Toys Aren't Us

What's wrong with the toy industry? I'm not the only one wondering.

What's wrong with the toy industry? 

I'm not the only one wondering. 

From the Toy Fair at New York City's Javits Convention Center, my colleague Caroline McCarthy asks, Has The Toy Industry Screeched To A Halt?

Sure, many of the exhibitors were familiar, but Caroline decries an overarching lack of innovation.

Caroline writes in part that "the toy world seems to be evolving at a noticeably slower pace than the rest of this rapidly changing 21st-century world. And it raised the question for this reporter: is this a sign of healthy stability in the toy industry, or a sign that it may be losing ground to video games and the Internet?"

To document her hunch, Caroline notes the complete absence of video and computer game manufacturers from the show floor, and the mark of digital technology mostly in those games that are marketed by giant conglomerates that happen to have digital divisions as well. 

I'll tell you what the overarching problem is. While I don't have any empirical evidence to prove this, it's my belief that the window for small children to use toys has become narrower and narrower.

I have friends whose three-year-old children already are playing video games. It's like they are born with a mouse in their hands. That doesn't leave all that much time for very young children to go through a toy phase like many of us did. And when they get older than three, unless it is a Lego forget about it.