Spielwarenmesse: The Unicorn effect: the magic behind mythical creatures

Choose language


Schattenspiel mit Einhorn


The Unicorn effect: the magic behind mythical creatures

from Maria Costa

At the last Spielwarenmesse® there was one theme that could be seen in several categories of toys. Mythical creatures, especially unicorns, are very popular. Toy companies are responding to the fondness for unicorns as well as other creatures and offer a huge diversity of toys with a mythical theme.

Unicorns in shows, licenses & toys

Bayala von Schleich
Schleich: Bayala

One of the main reasons why unicorns are becoming so popular is due to new movies and shows that are being launched in 2017. In Despicable Me 3, in theaters since June, there is a cute scene with a little girl believing unicorns are real. My Little Pony: The Movie will hit in theaters in October. Nella the Princess Knight is a show on Nickelodeon in which a princess-knight rides on a glamorous unicorn.

Some companies have already acquired licenses related to unicorns and mythical creatures. MTW Toys presented its lighting unicorn based on the movie Despicable Me at the last Spielwarenmesse®. Very appealing as well were the wonderful line of figures by Schleich based on the mythical characters from the movie Bayala.

The increase of themes related to unicorns and mythical creatures

Nancy - A Day as a Veterinarian of Unicorns von Famosa
Famosa: Nancy - A Day as a Veterinarian of Unicorns

There has been a great variety of toy unicorns introduced in the last few years. For instance, Starlily My Magical Unicorn by Hasbro with a horn that flashes in different colors to match her mood. Haba has a plush toy called Unicorn Little Star, with wings that can be removed. But even if unicorns are not a completely new theme, there has undoubtedly been a clear increase in this topic among the new toys presented.

The well-known Steiff has Starly, a unicorn that is featured in plush toys and a very-high quality riding toy. To accompany its dolls, Götz has presented the Unicorn Silver Star Sadle & Bridle, a beautiful white unicorn with a silver horn and glittery saddle and harness. Famosa has a very original Nancy doll; One Day as a Veterinary of Unicorns, a toy in which fantasy and reality play mix!

With the line of products Theodor & Friends, based on two unicorns, Nici is launching a wide range of products from plush toys to keychains, cushions, backpacks, and even cooking accessories. Other excellent plush toys worth checking are the elegant Nattou Unicorn Glitter by Doudou et Compagnie, or the very original design of the Mein zauberhaftes Einhorn by Coppenrath.

My enchanting unicorn by Coppenrath
Coppenrath: My enchanting unicorn
Unicorn by Nici
Nici: Unicorn Theodor

Even among the 2017 Best Toys For Kids Award Winners by ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) there is a toy unicorn! It is the My Magical Sound & Lights Unicorn by Gund. When the animal is petted its wings light up and the unicorn makes “magical sparkling sounds”.

Be aware this trend is not only influencing dolls and plush toys. Gocco is using this theme to build unicorns, Ann Williams has DIY kits, Bertoy has puzzles (even with unicorns that glow in the dark). There are plenty of opportunities for all sorts of toys to implement this theme. Have in mind that not only unicorns, but all mythical creatures are popular and on the rise at the moment. Think of enchanted and unique magical characters and features to create new appealing toys that will be popular for the next months and beyond.

Get more insights and know-how for your toy business. With the Spielwarenmesse® newsletter you benefit regularly from all relevant news about trends, ideas and innovations within the toy industry. Register now!


Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

Tags in this article:


Stay informed with trends and developments of the toy market. Register for one of our newsletter.



Stay informed with trends and developments of the toy market. Register for one of our newsletter.