Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) toys once again have a spot on the Top Toy Trends list from the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Click-A-Brick crew, retailers of educational toys, couldn’t be happier about that.
The TIA revealed its Top Toy Trends for 2016 at its recent North American International Toy Fair in New York in a presentation by the organization’s play experts led by director of strategic communication Adrien Appell. The list of top trends this year include robotics, drones, creative playthings and family-inclusive toys and games.
“This year, the toy box will be filled with products from both ends of the spectrum. From high-tech toys to classic and outdoor-based products, there’s something for each child’s interests. The best toys hitting the market are ones that challenge kids and foster their development, all the while maintaining an element of fun,” Appell said during her presentation.
The TIA described STEAM toys as educational toys that teach or reinforce STEAM skills that help prepare children for school by building important spatial, reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving skills. These toys enhance children’s communication skills, improve their logic and encourage them to explore, experiment, design and discover, all while having fun, the TIA’s play experts said during the toy trends presentation.
STEAM toys being a top toy trend for 2016 is no surprise to Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza, co-founders of Click-A-Brick, which just released its latest STEAM toy, the 30-piece Sandy Sidekicks building block set, but it is welcome news.
“STEAM toys are almost certainly going to continue to be a toy trend for the foreseeable future, but having the TIA say it gives it that official air,” Smith said. “Regardless of who calls it a trend, though, the numbers are what prove that it’s a trend and with sales of Sandy Sidekicks doing as well as they are in both the US and the UK, it’s clear to us that STEAM toys are a definite trend for 2016 and we’re calling it right now that they’ll be a trend in 2017 and 2018, etc. Parents have proven educational toys are a hot commodity, as people will always want to give their children the best possible start in life.”
In addition to sales of Sandy Sidekicks doing well, the company’s other recently-released set, the 30-piece Bug’s Life, has also taken off in both the US and the UK, also proving the STEAM toy trend. Next up for the company is another 100-piece set to be released soon.
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