Holiday 2012 Trend Spotting: Save ‘n’ Splurge
August 13, 2012 | Trends identified by Toy Industry Association (TIA) experts
at the 109th
American International Toy Fair are piping hot this summer and
expected to sizzle well into the 2012 holiday shopping season.
One of the year’s top trends – “Save
‘n’ Splurge” – indicates that post-recession
wallets are expanding, but that consumers are also staying mindful of
what they buy and who they spend on. Recent toy industry data confirms that parents
are making purchasing trade-offs – spending more on their own
families than they do on friends.
“Buying a less expensive gift for a classmate’s birthday
allows parents to shell out more for their own child’s ‘Big
Ask’ during the holiday season,” says TIA trend expert
Adrienne Appell. “Toymakers are rolling out products that hit both
ends of the spectrum … We’re seeing toys that have a certain
“WOW” factor for those who are willing to loosen their purse
strings a bit, but there also continues to be a wide range of products
that offer big play value at an affordable price.”
The following are some examples of toys in the Save ‘n’
Splurge category that were identified from among 100,000+ products on
display at last February’s Toy Fair:
- Distraction – Think Fun ($12.99): This quirky
all-play game is fun for the whole family, providing hours of
entertainment. Players take turns drawing number cards and remembering a
growing sequence of digits … but if a distraction card is drawn,
they must answer a quirky question before reciting the numbers in
- Star Wars Anti Gravity Balls – Uncle Milton
($9.99): These high-bounce anti-gravity balls feature new Star Wars
caricatures that will excite collectors of all ages. Perfect gifts for
stocking-stuffers or “just because.”
- Waverly and the Magic Seashells – The Bridge
Direct ($3.99): Mini-collectible seashells that contain little
“pets.” The seashells are part of a larger universe of
“play” that includes mermaid dolls and play sets. Fun for
kids to collect, display, and trade with friends.
- National Geographic Puzzles – Techno Source
($9.99): These unique National Geographic puzzles are great for puzzle
fans (10+) who love animals and nature. Puzzles come in four themes:
Into the Wild, Natural Wonders, Monumental Marvels, and World Travel.
- My Very Own Kitchen Set – American Plastic
Toys ($19.99): A kitchen play set that offers tons of role-play
opportunities at an affordable price. The “kitchen
experience” is made complete thanks to a microwave, range, grill,
conventional oven, dish organizer and shelf space. Includes a 19-piece
kitchen set so little ones can “cook” just like Mom and
- Crazy Cubes – Spin Master ($4.99): A
collectible that transforms traditional marble play into something
entirely new. Each Crazy Cube comes with its own unique combination of
marble brain and collector card, which doubles as a blocking wall or
shooting target. More than 50 to collect and 10 teams to choose from
– each team has one rare cube with changing eyes or mouth.
- Super Builds – WABA Fun, LLC ($9.99): Plastic
and foam pieces are connected to create vehicles using the illustrated
construction guide. Fun construction play for children aged 3+.
- Video Spy Surveillance System – JAKKS Pacific
($69.99): A part of the company’s recently expanded
“spy line,” this role play toy includes a video camera
operated by a remote control that enables kids to view their subjects
from 250 feet away.
- Desk to Easel Art Cart – GuideCraft USA
($199.99): Children as young as three can explore their creativity with
this classic, versatile arts and crafts unit, which can be positioned as
an angled easel or folded down into a flat workspace. Features
easy-to-clean laminate surfaces, a write-on/wipe-off surface, a
chalkboard and plenty of storage space.
- Wi Spi Helicopter – Interactive Toy Concepts
($99.99): Tweens and teens will get a kick out of this remote control
helicopter, which can be flown using an iPhone or Android app and
includes a built-in camera that beams live feeds to the mobile device.
“Spy” videos can also be recorded and uploaded to social
- Kid Tough Portable DVR Player – Fisher-Price
($149.99): From the popular “Kid Tough” line, this new,
touch-screen device plugs into a dock that connects to a set-top-box and
acts as a DVR, recording a child’s favorite television shows for
them to enjoy on-the-go. The player can record two hours of live or
pre-set programming, with the option of using a microSD card for
additional memory. Holds a charge for 4-6 hours.
- Electric Guitar – Schoenhut Piano Company
($129.99): Kids ages 6+ can rock out with this 36-inch classic electric
guitar. An ideal “first guitar” for kids, and a great,
lightweight travel guitar for musicians of all ages.
- Radiate Skateboard – Rockboard ($99.99): This
cutting edge skateboard incorporates an internal integrated LED wiring
harness system – simply hit the “on” switch and the 48
lights will turn on. Projects an explosion of color that has older kids
riding in style. Includes a rechargeable battery; available in 10
different color combinations.
- Buddy Pedal Go-Kart – BERG Toys ($299.99): A
rugged, four-wheel pedal kart with air-filled pneumatic tires and a wide
wheelbase, this ride-on is perfect for kids aged 3-8. Riders can pedal
forward, backward, and brake without taking their feet off the pedals.
Thanks to an adjustable seat, kids can continue to ride as they grow
These are just some of the fantastic “save” or
“splurge” toys rolling out through fall 2012. For
round-the-clock toy safety and trend information, visit ToyInfo.org.