TIME magazine recently released its list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys. They ranged from the Radio Flyer wagon of 1923 to the Zhu Zhu Pets of today. Interestingly, it was also their most read story that week on the web garnering over 6 million page views and nearly 14,000 ‘likes’ on facebook.
I am wondering why there were so few toys and games selected from the past 10 years. The 2000’s have only 3 products on the list, and the past twenty years account for only 12 of the hundred. The 70’s and 80’s account for 29 and the two decades before those, 40! (Well, actually 39 if you discount the fake vomit.)
Is innovation declining?
I don’t know the answer, but it seems that the big manufacturer’s focus on their core brands more and more over the past years might be, at least partly, responsible.
Another factor might be that it might be too early to determine whether or not some of today’s hits will stand the test of time. Bakugan? Silly Bandz? Pictureka?
It does seem to me that the Toy Fairs of years ago had a lot more buzz about the hot companies and the hot toys.
That aside, I was honored to be a presenter at the TOTY Awards this month, accompanied by the winners of our ChiTAG Young Inventor Challenge, Nick Metzler and Adrik Herbert. We presented the award for the Most Innovative Toy of the year. Sing-A-Ma-Jigs won in this category as well as for top Preschool toy and for overall Toy of the Year. Mattel acknowledged the inventor, Ron Magers of M Design, in their acceptance speech. Sing-A-Ma-Jigs was at or near the top of every on-line favorite toy list last year proving that innovation and a new brand can pay off. I suspect that Time will have this toy on its list before long.
Are Sing-A-Ma-Jigs the exception that proves the rule that there is less innovation or innovative products being licensed in our industry lately? Just wondering.
Hasbro’s Scrabble Flash won Game of the Year. It was invented internally by Bob Driscoll, also acknowledged that evening. Should Time (or the public) consider old brands with new twists as new innovative products worthy of making the list (doesn't seem to be the case now)? Just wondering.
Two interesting questions.