The Death of the Toy Industry and Why Teddy will survive.
Being outside the toy industry I see a seismic shift happening. In the United Kingdom. One in three British children has their own tablet. The number of children between five and 15 with a tablet of their own has almost doubled in the last year! What I have found talking with people in the toy industry they do not realise the irreversible significant drop in toy sales. From my knowledge and experience when console games became mainstream for 11+ year old's sales of traditional toys dropped 70%+. Now with children under 11 years of age using tablets I predict the same thing will happen, a drop in sales of toys by up to 70% over the coming 2-3 years. What is happening can be compared to when people used FAX machines up to the 90's and its replacement with EMAIL this century, its irreversible and inevitable.
Interesting facts about the Digital App world
Time spent using apps each month has risen over 65 per cent in the past two years, to 30+ hours, in 2013 Apps now represent 52% of time people spent with digital media in the USA , Apple boasted 75 billion all-time App Store downloads at its developers conference in June, 2014 App commerce in 2014 has reached $100 Billion compared to the world wide market for toys in 2008 of $80 Billion In Asia English teaching apps account for $1 Billion in revenue, with the top three countries being China, Korea and Japan A few language teaching apps have achieved downloads of up to 50 million users
TWAIN is one of a new breed of toys that bridges the gap between the digital and physical world to take advantage of the growth in Digital apps
I missed one thing. Virtual Reality and GAMES. Oculus VR | Oculus Rift - a technology company revolutionizing the way people experience video games View on www.oculus.com
Sony's Project Morpheus brings virtual reality to mainstream console gaming.. An add-on VR headset for the PlayStation 4 offers a convincing look at the future of gaming and a whole new experience. Samuel Gibbs tries it out View on www.theguardian.com Preview by Yahoo WHEN THESE COME ON THE MARKET ITS THE END OF TOYS.
Why did Hasbro or Mattel not buy Oculus Rift? Entropy. And why they will see profits fall 50% over the coming years. Think of Virtual Reality as the invention of Television. Thats the size of impact on society and technological change.
I predict within 3 years the toy industry is over, DEAD. Anyone who has not adopted digital apps today do not stand a chance. Even THEN they can expect sales to drop upwards of 30-40%. Only by balancing digital sales e.g. "in app" purchases will they survive. I am absolutely 100% certain all the toy companies I have spoken with will be out of business in 3 years.
For the toy industry there is only 3 ways forwards Robotics, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Only one of them is physical hardware like Teddy.
Lastly a glimpse of the future...
Its all about immersion, how can one compare imagination with BEING THERE inside the game? imagine playing with Barbie in a virtual world, believe me when a child experiences this they will never touch a physical doll.