sales for Hasbro, Mattel and LEGO were down. And it looks like 2018 is also going to be quite the challenge for toy companies.
Why is all of this happening? Well, it may be due to the too much comfort toy companies had while things were great.
It seems like they felt like they can do this forever and forgot to think about the future. Now the market and trends changed faster than expected. It used to be all about movie-related toys, but now kids are starting to look elsewhere, Livemint reports. With the exception of the Black Panther, of course, which is quite successful.
Data from Euromonitor shows that many shoppers are trading and reselling otherwise popular toys like the LOL Surprise and Hatchimals for as little as $10 or less. The big success of these toys created oversaturation. Another problem is the big rise in mobile gaming. Last year it grabbed 20% of the $187 billion global toys and games market.
And there are more issues, too. The three big toy companies focused mainly on the North American and European markets which are already oversaturated. There’s a lot more growth opportunities in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The problem is these markets are different and most companies still don’t really get them.
Times are changing for the toy market
But wait, there’s more… Toy giants also need to use social media and YouTube better. A lot of smaller toy makers gather their initial popularity via these channels. Meanwhile, big toy companies seem to rely on their name value. And this isn’t enough these days.
“These problems are sell-inflicted. Kids are wedded to their smartphones, social media and the savvy marketers are using this to promote their products”, sys Lutz Muller, president of the independent toy consultancy Klosters Trading to LiveMint.
The demise of Toys R Us creates another problem. The big toy sales are now going to shift to Walmart, Target, Amazon. And in the first two retail giants, the space for toys is less. This means bigger competition to get on the shelves. And on Amazon there’s so much other stuff, that you need to make sure your online strategy is on point in order to draw attention.
Spin Master is doing just that with its products. The company has a successful time with its Hatchimals and other toys due to relying a lot on social media. Plus, the company is on point with the trends. Now the market is shifting towards cheaper toys and Spin Master replied with miniature Hatchimals.
Euromonitor says to Bloomberg that all of this doesn’t mean a demise for classic toys. There are still a lot of people (both kids and adults) who love traditional toys. It’s just that their makers have to tweak things and fix these issues to get back on