February 9, 2006
The American International Toy Fair begins Sunday, February 12 in New York City. This year, technology plays an even larger role, since 75% of the new toys feature microchips. A popular trend this year is robotics, including “Let’s Dance Barbie” which mimics a child’s dance moves, and a life-size robotic pony that reacts to petting.
In an article from the Associated Press, toy analyst Sean McGowan discusses toy trends remarking, “ Children are migrating to consumer electronics faster than toy companies can take them there.” These young consumers are abandoning traditional toys at a younger age, and moving towards hand-held video games and MP3 players.
This could have an effect on the next generation of college students. These young people could be less creative than previous generations, since activities like “dress-up” and coloring may be too archaic for them. Or the use of high-tech toys at a younger age could stimulate an interest in computers, robotics, and other technology fields. To understand their toys, this generation will need to have a more througough understanding of technology. It could lead to more young people going in to computer programming and engineering.
It is too early to tell where this high-tech toy trend will go, but it will be a fun trip along the way.
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