Toy Trends 2021

Toy Trends 2021 – Every Christmas season brings on the hype about what’s hot in toys and play. I interviewed the Senior Director of the Toy Association, Adrienne Appell, recently regarding the latest toy trends. The Toy Association is a non-profit trade association representing all businesses that design and produce toys. Since she is an expert on what’s new in the world of toys and play, I asked her a few questions to help out those last minute holiday shoppers as well as those just needing to buy a toy/gift in general. Here’s what I found out…


Toy Trends 2021

Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What has been the trend for the top selling toys this holiday season?

Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association – There are a bunch of trends this year that are hot. One of them is the collectables category. We’re still seeing collectibles with that unboxing surprise element dominate kids’ wish lists. Things like L.O.L. Surprise with the winter Disco series for this year, Blume by Skyrocket where the water activates the blooming doll outside of the flower pot, and also Shopkins Real Littles – the Real brand with the Shopkins – I’m hearing those are really hard to find on the shelf at this time.

Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What are some of the more popular non-electronic toys that you recommend?

Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association – One of the hottest things we’re seeing this year too is this plush of the year nominee from WowWee, it is Baby Shark. A little bit of electronics, but not too much. What this will do is motion activated (puppet), and the faster I move my hand, the faster it’s going to sing. But, if I slow it down, it will sing slower. This is for kids aged 2+. He will shut off on his own. They love the cause and effect. And, he’s nice and soft and snuggly. He’s good to go in the bed of the crib as well.

Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What board games have you tested that you found to be fun for the whole family?

Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association – Yes, sure, one of my favorites this year is another one nominated for game of the year. I keep mentioning these nominees. But, you can go to to learn about all of them. The game is called Pictionary Air, and what it is is a pen that hooks up to an app and you’re actually drawing your cards in the air. It’s a new take on the iconic Pictionary game. It makes for a lot of laughs because you can’t see what you’re really drawing in front of you. Your team members have to guess based off the app. It’s only $20 and it’s fun for the entire family.

Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What have you found to be the best educational, yet still fun, toys?

Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association – This year we have a STEM/STEAM toy of the year award category and it’s the first time ever. That’s because of the growing popularity of STEM/STEAM toys. These are toys that are teaching kids Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. But, most importantly they need to be fun. Thames and Kosmos has a great product where you’re building your own gumball machine. So, it’s teaching kids about physics, but at the end of the day, they have a gumball machine that’s working. My six year old has seen it and she’s obsessed; she’s been asking for it. It might have been the gumballs that caught her eye, but she’s playing and she’s learning. That’s the most important thing.

Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What do you see happening in the toy industry for what’s new, next, and cutting-edge?

Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association – I think we’re going to continue to see a mix of technology but classic toys. While we all get wowed by those cutting edge items and there are a lot of trending things, a lot of the things that we see are tried and true. There’s a new child born every day and what’s new to them may be something that’s old to us. Barbie is having a phenomenal year and she’s 60. So, there’s a lot to be said for those classic play and new trends as well.


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