Originality versus success – The Perennial Success Formula in the Toy Industry
The Toy industry gets a new generation of consumers every few years. That’s a really important fact. And while I’ve mentioned that before on this Blog, it’s worth saying again! Simply put, today’s pre schooler will be tommorrow’s (metaphorically, not actually!) target audience for 5+ Toys.
So here’s the thing about that – Toy companies really don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Because you get a completely new set of consumers every few years. And bearing in mind we have an annual selling cycle, 3 selling cycles will see you get a fresh start.
Don’t think for one minute I am suggesting or accusing the toy industry of being lacking in innovation and creativity…there surely can’t be a better place to find creativity!
But the point is where the innovation is…it isn’t often successfully deployed to find a completely new play pattern/play motivation or theme. It’s applied most commonly to successfully adapt and evolve a known formula.
Here’s some common themes, themes which applied when I was a kid, and apply for the current generation of kids today:
Goodies & Baddies (Power Rangers, Transformers etc.).
Dark & Light (Star Wars).
Pirates (where do we start!).
Superheroes (Spiderman, Batman, Superman etc.).
Kids playing at being adults (Barbie, Game of Life, Payday).
Nurturing furry animals (My Little Pony, Care Bears).
Cars/Vehicles (Hot Wheels, Cars (movies) and many more).
I could go on (and on!), but hopefully you get the point?
We don’t need to create new types of Fantasy/theme to be successful. We just need to execute exisiting play patterns better, cooler, tech enhanced or just plain better in some way, shape or form.
So every time I meet someone who starts a pitch with “You’ve never seen anything like this before.”, I tend to glaze over.
The success formulae are not complicated – kids tend to have an unsophisticated mindset which can be easily understood. So my suggestion is not to make things more complicated or risky than they need to be!
All the best