Top Toy Trends From The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra) To Kick Off 2024

The specialty toy industry continues to innovate and evolve with trends from plush to social emotional mental learning

CHICAGO, Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra), composed of local retailers, manufacturers, Certified Play Experts, and toy industry professionals, surveyed a group of independently owned retailers about the toy trends they’re seeing so far for 2024.  Based on their insight… it’s safe to say – that it will be a very fun year!


(PRNewsfoto/The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)) (PRNewsfoto/The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA))

“Our small retailers are on the front lines with consumers, having conversations, and seeing first hand what’s hot every day,” said Sue Warfield, President, Astra. “They are the perfect resource to help us determine trends for the first part of 2024 and this year they have not disappointed. We’re excited to see these trends and watch as what’s hot continues to evolve throughout the year.”

This year’s trends include:

1. Plush is a category that we see going in multiple new directions.  From Japanese inspired to new formats and textures to smaller sizes, we’re seeing something cuddly for everyone.

2. Social Emotional Mental Learning continues to evolve with toys that help kids recognize emotions, role play scenarios and get in touch with how they feel.  From blocks to dolls to games, there are multiple ways to approach the topic and help kids feel heard.  New educational and sensory toys add to the already expansive options for kids and parents.

3. Classic Table Games have evolved and become more accessible.  From new versions of ping pong to smaller foosball tables to table top volleyball, you don’t need a giant playroom to join in on the fun!

4. Play is not just for kids anymore.  From Kidult toys to products aimed at Tweens to family games, especially in the escape room game category, everyone gets to join in on the fun.

5. Building toys continue to be hot with the classic brands, but also new ways to build with different materials. Wooden building toys have become increasingly popular and magnetic tiles are integrating new materials, such as straws and tubes, to expand their creative possibilities.

6. Sustainability, interest in both environmentally/eco-friendly continues to grow, but just as important is how long toys last. High-quality toys made to last for years are now more desirable than ever.

7. Impulse Toys like fidget toys, slime and blind/surprise bags are growing in popularity with everything from tiny food to different shaped popping toys to slimes of all textures, colors and smells.

8. Radio Control Toys are making  a comeback with R/C cars, robots, helicopters and other creatures that add a little technology to a classic toy, creating fun for the entire family!

9. Digital to Analog, screen to toy, has grown in popularity. Whether it’s video games, small screen or big screen properties, we’re seeing toys that allow kids to act out their favorite scenes without the screen.

10. Kawaii, Japanese pop cultural word for cute, has expanded across multiple categories from plush to activities to impulse.  Hello Kitty and Sanrio, celebrating their 50th anniversary, are especially popular right now.

Astra will continue to follow trends and will issue another report following Astra Marketplace, their annual conference.  Astra Marketplace & Academy will be held in St. Louis, MO from June 2-5. This year’s show will feature over 300 exhibitors.  Astra Marketplace & Academy is held yearly, rotating cities each year.  The show is open to trade only.  For additional information visit astratoy.org

About the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra) 
Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (Astra) is an international not-for-profit trade organization that develops and supports a membership of independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives in the toy industry. As the guiding star of the specialty Play industry, Astra is a community of dedicated professionals committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have a high play value and are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. Through certification programs, educational resources and networking opportunities, Astra engages, elevates, and promotes members to make a positive impact on the economy and culture of the communities they serve. For more information, visit http://www.astratoy.org.

Contact: [email protected] 

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/top-toy-trends-from-the-american-specialty-toy-retailing-association-astra-to-kick-off-2024-302075950.html

SOURCE The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)