Toy trends 2021: the future comes into the children’s room

Status: 11/13/2021 12:00 p.m.

Not only trains, dolls and board games will often be under the Christmas tree in 2021. Topics such as climate protection, the energy turnaround and future technology are also trendy when it comes to toys.

What does climate protection have to do with the toy trend for Christmas? Nothing? Not even close. “Toys are the small world,” says game researcher Jens Junge from the Institute for Lugology in Berlin. And the toy industry is paying particular attention to social trends.

Of course there is also the Märklin railway, Lego and fischertechnik, the Barbie doll and the board games. The classic wooden Brio train is also still popular. But there are also toys that pick up on political and social trends. Perhaps because the parents decide for the little ones, or at least participate in the decision-making process.

Hydrogen car to build

It is therefore not surprising that among the products that the “TOP 10 toy jury” selects in their annual marketing campaign together with the Federal Association of Toy Retailers (BVS) are items such as the “Galileo Bio Greenhouse” and “The Great Volcano Expedition “from Schleich or the” H2 Fuel Cell Car “kit from fischertechnik.

The “H2 Fuel Cell Cars” bring “future technology into the children’s room”, it says in the description. And further: “How does a fuel cell work and how can you generate hydrogen with it? The supplied fuel cell is connected to the power pack – and the electrolysis starts: Distilled water splits into oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in two containers the self-generated hydrogen brings the car to life and explores the world. ” Is that still a toy? The whole thing should be for children from the age of nine and can be had for a proud 89.90 euros.

Solar roof on the playhouse

“Experimentation, sustainability and adventure are the big themes of the hottest toys in 2021,” says Franziska Köster from the Spielwaren trade association. “Whether you want to grow plants organically in your own greenhouse, find out how hydrogen can be used as a drive or create a playhouse with solar modules – toys that encourage environmental awareness among young scientists are all the rage,” she says. “But also classics like the adventure game with dinosaurs, volcanic eruptions & Co. are indispensable this year.” All TOP 10 toys will be presented on November 30th at a press conference in Nuremberg.

But game researcher Junge also makes it clear: “The topic of sustainability is becoming more and more popular as a trend in toys. In this sense, toys are political and have therefore also lost their innocence.” If toys were ever innocent, just think of guns, tanks, airplanes or other war toys that have been very popular with the little ones for centuries.

Seal for fair products

From the point of view of play researcher Junge, it is important that the buyers, mostly parents, don’t just look at the toy. You should not only ask whether the forklift has a “double lift mast” or how the interactive, electronic doll works, but also whether the products have a sustainability label. For example, the “Fair Toys Organization” awards a seal. For consumers, it documents the commitment of a manufacturer to ethical and dignified working conditions and ecological sustainability.

The entire industry has recognized how important sustainable and fair toys are. According to Christian Ulrich, spokesman for the board of Spielwarenmesse eG, the megatrend for 2022 is “Toys go green”: “The toys are either made from particularly sustainable or recycled materials or they playfully raise awareness of environmentally conscious behavior.”

But in addition to numerous newly developed toys, the toy experts also identified a new old trend during the Corona crisis: whether with cards, on the board or with dice: board games and puzzles are in greater demand than they have been for a long time.

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