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These are artistic handmade toys that sell for $1 billion a year in the United States!
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DIY toys, also known overseas as Arts & Crafts, is a low-key but steadily growing category. According to Circana's market sales data, the U.S. Arts & Crafts toy market volume ranks 10th out of the 11 major toy categories it tracks and counts in 2022, with about more than a billion dollars in share, essentially unchanged from 2021, and up 5 percent compared to 2019. Compared to outdoor and sports toys, the No. 1 category with a total of more than $5 billion but an 11% year-over-year plunge, arts and crafts toys look fairly flat.


Four factors for the category's evergreen nature

1. the high demand for handmade activities

Crafts as a direct exercise of children's hands-on activities, in addition to in-school craft classes, also involved in out-of-school.

According to the British government department of culture, media and sport to do a survey shows that more than 70% of children aged 5 to 10 years old in the United Kingdom in the off-site more or less involved in some form of handicraft activities; and to the age of 11 to 15 years old, the proportion is still as high as 67 per cent, the visible market demand for arts and crafts products is very high, providing a lot of space for this kind of toys.


2. to help children away from the screen

With the popularity of smart products such as tablets and mobile phones, the problem of addiction has become the heart of parents. Arts and crafts toys have become one of their tools to keep children away from electronic screens.

Especially since the epidemic three years since the Internet class, parents are more urgent need for this, hoping that the child through the handmade work, re-establish the connection with reality. This is because the more physical connection to the outside world, the richer the senses and the better the brain development. When a child has too much exposure to touch screens, cognitive development is limited.


3. Psychological needs in terms of emotional stress relief

It has been scientifically proven that doodling, mechanical movements or focusing on one activity helps to divert a person's attention thus de-stressing the mind. This is also highlighted three years after the epidemic.

Arts and crafts are also a very popular form of grandparent-child bonding activity, allowing the elderly to keep their minds active and enjoy the company of their grandchildren. At the same time, young women who do colouring, knitting, and other arts and crafts activities have been gradually increasing in number recently.


4. art handmade related variety show drive

For example, the popularity of "One Cut Dress", "Great Britain Sewing Contest", "Repair Master" and other handcraft-related competitive variety shows will also drive the popularity of related arts and crafts products (also including toys).

Tips for vendors to boost product buzz

Don't see that the market size of the arts and crafts category is not big compared to other categories, but the competition is still very fierce. Therefore, manufacturers mainly focus on two aspects: solving parents' pain points and catering for trends.


Consumer pain point 1: safety issues

As art handmade toys with different traits of slime, coloured clay, paint and other chemical materials account for a large proportion, and manufacturers often add a variety of additional substances to present special effects in order to improve the novelty of the product, such as adding fluorescents to achieve a luminous effect, adding colour-fixing agents so that the pigments remain as bright as new, and adding a variety of small particles to create a rich visual and so on.

In addition, these products are in direct contact with children's skin, so they need to be more careful. 2020, there was a putty-textured art and craft toys in the harmful substances in the incident led to children's vomiting, followed by a large-scale product recall.

In addition to enhancing the safety of the chemicals involved, there is also operational safety. For example, sewing and knitting sets, manufacturers simplify the operating steps to make it easy for children to get started, while optimising the tools to reduce the sharp parts, and even some products directly remove the needles and replace them with other means to enhance safety.


Consumption pain point 2: cleaning and storage

Not every family has a dedicated space for children to freely splash around, especially families with average conditions. Therefore, I'm afraid that playing with arts and crafts toys to make a mess at home will cause headaches for every parent.

Noticing this pain point, many manufacturers have improved their formulas and playthings, and also further made their products reusable to enhance the value for money. For example, Trends UK has launched the Paint

Pop paintbrush series, there is a cap, the refill can also be screwed out like a solid glue, fast-drying, easy to wipe.


Consumption hotspot 1: licensing co-branding

In recent years, the big IP licensing co-branding is one of the key drivers of toy consumption. According to the data of the International Licensing Industry Association in recent years, the sales of authorisation in the field of toys have been growing year after year, and in 2020 it will grow by more than $6 billion compared with 2019.

In the arts and crafts sector, a common way to play with licensing co-branding is to incorporate the IP's graphic design in the finished template. There are also arrangements for players to create freehand creations of the character's representative props and skills in the IP's representative scenes.


Consumption Hot Spot 2: Unboxing Surprise + Mini

Since the rise of the unboxing video on YouTube in 2016, surprise toys have played out, taking advantage of the unboxing video to add another fire to this type of product. This year has seen another miniature miniature craze. Arts and crafts toy manufacturers also want a piece of the pie in this field, so the past sub-theme of the bright box material packaged into a variety of blind boxes, or the overall size of the product reduced.


Consumption Hot Spot 3: Live Streaming / Netflix

In the world of live webcam, beauty webcam is undoubtedly the largest category, while the impact on girls is very large. In recent years various children's manicure, hairdressing and beauty categories as well as fashion design and sewing and craft kits have begun to increase. Although socialising outside has been reduced in the three years of the epidemic, it has not affected the mindset of girls to dress up and share and communicate on social media.

Vendors are more focused on tangible profits

With manufacturers rolling so hard on product development and creativity, what do merchants value more?

According to Emma Dadswell, head of Toys n Tuck, a small British toy shop, said: "Compared to product creativity, we value the price, favouring products priced between £5 and £10, because the profit margins of selling arts and crafts products are still considerable. In addition, is the product packaging design. The packaging design should be beautiful enough to attract people, while highlighting the experience advantages of good use and easy to clean, in order to make guests passionate about placing orders." Unlike the high demands of big chains, the concerns of small shop owners are also very grounded.


Declaration: This article comes from theChinese and foreign toy manufacturing. If copyright issues are involved, please contact us to delete.

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