February 6, 2023

“Millennial parents care about what’s in their home,” Ms Weiner said. The nursery has to be Instagrammable, with wooden toys in neutral colors or a whimsical play tent in harmless shades of gray.At the same time, Gen Z seems to be more interested in toys that will go viral on TikTok, such as pumpkin candiesa round pillow-like filling with various roles.

I asked if my favorite toy had a hard yellow plastic frame. Ms Waller said plastic remained popular despite consumers expressing a desire for sustainable materials such as wood and fabrics. “I’ll tell you, the plastic toy industry isn’t going anywhere,” Ms Waller said. “That’s not how they buy.”

(Ms. Golinkoff, a professor who studies children’s play, confirms that American parents “love anything with batteries.”)

Kids 2 conducts surveys and group discussions to help decide which new toys should be designed, and subscribes to trend forecasters like WGSN and Trend Bible to determine which colors, patterns and themes will appeal. Ms Waller said the plant pattern was huge now. “Aloe plants and cacti,” she says. “Indoor plants give a warm and cozy feel.”

As a parent, I noticed this: Suddenly, a surprising animal popped up in every corner of the kids’ area. In recent years, flamingos, sloths, llamas and, of course, the historic unicorn.

“There’s a narwhal moment,” Ms. Waller said, as my mind raced through the many narwhal stuffers around my house, many in rainbow colors, and my children’s wishes ultimately depended on what toy companies chose to sell. s things.

Disappointingly, I couldn’t get Ms. Waller to explain exactly why Kids 2 had bugged the bug. Yet, reading between the lines of our conversation, it was clear that many of the products I purchased for my newborn were not enough to boost their sales numbers to the point where retailers insisted that the company keep supplying them.

Seven-month-old Meera contributed reporting.

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