This is a guest piece by noted child development and toy expert Joanne Oppenheim.…
Remember ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?’
Well, this year, Honey, They Shrunk the Toys!
Anyone who has visited the International Toy Fair in NYC this week will note that it’s not just the world economy that has shrunk!
In a bid to make toys more affordable the toymakers have made the toys smaller!
Last year’s $300 animatronic dinosaur, Kota, that filled up a full corner of any room, standing three feet tall+ is now extinct! But now there are three little 9″ versions that will retail for $15. Touch activated like the original colossal Kota, these are really endearingly cute and probably less scary than the high priced dino of last season.
It’s not just Hasbro’s dinos that have shrunk. In one showroom after another we saw pirate ships, castles, and toys settings that are designed to cost less and take up less space in a world where down-sizing is all the rage.
Are the smaller toys as good? Maybe better! The bases for some of the settings are tighter and more likely to hold together. You will no longer need to dedicate most of one room to the castle it took you over a week to assemble. Nor do you need to break the bank to bring home the top of the line motorized construction set. Top of the line is no longer a kit that will take six months to put together. We saw many imaginative building sets that will probably take much less long to build, but allow for all the play value of the larger set.
So, yes, there is something positive to say about this economic turn-down. Aren’t you glad?
Joanne is the president and co-founder of toyportfolio.com, the award-winning author of more than 50 books for and about children…and oh yes, for those of you new to our story…my mom.