Trending toys come and go and no time is that more obvious than around the holidays when a child’s mind turns to what treasures they are hoping to find under the tree.
Then there are those toys which never seem to waiver in their popularity.
“It’s funny how of the older toys — the dolls — have stood the test of time,” said Karen Richert, co-owner of Leduc’s Playing For Keeps toy store.
Richert says construction sets, while they may have changed materials over the years, are still as well-liked as they always have been; from Lincoln Logs to LEGO. “Building is always going to be popular.”
“Even with technology there’s something to be said with off-screen toys,” she added.
Richert feels licensed toys, such as Spiderman and Batman figurines will not have the same longevity and their popularity will wax and wane with movie releases and other similar events.
“Strawberry Shortcake is coming back again,” said Richert.
“We’re definitely seeing a trend where people are looking for a broader value in a toy,” she added. Richert explains toys with a more unidentifiable appearance lend themselves better to imagination and creation.
Fun through learning, dress-up and make believe play sets also tend to remain popular, with slight modifications to themes.
What Richert calls heirloom toys, collectibles that can be passed down through the ages, such as Calico Critters or Bryer Horses also do not seem to go out of style. Children start playing with them as a young age and as they grow older their interest remains in collecting them.
Some of the older toys evolve rather than disappear. Spy kits always had some sort of decoder toy but Richert says they are now beginning to include more and more technology. “Even something as simple as the paper airplane, we now have motors you can attach for 30 seconds of flight.”
“Yo-yos, which have a long history, were replaced by Kendama. But we’re starting to see a comeback. We just have a fascination with it,” said Richert.
“There’s a passion for those retro toys: tiddlywinks, jacks, pick-up-sticks. People see that and they remember their own childhood. It invokes a special time in their lives. They want that memory back,” she added.