How glam play became the toy industry’s hottest trend of the season


This holiday season, some toy companies are turning off drones and pretty much anything that needs a display.

What took the place of technology?

Rhinestones.

When The toy initiate, a leading toy industry resource and magazine, posted its top holiday trends for 2019, one theme was clear: Kids Unplug. The toy initiate even had to rename one of the categories they divide toy companies into from “Tech 12” to “12 Under $ 12” in order to give a more accurate assessment of what’s hot in the market.

“Probably one of the biggest changes this year has been the reduction in screen time,” said Laurie Schact, head of toys at The toy initiate. “Parents are really trying to keep the kids away from this. Technology isn’t the big story, it just isn’t.

The toy initiate compiles its list by monitoring what is happening at trade shows, as well as contacting retailers, manufacturers and analysts throughout the year. Along with collectibles and launches from top space influencers like Tic Tac Toy’s XOXO Friends, kids gravitate toward more tactile play. Toys like mud and DIY STEM kits have seen an increase The toy initiate.

But one trend that seems particularly in vogue has been glam play, that is, toys used for cosmetic purposes.

[Photo: courtesy of Cool Maker]

From Cool Maker’s GO GLAM Nail Stamp to Thames & Kosmos Soap & Bath Bomb Lab to Wicked Cool Toys Blinger, glam play covers a wide area and kids seem to want it all.

“A lot of these toys are related to arts and crafts activities and activities. None of these toys therefore need a screen, which is why parents are fans of them, ”explains Maddie Michalik, editor-in-chief of The toy initiate. “Activities like painting their nails, accessorizing a fun look for a day, or making bath bombs, these things are all the rage with adults, so kids want to do that too. “

Of course, glam play is nothing new. For decades, toy companies have long pedaled on plastic vanities, toy makeup, and more. But one thing that made the glam game a bit brighter as the 2019 holiday season approached has been the rise of the beauty influencer, in conjunction with the rise of the cosmetics industry in his outfit. Social media and influencers such as Jackie Aina, Bretman Rock, Kylie Jenner, Jeffree Starr and Nikkie de Jager have made makeup more accessible to young consumers and spawned independent brands like Glossier, ColourPop, Beauty Bakerie and Huda Beauty. , not to mention own brands and influencer collaborations. All this activity has contributed to the growth of the global cosmetics market, which is expected to reach a valued $ 805 billion by 2023. And it’s not just makeup: wig and hair accessory companies are using influencers. Nail art is also in its renaissance period with techies like Jenny Bui, Cardi B’s benchmark, reaching celebrity status.

“It’s not like the glam game hasn’t been popular before. And now [it’s popular] with the rise of the influencer, ”explains Michael Rinzler, co-founder of Wicked Cool Toys. “For me personally, I have an 8 year old daughter, and she, like a lot of little girls and some little boys, really enjoys makeup and improving their look.”

[Photo: courtesy of Wicked Cool Toys]

This is part of the reason why Wicked Cool Toys recently decided to jump into the glam play space with Blinger, a BeDazzler for Gen Z, if you will, which uses a patented 3M adhesive to temporarily attach stones. precious stones and rhinestones to hair, clothing, etc.

In 2014, Angie Cella, a single mother of four, came up with the idea for Blinger. “It came to me in a dream,” she says. “I woke up the next morning and grabbed my 10 year old daughter out of bed, put rhinestones in her hair and said, ‘Go play, let’s see if this falls out. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Cella went into production and took her first 100 Blingers to the Toy Fair Dallas, where Rinzler reviewed products and mentored up-and-coming inventors.

“Normally we see amazing ideas, but nothing has ever been something for us,” Rinzler says. Until he saw Cella and his prototype. “This thing was literally just magic. As soon as we saw it work those gems getting into someone’s hair and how fast it was and how good the result was, we loved it.

Blinger is now sold by Wicked Cool Toys and is currently a finalist for the Toy Association‘s Creative Toy of the Year. Cella and Rinzler agree that part of Blinger’s success stems from this pullback against tech-driven toys of no STEM or DIY value to them.

“As a mom, it’s really meaningful to see my kids playing with something that I played with as a kid,” Cella says. “When I was designing my device, I wanted it not to be technical. I wanted it to be manual with no heat or electricity. I wanted it to be simple [for kids]. “

Rinzler adds, “We all know kids spend way too much time on their screens. And, by the way, so are we as adults. You want kids to go back to the roots of play. I think parents realize this and want their kids to use their imaginations to do things that make them feel good that aren’t based on electronics. Hope this is something that will not go away because people are well aware of it now. “

About Lola C. Chapman

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