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Predicts of 2014 top toy trends

foto_1During the hustle and bustle of this year’s American International Toy Fair, the Toy Industry Association took some time to announce six of the top toy trends for 2014. On the list: supersized and classic toys, RC, STEAM, zombies and monsters, retro and customization

Larger-sized toys are becoming inc- reasingly common in just about every category, from plush and play sets to RCs and building toys, says the TIA, and help engage kids in imaginative role-play activities and also work as affordable gifts for special occasions. The category includes: dollhouses; inflatable toys; cars, trucks and trains; plush; and baby doll carriages, cribs and other role-play accessories. In the remote-controlled category, it’s all about vehicles for various ages and at various price points. Older kids have more options with RC helicop- ters and vehicles that launch projec- tiles, while more animal-themed and licensed RC toys work for younger

children to help promote activity and imagination. Educational toys, games and crafts that teach kids STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) subjects are big for kids of all ages, according to the TIA. These toys may incorporate stor- ytelling and other artistic compo- nents into science, engineering and building toys to better engage kids in learning—everything from hands-on science kits and innovative tech toys or arts and crafts that introduce kids to these new concepts and skills at an early age fall into this category. Inspired by the popularity of creatu- res on TV, movies and video games, more kids are falling in love with

monsters, zombies and other creepy creature play. More ghoulish action figures and dolls with relatable cha- racters and back-stories are not as scary for the younger set, while older boys and girls like more gross-out toys. This category includes: classic toys with a zombie twist, gothic-sty- le fashion dolls and accessories; detailed figures for older collectors; and trivia games for fans of popu- lar movies and TV shows, like The Walking Dead. Retro is new—again! More classic toys and games are ready to launch in 2014—some even bring back some memories for pa- rents and grandparents and include:\ re-releases of retro toys, low-tech or back-to-basics toys or old-school family games. Do-it-yourself play continues to grow in action figure and arts and crafts and across several other play categories. These toys encourage kids to use their imagina- tion and express themselves through personalization. “Personalization and open-ended play are definitely the buzz words of 2014,” said Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. “Whether kids are building with classic blocks, designing their own dolls, playing in virtual worlds, or ‘mashing up’ play patterns, toymakers are giving them more freedom than ever to play exactly how they want. Best of all, these value-packed playthings come at a variety of price points – we are seeing a great selection of both splurge-worthy items and very affor- dable toys to fit any budget.”