Children's toys a hard sell in hi-tech age

17:00, May 12 2013
Mark Rolfe
FUN AND GAMES: Mark Rolfe from Sweet Pea in teepee at the Toy Fair at Claudelands event centre yesterday.

It doesn't go zip when it moves or bop when it stops, but Furby is back this year and yet again set to be a big seller .

Geoff Lyons, of the New Zealand Toy Distribution Association, said toys from years gone by were making a comeback as the toy industry struggled to compete with electronic gadgets.

"It's getting harder and harder in the toy business because you've got all the kids playing with iPads and iPhones and TV games," he said from the Toy Fair trade show at Claudelands Events Centre yesterday.

Mr Lyons said while 20 years ago you could sell toys to children up to the age of 14, it was now hard to sell toys to children over 8 because they were glued to video games.

To combat the hi-tech movements in the wider world, Mr Lyons said toys were becoming "more sophisticated".

"There's a lot more electronics in toys," he said.

Sweetpea marketing manager Donna Hawksworth said another trend toymakers were seeing was the need for personalisation of toys. It followed the trend of adults looking to personalise their big-kid toys, and children were following trends, even personalising their vehicles.

Scooters were high on the list of popular toys, and kids could even get their own personalised number plates with matching backpack, water bottle and stickers. "Now you can bling your scooter."


Waikato Times