The Toy Industry: What’s Hot, What’s Next and the Best Toy Trends of 2023

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Clock Max 12 min read

Current State of the Toy Industry

The toy industry in 2023 and beyond stands on a strong and stable foundation. Despite challenging changes in the economic landscape, the toy sector continues to thrive and grow, with parents unabated in their desire to bring joy to their children through play. It’s an industry characterized by an ever-evolving array of designs, from simple plastic cutouts to high-tech robotic toys, appealing to a globally diverse audience influenced by various influences, including movies, series, animes, and other unique themes.

Currently, the industry is realigning itself with rapid technological advancements, escalating environmental concerns, and a renewed interest in retro toys. Tech-driven toys, also known as MetaToys, are emerging as the future of the sector, thanks to their sophisticated features. Cooking toys are gaining immense popularity as they offer early practice of essential skills to young kids. Sensory toys have also become a major trend, catering specifically to the growing demand for products that promote discovery and exploration. Furthermore, the return of old toys with a 21st-century makeover is a notable trend, underpinning the industry’s innovative adaptation to changing consumer tastes while retaining their nostalgia.

trends toys

1. Toys are getting more technologically advanced.

Toys are no longer just for fun and games; they’re entering the realm of high-tech innovation. Today’s smart toys are integrating tech trends, providing kids with an interactive and educational play experience.

2. Toys are more connected and interactive.

The toy industry is experiencing a wave of change. We’re seeing a shift towards more interactive and connected toys that are not only entertaining but also educational. This trend can be attributed to increased digital literacy among today’s kids, growing parental concern over ‘screen-free’ playtime, and the influence of social media on children’s toy preferences.

3. There is an increase in themed toys and collectibles.

Themed toys and collectibles, particularly those linked to popular movies and TV franchises, have seen a surge in popularity. The combination of nostalgia, fandom, and the unique value of limited editions are driving this trend.

toy story

4. There is an increase in interactive crafts and creativity toys.

There’s an exciting upsurge in the demand for interactive craft and creativity toys in the toy industry. This fresh trend revolves around toys that enhance feel-good factors, appealing to children’s senses and heightening their play experience.

The rising popularity of this trend can be attributed to the increasing recognition of the significant role sensory play has in children’s development. It’s not simply about fun; these engaging toys actively stimulate children’s senses, fostering creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

5. Video games are becoming more like toys.

With the growing popularity of online gaming among kids, we’re seeing video games become more like toys in the modern industry. You might’ve noticed this trend yourself, where games are not just about competing or winning anymore, but also about creating, learning, and imagining – just like playing with traditional toys!

trending toys

What’s Hot in the Toy Industry in 2023

1. Toys That Teach

Educational toys are paving the way in 2023, providing an ideal blend of fun and learning for children. Parents are catching on to the trend, realizing the value these toys provide in supporting emotional well-being and cognitive development.

  • Encourages emotional and social learning
  • Stimulates mental growth
  • Provides a fun way of learning
  • Creates hands-on experience
  • Boosts interactive skills

2. Toys That Engage

The toy industry in 2023 is basking in the growing popularity of engaging toys that not only entertain but educate and aid in emotional wellness. These toys, often screen-free, customizable, and promoting inclusion and diversity, are a response to our era of social awareness and home-based lifestyle.

Top features of engaging toys:

  • Promote Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Incorporate mindfulness and self-care elements
  • Provide hands-on play experiences
  • Encourage skill-building
  • Reinforce diversity, inclusion, and sustainability
toy blocks

3. Customized Toys

Customized toys have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to their ability to resonate with individual tastes, reinforce various dimensions of educational value, and embody diverse social principles.

  • Unique novelty factor
  • Promotes deep play value
  • Increased authenticity

4. Electronic Toys

In 2023, interactive electronic toys are the talk of the town, taking the toy industry by storm due to their educational and engaging propensities. These toys not only amaze kids with their innovative features but also stimulate mental development, firmly clutching both kids’ and parents’ interests.

  • Each toy bolsters creativity.
  • They improve cognitive skills.
  • They encourage interactive learning.
  • They can be customized to kids’ preferences.
  • They offer enhanced entertainment.

A caveat: Although thrilling and educational, these toys often come with a steep cost that might be burdensome for some families. Companies are working to make them more affordable without compromising quality and educational benefits. These pros and cons, alongside the pricing point, contribute to the dynamics of the electronic toy industry In 2023, the toy industry is getting a makeover with the surge in popularity of electronic toys. These creative and educational companions are transforming playtime into an interactive and mentally stimulating experience.

computer games

5. Toys That Stimulate Creativity

In 2023, toys that stimulate creativity are all the rage, providing children with much-needed emotional support and encouraging their social and emotional learning. These toys are not just entertaining, but also offer a wide array of cognitive and developmental benefits.

Key features of these toys include:

  • Sensory/fidget options for moments of zen
  • Interactive options that encourage problem-solving
  • Artistic options that light up to stimulate creativity
  • Knick knacks that provide a unique sensory experience
  • Physical toys for mobility and physical activity
toy trends

6. Nostalgic Toys

Nostalgic toys are making a grand comeback in 2023, offering comfort and familiarity to the lovers of timeless classics. Thanks to their enduring appeal and marketing potential, these good old favorites are flying off shelves once again!

  • The Tonka Mighty Dump Truck: A thrilling return of the classic, with increased popularity and a strong sales record.
  • Care Bears: Furry, cuddly and adorable, these bears have come back in four versions, winning hearts all over again.
  • Fisher-Price Retro Toys: The company has reintroduced ’80s and ’90s favorites like baby’s Boombox and Game Boy.
  • Classic Whac-A-Mole: The classic arcade game, re-released by Mattel, employing a new card game to match its appeal.

7. Mini-Trends

The 2023 toy industry is buzzing with exciting mini-trends, such as retro toys, ‘Back to Basics’, ‘Tween Takeover’, and ‘Be Authentic’. These are driven by a surge in nostalgia, a rediscovery of the benefits of simple play, a new world of ‘kidult’ consumers, and a desire for authenticity.

  • Retro Toys: The resurgence of classics like Mickey Mouse and Rubix Cubes links to our love for nostalgia and the pleasure of sharing childhood favorites with the next generation.
  • ‘Back to Basics’: This trend aligns with 79% of U.S. parents who view play as vital self-care. It underscores how simple, stress-free toys promote positive behaviors and reconnect families.
  • ‘Tween Takeover’: Fueled by the rise of ‘kidults’ (12+ years) as a key demographic driving toy industry growth, toys that cater to tweens/teens are witnessing high demand.
  • ‘Be Authentic’: Today’s consumers value authenticity, creating a market for toys that convey genuine, personalized experiences.

8. Toys That Develop Motor Skills

In 2023, motor skills development toys are the talk of the town in the toy industry, not only for the fun they offer but for their impressive role in fostering early development. These innovative playthings are specifically designed to enhance children’s motor abilities and overall cognitive growth.

  • Best Learning-Anatomy Toy: A useful tool for children fascinated with the human body. Widely respected for its detail-oriented design, it encourages hands-on interaction to improve fine motor skills. Pros: instructive, visually engaging, tactile awareness boost, STEM-supportive, hands-on exploration. Cons: small parts danger, not for toddlers, needs adult supervision, higher-end price, might feel medical. Price: Moderate to high.
  • Best New Small Interactive Toy: A compact, engaging investment. It hooks kids with its colorful design and encourages them to explore their creativity while improving motor skills. Pros: portable, color-rich, fosters creativity, affordable, versatile use. Cons: choking hazard, small parts, needs monitoring, not for very young kids, less durable. Price: Affordable.

Choosing a perfect motor skills development toy leans heavily on the child’s age and interest. Experts suggest looking for sturdy, versatile options that can foster creativity and endure repetitive use.

toys for kids

9. Edible Toys

Edible toys are taking the toy industry by storm in 2023, driven by the popularity of DIY cooking and mini-everything trends. The surge correlates with increased home cooking and a heightened sensorial play experience that children love.

Top features:

  • Interactive DIY concept
  • Miniature design
  • Appealing to multiple senses
  • Enhanced play experience

10. Toys That Develop Emotional Skills

As of 2023, we’re not just talking about playtime anymore. It’s been intriguing to see how toys are evolving to promote more than fun and leisure. They’re raising the bar and delving into the emotional sphere, fostering the critical dimensions of social and emotional learning in our little ones.

Top Features:

  • Promote mindfulness and self-care.
  • Develop social and emotional learning skills.
  • Provide comfort in plush designs.
  • Offer sensory/fidget features for tranquil moments.
trending toy

Predictions for the Toy Industry: What’s Next?

1. Kidults

The ‘Kidult’ trend is gripping the toy industry by storm, as adults are choosing to rekindle their childhood interests through Toys. With a nostalgic affinity for toys, these ‘Kidults’ are adding a new dimension to what it feels like being an adult.

This charm of being a ‘Kidult’ is fueled largely by adults craving for a dash of joy, a sense of community, and a streak of nostalgia. Once adult-only topics and social media trends have found their way into the world of toys, enticing adults to enter the fold.

2. Cross-Over Toys

Cross-Over Toys are a growing trend that merge education with play, appealing to both kids and parents. They’re trending due to their unique blend of entertainment, learning and engagement.


  • Interactive design
  • Fosters learning through play
  • Appealing to diverse age groups
  • Incorporates elements like STEM and coloring

While choosing, consider the child’s age, their interests, and toy safety. Reviews can provide insights into the toy’s effectiveness and durability. Data suggests that ‘Best New Small Interactive Toy’ and ‘Best Dino Toy’ are highly rated among Cross-Over Toys. Choose wisely to ensure fun-filled learning experience.

3. Nostalgia Factor

Transport your mind back to the joy of unwrapping your favorite childhood toy. I’m sure you can’t help but sport a delightful grin at the memory. The feeling is driving a massive shift in the toy industry, underscoring the saying ‘what’s old is new again’.

  • The phenomena known as “reminiscence bumps”, in which adults at certain stages in life start craving nostalgia, play a significant role. Particularly, adults in their mid-20s and late 30s are more prone to these reminiscence bumps, translating to a fantastic opportunity for toy makers.
  • Interestingly, parenthood can amplify this nostalgia. When they see their children playing with toys they loved in their childhood, adults are more than willing to splurge on those feel-good pieces.
  • This nostalgia-driven demand is not limited to physical products. Brands are engaging audiences through digital, leveraging old-timey characters and themes in the growing world of gaming and anime.
  • Social media also fuels this trend. The potential of a retro toy to go viral can strengthen its consumer appeal and trigger substantial demand.

Capturing the feel-good vibe of old favorites, brands are seamlessly blending the past with the present, and we’d say, they’re keeping all of us ‘kidults’ quite entertained!

4. Tech Toys

Blink and you’ll miss it – the tech toy industry is evolving at lightning speed, set to awe and inspire every child’s playtime. With 2023 just around the corner, we are set to witness revolutionary playthings that would make any child drool.

Why are tech toys the future? Simply put, these innovative creations intertwine education and entertainment seamlessly, turning every playtime into an enriching experience. Wonder Workshop’s Dot, for instance, is an exciting game-changer that mixes programming and fun.

Top features of tech toys include:

  • Interactive gameplay
  • Programming capabilities
  • Enriching educational content
trending toys for girls

5. Movie and TV Toys

Here we are, toy enthusiasts and kidult fans alike, waiting in anticipation as 2023 stands to take the world of movie and TV toys by storm. As you, the ardent fan, look ahead to the next big release, let’s dive in and discover why this trend will be sweeping the toy industry off its feet.

  • Movies and TV franchises are consummately capturing the ever-growing kidult market, making character figurines a must-have in the toy industry.
  • Toy companies are capitalizing brilliantly on this trend, cleverly categorizing these sought-after figures as limited editions.

6. Diversity

The toy industry is taking leaps and bounds ahead, now showcasing diversity in its products. This modern, promising trend includes dolls of different races, age groups, appearances, genders, and sizes.

Here’s why it holds significance:

  • It exposes children to real-life scenarios, promoting confidence and acceptance.
  • It builds compassion and empathy, promoting a healthier society.
  • The potential for acceptance and equality is remarkable.

Here are some top toy companies setting the trend:

  • LEGO
  • Creatable World by Mattel
  • Barbie
toys for girls

7. Crafts

Opening the curtain of future trends in the toy industry, it’s clear to us that craft-based toys are poised to take center stage. As more families seek out creative outlets for their children’s energy, playtime and self-care, craft-inspired toys have emerged as a treasured ally for kids and parents alike, promising innovation, personal growth, experimentation, and most importantly – fun!

But who are these toys for? Whether your child has a curiosity for creating fashion accessories or enjoys the thrill of experimentation with various kitchen gadgets, there’s a craft toy out there to match their interests. Our expert tip? Look for craft toys that also offer a digital component like online tutorials for visual learners. This technology-support can help children connect more deeply with their newfound hobby, bringing their creations to life in a whole new way.

8. Cooperative and Social Play

With over 92% of parents still using toys to aid their child’s social-emotional learning in pandemic times, we’re seeing a shift towards cooperative and social play in the toy industry. This trend is reshaping the role and purpose of toys, focusing not just on fun, but also on emotional support, wellness, and invaluable learning experiences.

Factors driving this include:

  • An increase in parents’ recognition of the importance of self-care during play (79%).
  • The need to help kids process emotions, especially during times of stress and uncertainty.
  • The rekindling of family bonds during the pandemic, putting priority on toys promoting togetherness.
  • A focus on inclusivity and diversity (73% of parents appreciate the progressiveness and diversity in today’s toys).

9. Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

Toys that foster creativity and problem-solving skills are the new trend in the toy market. This innovative approach to playtime is driving significant growth in the toy industry. Parents are increasingly acknowledging the role of these playthings in enhancing self-care, with 79% of U.S. parents viewing play as crucial. The pandemic has also assisted in 77% of parents using toys to support their kid’s social-emotional learning.

Main features of these brain-boosting toys:

  • They build 3D conceptualization skills.
  • They present problems that demand creative solutions.
  • They stimulate social-emotional learning through play.


Beyond 2023, the progress of the toy industry is expected to be driven by environmental concerns, novel products, and emerging tech developments. The trend of traditional toys getting a 21st-century makeover has been identified as a successful sales strategy, showing promise for the coming years. While the toys may range from simple plastic cutouts to advanced robots with sophisticated features, the stability of the toy industry’s foundation remains unwavering. Regardless of the economic climate, the joy that toys bring to children is a constant, ensuring the industry’s continued growth.