A fresh market study by the researchers at Transparency Market Research (TMR) reports that the global smart toys market is heavily dependent on product innovation, and that an increasing number of players are venturing into the competitive landscape, eating out significant chunk of the total shares. That being said, a few companies do hold a respectable position in the global smart toys market, such as Activision Blizzard Inc., Fisher-Price Inc., The Hasbro Inc., LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., Spin Master Corp, Seebo Interactive Ltd, Wow Wee Group Ltd, Genesis Toy Co. Ltd, Reach Robotics Ltd, and SmartGurlz ApS. While Activision Blizzard is a little ahead of the curve, Hasbro is concentrating on revisiting the most popular toys and games. LEGO too has made heavy investments for research and development in the recent past to emerge as a notable competitor in the global smart toys market.
Nascent Market Has Strong Potential for Product Innovation
The demand in the smart toys market, a sector born out of industrial and technological convergence, is projected for an impressive CAGR during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. However, the market for smart toys is still at its early stage, with Sphero BB8 App-Enabled Droid being the only one that has achieved broad consumer appeal in the toys to life segment. In the near future, currently ongoing R&D efforts by the market leaders is expected to bear fruits and newer products are anticipated to make an impression on a wider population. That is when the demand in the global smart toys market will witness an escalation.
Based on toy-type, the global smart toys market gains maximum demand for voice or image recognition toys, accounting for US$2,271.7 mn in 2017 and projected for a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. This segment is growing at US$ 89.7 mn annually over the course of the forecast period, and this absolute growth is larger than the any other segment, viz.
App-enabled mechanical toys, screenless toys, toys-to-life, puzzles and building games, health tracking toys, wearables, and others. North America is identified as the most lucrative regional market for smart toys, promising a revenue worth US$2,119.2 mn by 2022. On the other hand, the demand for smart toys in the region of Asia Pacific expect Japan (APEJ) is anticipated to expand at an above-average CAGR of 3.9% during the same forecast period.
Increased Disposable Income of Urban Population Driving Demand
Urban population is growing increasing inclined towards restless lifestyle and while they have managed to add to their disposable income, time for personalized parenting is diminishing. Smart toys utilize artificial intelligence, and are punctuated with microprocessors, input and output devices, and volatile or nonvolatile memory units. Smart toys goes beyond just being educational toys, as they can recognize speech as well as react to their surroundings in order to provide a comprehensive entertainment and engagement to children between the age group of five to 14. The growth of the global smart toys market is also a reflection of increasing awareness towards the smart toys and the availability of diverse indoor and outdoor sports and educational toys. On the other hand, high cost of these products, the lack of awareness among large masses, particularly in the emerging economies, regulatory issues for overseas distribution, and impending innovations are some of the challenges that are hindering the prosperity of the global smart toys market.
The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is having tremendous positive effect on the global smart toys market too. With IoT, modern toys are increasingly becoming a potential area wherein connectivity and existing toy types can be collaborated together to innovate appealing new devices, referred to as connected or ‘smart toys’.