Parenting / 14 March 2019, 11:00am / Marchelle Abrahams
Forget blind bags and plush toys, the hottest toy trends for this year all comes down to basic craft play. 2019 is all about feeling like a kid again, and it’s no wonder toymakers are going back in time and creating or relaunching toys with a nostalgic theme.
90s favourites making a comeback
Old is the new new, and if you were a child of the 90s, you’ll be familiar with toys like Polly Pocket, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Tamagotchis. The good news is that these and many other brands are making a comeback this year.
Almost 30 years since Polly Pocket first launched, Mattel announced a refresh in the original micro-scale and compacts that made her a 90s phenomenon. Let’s not forget the digital pet that you were forced to feed in the middle of the night the minute you hear that beep go off.
Now the original Tamagotchi is back, and it includes a character game for those kids who crave that digital element. Also, one of the world’s best-loved card games is back. Based on the same simple rules that have made UNO so popular, DOS is a new spin on an old favourite.
Slime, slime and more slime
Sorry to break it to you, but the slime craze is going into overdrive in 2019. Introducing Breakout Beasts - a surprise egg with a gooey centre. Touted as the coolest toy of the season, it’s bound to grab the attention of just about any child who’s into getting their hands dirty.
DIY slime kits are also showing no signs of abating as mermaid slime, recipes and novelty slime are the trending craft toys still high on most kids’ wishlists. Character mashe’ms like Marvel Avengers Mashems are big right now. Little ones are really into them because of their squishy and squashy textures - just like slime.
We’re going to be seeing big things with augmented reality toys this year. The world’s largest technology show, CES 2019, gave just an inkling of what to expect, from board games to robots to brain teasers.
According to Juniper Research, the market is expected to grow as “smart toys will represent an $18billion hardware and software market by 2023, up from an estimated $6-billion in 2018”.
Thanks in part to kiddie yoga and trampoline parks, manufacturers are realising the importance of fitness-related play.
Nest Designs have just acquired the exclusive rights as agents for Wobbel in South Africa - a multi-functional rocking balance board. Originating from Waldorf education and in use for over 20 years, the board will have parents scratching their heads in confusion, but to children it will provide hours of fun and imaginative possibilities.
Spinning discs, once the domain of stressed moms looking to lose a few kilos, are finding their way to a playroom near you. The regular design has been refined to help develop fine and gross motor skills, and improves balance and coordination.