Category sees explosive growth worldwide driven by new toys-to-life offerings.
Sales of smart toys will reach $2.8 billion in hardware and app content revenues this year, driven by the popularity of the console-connected "toys-to-life" segment, according to new data from Juniper Research.
The company's new study "Smart Toys: Hardware, Apps & Technologies 2015-2020" also found that smart toys that connect to mobile apps and game consoles are emerging as the key market for toy retailers. Bridging the physical/digital divide and even leveraging the cloud to create interactive, intelligent toys, retailers are able to capitalize on both the mobile and console ecosystems.
First popularized by the "Skylanders" franchise in 2011, the toys-to-life segment continues to go from strength to strength, and LEGO’s entry into this market in September with its "LEGO Dimensions" video game will only serve to heighten the market’s success, according to Jupiter.
Juniper's research also found significant regional differences in the likelihood to purchase smart toys.
“Price is one of the biggest hurdles for consumers,” says Steffen Sorrell, research author, Jupiter Research. “The smart toy carries a premium price at the moment, particularly those that connect to mobile devices, although we expect this barrier to lower somewhat by the end of the decade.”
The five countries that had the highest on-average annual spend smart toys per child in 2015 were the U.K., the U.S., Japan, Canada and Germany.