Industry leaders, retailers, and manufacturers weigh in on toy trends, changes, and more in The Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.
What is one of the biggest challenges toy manufacturers have to face, and how is LEGO addressing it this year?
Today’s kids have more to choose from than ever before, and they move quickly from one thing to another, so maintaining their interest and attention is a constant challenge. Innovating a play experience to constantly meet the changing needs of kids around the world is a major undertaking and something we always have in focus. We’re lucky to have a play experience rooted in a system of creative play materials that lend themselves so well to reinvention with a familiarity that keeps the LEGO brand relevant and trusted. We’re very excited about the ways LEGO products appeal to kids this year—from a blockbuster new storyline featured in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part this month that will inspire imaginations to build and play to revolutionary new creative physical and digital play to epic properties, such as Star Wars, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Jurassic World, and Batman. We’re confident that we have many solutions for turning the industry’s biggest challenge into an opportunity for the LEGO business in 2019.
Many retailers stepped up their offerings for the 2018 holiday season. How many of these changes will stick? Will consumers have as many options for holiday shopping in 2019?
We saw retailers increasing marketing and experiential brand event support in 2018, which is exciting for us because the LEGO brand is rooted in the physical play experience. When you put LEGO bricks in the hands of kids and shoppers, there is an instant reminder of the power of personally relevant creative play and its longer-term value as an investment for the playroom. We use our own LEGO stores as a lab for retail experiences, so having an increased opportunity to leverage best practices in broader retail activation is not only exciting, it’s also good business. While it can be tough to activate in stores during the critical Q4 shopping season, we hope to see a continued commitment to take the shopper experience over the top. We believe retailers that grew 2018 toy sales last year will maintain or even increase support for expanded toy offerings to achieve 2019 growth.
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