Spielwarenmesse: Toy packaging: latest trends

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Toy packaging: latest trends

from Maria Costa

Toy packaging is impacting the purchase decision more than ever. The importance of its design is almost equal to the product itself. With that in mind, specific trends should also be considered when developing new packaging. In this article, I present a review of some of the latest trends and innovation strategies toy companies can take into account in order to improve the appeal of their products through their packaging.

Playful packaging

My Nici Pets, Nici, Spielwarenmesse 2018
My Nici Pets, Nici, Spielwarenmesse<sup>®</sup> 2018

A great opportunity arises when thinking about adding a component of play. There are different ways to do so. For instance, the manufacturer designs the packaging customizable. At the latest Spielwarenmesse®, Nici presented the collection My Nici Pets in a packaging shaped as a dog house that can be personalized by the child painting on it.

The key is to invent the packaging as a part of the play experience, a part of the toy or game. To name some examples, Djeco has done it beautifully with products such as Lunch Time or Breakfast Time with boxes that convert into tables. Janod racing grand Prix or Haba Dragon Diego Dart are other toys that use the packaging to enhance the game. At the latest toy fair the designs by Moulin Roty were very appealing. Find enclosed some pictures of their elaborate packaging and how they are using it as part of the plaything.

Moulin Roty, Spielwarenmesse 2018
Moulin Roty, Spielwarenmesse<sup>®</sup> 2018

This packaging has other added benefits. One very important aspect for families is the possibility to keep the toys organized better. Another, with a bigger impact on society as a whole, is the increase in the amount of time the packaging is in use. From something that is usually thrown away immediately, to a thing that can be used as long as the toy itself.

Unexpected content

No doubt, surprise toys in blind packaging are a big trend right now in the toy industry. Companies are immensely innovating the way a toy is revealed, making the unpacking process a big part of the fun. There is certainly a demand for this exciting experience. For instance, the Shopkings Lil’ secrets this year in the stores. The kid has to scratch the packaging to get a code and unlock it to get the shopking inside. Also Crate creatures surprise! by MGA Entertainment, 4 monsters that come with a crate in which the child can pull their tongues to get fun and gross noises and unleash them again and again.

Crate Creatures Surprise


Another relevant trend in packaging design is minimalism, a trend heavily influenced by technology companies such as Apple. This concept usually translates in simple but classy designs. In most cases, there is no written information but a high quality image of the product, usually on a white background. Frequently, the packaging is designed to highlight the product See for example, the products from companies such as Dëna or Moluk. In others, the focus is actually on how to use the product, for instance Denster by Kidesing or Tattoos by Longji.

Dëna KID 6x+ Dëna HOUSE 6xDensters, Kidesign, Spielwarenmesse® 2018Tattoos, Londji, Spielwarenmesse® 2018Nello, Moluk, Spielwarenmesse® 2018


Obviously, we all know the packaging is a container that is used as a marketing tool. But the message here is that it can also be so much more! We can use packaging trends such as the ones I presented in this article to get innovative ideas and improve our opportunities to engage the current buyer and player.

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Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

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