I recently wrote a piece, “The Toy Industry Is Dead,” that announced: "The Toy Industry is dead; Long live the Play Industry." What is the Play Industry? Simply put, anyone who sells play as an end product, whether the tool is digital or
physical, is competing for the consumer’s dollar and time.
I concluded that a failure to recognize that fact would take the toy industry down the same track followed by the railroad industry in the 20th century. They thought they were in the railroad business until they found out that they were in the transportation business. A fact that that their real competition, truck, plane and automobile companies, fully understood.
what kinds of play products and platforms should be included in the “Play Industry?” I would like this to be a Wiki experience in which all of us collaborate in defining what constitutes membership and who the
So, to start the discussion, here are my criteria for membership: “Is
the product interactive (not simply entertainment like a movie or book); and
does it compete for play time and / or revenue? If it does, it’s in.
Based upon that concept, below is a list I came up with of potential play categories that I
believe fit (list includes both child and adult play). I have divided them into revenue competitors
and time competitors.
3 dimensional toys
Games (software and hardware)
Cell Phones and all other Mobile Devices
Games (Billiards, Foosball, Ping Pong etc.)
Environments (Bowling Allies, Bars, etc.)
Parks and Water Parks
How would you define membership in the “Play Industry”? Which of these do you think are categories
belong in the toy industry? Let us