Toy companies adjust to pandemic

Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 17:33:55-05

BALTIMORE, MD-- The pandemic is impacting how fun flows to our children.

In a normal year, the 118th toy fair would have wrapped up this week with thousands of toy promoters showing off the latest and greatest things your kids would want to play with.

The pandemic however canceled the fair altogether for the first time in more than 75 years.

“The first time it was canceled was 1945 as World War Two was winding down they had asked that none of the shows in New York go on,” said Laurie Schacht, Chief Fun Officer at The Toy Insider. “They were worried about resources and travel restrictions and all that other stuff so this is only the second time.”

Schacht said while the cancellation hurts, the toy industry is adapting-- not just to how to bring out toys, but to what parents want as well.

She said several new trends have come out of the pandemic, adding companies are focusing more on toys that are eco-friendly and that are DIY projects for parents and kids.

Another big trend she's seeing are toys that help give younger kids emotional development.

“We're actually calling it 'in my feelings,' is really a reflection of what's happened to kids this year,” says Schacht. “You hear so many stories about depression and sadness and kids being locked inside and not being in school and not being with their friends, and you have to be able to talk about it with your children and ways to tackle it. And toys are always a great way, whether we're talking about educational toys or now the social-emotional development, a toy is a great way for a parent to have these conversations with their children.”

Some toys Laurie mentioned fitting these new trends include the Blue's Clues and You Bedtime Blue. It’s available at several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Amazon for $24.99

DIY-wise, Laurie showcased the 'ILY Mix and Match Tye-Dye Headwear.” That toy is $9.99 and is available at Target.