Stars Rising

‘Tis the season: Kids all over the world anxiously count down the days, excitedly refining their gift wish lists while Santa works diligently to deliver the goods. As holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, and gift purchasing takes priority in the lives of busy Santas everywhere, a number of trends play a role in their at-times manic pursuit.

Where today’s shopper purchases their gifts plays a leading role among toy trends. Major retailers, both online and off, vie to be the go-to for those coveted kids’ wish lists and grow their share of the $22 billion U.S. toy market.

Retail realities
To most consumers, mass toy retailers seem to offer a sea of sameness. Walmart, Target and Toys R Us Inc. (the original category-killing retailer that is now on the ropes and possibly on its last legs) brutally battle it out year after year, but tend to draw little distinct difference in their toy departments.

Exclusives are clearly mere tweaks of brands and products available at every other retailer. Independent specialty toy retailers deliver a difference, which is widely recognized as a more educational, nostalgic, exclusive and premium range of products. At this time of year, toys can be purchased nearly anywhere.

Grocery stores, drugstores, discount “dollar” stores, club stores and even home improvement centers, such as Menards, and fashion chains, such as Justice, also get in the holiday selling spirit. Fast-growing Five Below, which only sells products for $5 or less, has become the go-to store for many kid-to-kid, birthday and holiday gifts, as well as for Santas looking to round out their stocking stuffers and under-the-tree towers of gifts for their kids.

In this crowded retail space, the toy industry is looking for new ways to engage and excite kids and their caregivers. By keeping an eye of developing trends, designers and brand managers can avoid the trap of formulaic packaging that frustrates consumers. Here are five toy package design trends to watch:

Gender bender
Historically, most toys were definitively or largely, gender-specific. Sure, many products and their content are gender-neutral or family-oriented, but the vast majority are designed or implied to be specifically for boys or girls. Over the last century, social stereotypes drove this trend in gender-specific toys.

Current social trends are challenging the status quo. Brands, such as GoldieBlox, are bucking the “for-girls” stereotype of pink or purple products and packaging or disrupting what’s in the pink aisle by building games for girls to pretend to take on nontraditional roles.

Toys R Us in the U.K. “has agreed to remove gender assignments to toys in its stores,” i.e., the pink and blue aisles. A number of consumers have also begun a petition to Toys R Us seeking the same in the U.S.

Nerf reaches across the boy’s aisle with the launch of their Rebelle line. However, with naming such as Heartbreaker and purple, pink, white and black color schemes, the brand and packaging sits comfortably on the girls’ side and is reactive to the success of heroine themes such as Hunger Games. 

Likewise, Lego’s Friends line has significantly increased its share within the girls’ demographic, not to mention their profits, but have been criticized for promoting gender stereotyping. Lego is among the most effective brand packaging in the toy world; consistently executed and rigidly managed across an enviable range of sub brands and thousands of SKUs.

Try me 2.0
“Try me” is a term and tactic often and long applied in the toy industry. The strategy solves the challenge of enticing and engaging an audience who cannot yet read.

Social networks have accelerated every consumer’s ability and desire to discover and share anything new, and today’s kids have spent their entire lives in this age of rampant technological innovation. They also have personal digital devices at earlier and earlier ages.

Today’s packaging has integrated technologies that take the try-me feature even further, using QR codes and newer augmented reality.

The use of on-pack QR and access codes, as well as dedicated apps, continues to be a trend, particularly on tech-enabled toys and collectibles. Brands such as Hasbro’s Furby line use both an app and QR code.

Sustainability and responsibility
Kids care deeply about their world. They care about their families, friends and the planet. They know things need to change. Our most critical challenges require kids’ involvement to create large-scale, concrete changes. Time and optimism are on their side in such efforts. The brands that will matter most in the future will stand for products that are good for people and good for the planet. They’ll help make a healthy future possible. But if they aren’t appealing, alluring and exciting that future will never exist. If they aren’t fun, no one will want them.

Quite a few toy brands have successfully tapped into the trend of doing good in the world, by contributing a portion of purchases to help others in need. Many of these brands are primarily geared to girls and largely in the doll category. Hearts For Hearts Girls by Playmates Toys are beautiful dolls in gorgeous, sophisticated, yet fairly traditional, fifth-panel window box doll packaging. The brand and package messages encourage girls to join their mission “to become agents of change in their communities, their countries and the world.”

Every purchase of a B.toy product benefits Free the Children. The nonprofit was started by 12-year-old Craig Kielburger in 1995, when he gathered 11 school friends to begin fighting child labor. Today, Free The Children’s mission is to create a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change.

B. packaging is also intentionally different. It’s packaging, while beautiful, is also recycled, recyclable and reusable. The package design promotes repurposing and is often even reversible to be used as gift wrap. (Editor’s note: To learn more about B. toy packaging design strategy, take a look at the December 2011 issue of Package Design.)

Winning over kids and parents
Toy marketers know they need to engage two audiences—kids and those who care for them, via what we call bimodal messaging. Many of the aforementioned brands have achieved this balance to win with kids and their caregivers. For instance, B. toys and GoldieBlox appeal to both moms and kids directly in both style and mission.

It’s all about having fun
With so many things vying for kids’ attention and time, it’s important not to forget a basic design tenet for toy packaging: Those that are the most fun will always win in the end. Yes, packaging has to create a personal connection and have the proper balance of messaging for kid and caregiver/giftgiver. This is especially essential at the earliest ages.

But the packaging must engage the kid. After all, they are the end users.

The trick is to pay attention to how the messaging and marketing must shift as kids mature. The products and packaging must be fun on their terms, as they define it. And as kids grow, their expectations become much more difficult to meet.

Many brand managers and designers will find, though, that simply asking kids to help define that message is fun in itself.

Bill Goodwin is founder of Goodwin Design Group. Bill uses his insight as husband, father and designer to create family-oriented packaging for companies such as Campbell Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Crayola, Disney, General Mills, Hasbro, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Procter & Gamble and Toys R Us.

Shawne Goodwin is part of the husband-and-wife team at Goodwin Design Group. Shawne brings a background in education, from nearly a decade of experience as a special education teacher, and parenting in the care of her and Bill’s four children. Today, Shawne coordinates kid-and-mom consumer panels, which inspire and inform client projects with invaluable, first-hand insights, when she’s not lending her own unique perspectives, creativity and keen eye to the group’s projects.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Foreign garbage to China re-exports of manufactured toys – plastic toys, toy exports, foreign waste – toy industry

Foreign garbage to China re-exports of manufactured toys – plastic toys, toy exports, foreign waste – toy industry

Recently, in the South East of Felixstowe port, the world’s largest cargo shipped from China, like the tens of thousands of containers of consumer goods Mt.

  The shore, one 30 years ago, visited the British Hong Kong and Guangzhou, said David, meet friends and family when the thought of food, with many of the “Made in China”, Chinese people feel suddenly change and economic forces of globalization. But such a large number of the other side from the Earth to the delivery of consumer goods in Europe, at least from an environmental perspective, there is not much of our planet’s benefit, after all, the transport process can also cause air pollution.

Dialogue was not mentioned, these giant sea from Europe to be driven across the border in China Shique loaded with waste recycling and recovery of waste materials, including the removal from the UK’s main waste plastic. The recycling of waste will be processed in China, toy, plastic packaging products such as computer casings, and then shipped to Europe.

British rubbish coming out Guangdong In less than two months after the dialogue that the shore, the sky influential British television reporter in the pungent smoke of Williams witnessed the British refuse a village in Guangdong “amazing scene” .

Williams made 8 years in the Chinese press, thought that his post-mine had been to China to witness the most terrible pollution, but Guangdong South China Sea where the call even after the discovery of pit, where it worthy of said China’s most polluted places.

Williams back to the UK’s TV reports that waste from the UK, he found a letter from a plastic jacket, and the address on the envelope the letter to find the owner?? A far thousands of miles away in Britain.

The Englishman’s letter to him in distant China was surprised. The waste classification advocates claim to the British, said: “I am speechless, we just do our classification, Who would have thought the end of these waste by those who do not wear gloves, but also those who directly deal with toxic gas inhalation. ”

Reported that the waste plastics is the UK’s main exports to China is one, even the reprocessing of waste pits residents subsistence, can only earn about £ 50 a month, about 750 yuan, the average income of the United Kingdom level of 8%. Children as young as 14-year-old pile of cans in the waste bottle, plastic bags and food bags, and then melted for reuse.

Smelting process appears sharp yellow smoke unbearable. Direct dumping of waste processing plant waste into streams, rivers, causing water to become a pool of Ukrainian town water. Shooting in the town an hour later, reporters and camera crews were feeling the eyes, throat irritation.

40-year-old Xiao-Mei Chen (phonetic) to connect to pit for several months. She said: “You are rich in the United Kingdom, would not do such work,. Us poor, hard to find work, only picking over waste.” Lens, in a waste site, the workers may lead to cancer and in the processing Birth Defects of PVC.

British journalist was found in the waste heap of British Asda, Tesco shopping bags and food packaging, Sainsbury supermarket plastic milk bottle, Cadbury Chocolate packaging and Hang-style pasta bags … …

In even the pits, waste disposal sites and a French and a German household plastic waste disposal sites.

Waste storage pit boss even see the British journalist is not happy, they go all the way H, and even asked to call the police. They fear that if the news spread, waste plastics are loaded ship may elect his office would cut off their source of wealth.

I am a professional editor from China Suppliers, and my work is to promote a free online trade platform. contain a great deal of information about
wood room divider , folding room divider
welcome to visit!

Article from

Related Plastic Bottles Articles

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Opportunities for India in a greening toy market

Opportunities for India in a greening toy market

If kids can think about sustainability from a early stage, it’s more likely to be an innate behavior when the grow into adulthood. In that perspective, greeneing of the toys is great news for our beloved earth. While green toys account for less than 1 percent of the market, the number of products is growing. As reported in Businessweek, Researcher NPD Group, based in Port Washington, New York, estimated the toy industry’s 2009 retail sales at .5 billion. This report suggests the market for “green” toys may hit billion over the next five years, or roughly 5 percent of all toy sales.

While made f recyclable materials, the raw materials for green toys come cheap, the growth of earth-friendly toys has been hampered by the higher prices that accompany sustainable manufacturing, or making products while using renewable resources, less energy and creating less waste, particualrly as we are coming out of the recession. But the fact that Wal-Mart has been pushing the category, is helping build awareness. As Wal-Mart makes a bigger push into green toys, the supplier industry will have to respond. Toy sales accounted for as much as 7 percent of Wal-Mart’s 8.2 billion in annual U.S. revenue last year. The results of such push from Wal Mart are already visible. Mattel has been working on reducing the size and amount of materials used in packaging and increasing the use of recycled content where possible. Several companies dedicated to green toy making are also emerging like Green Toys.

The materials that these toys are made out of – wood, minimal paints, recycled plastics – are what makes them greener than the competition. Green toys are also made from recycled materials and pose no threat to the environment. All materials that are used in green toys are natural, like bamboo. These toys are hardy, very durable and surprisingly lightweight, especially the ones made from bamboo. Some green toys are even being made from the recycled plastic of already used plastic bottles. This has also lead to the very low cost of making green toys since materials are very easy to come by. For example green toys claims the following about its toys:They are made from recycled milk containersThey are battery-free.They are non-toxic with no lead paints. They are BPA and Phthalate free (harmful plastics).They are packaged in recycled and recyclable materials.The Toys are 100% recyclableThey are environmentally friendly and create less green house gas.It is estimated that every pound of recycled jug that is used in the making of the green toys, saves energy equivalent to 3000 triple-A batteries which is equivalent to the energy required to power a TV set for 3 whole weeks. This energy can run a laptop computer for a month.So what is the opportunity for India here? Can we aim to be one of the leading players of this potential USD 1 Bn market in the US.

You can read more details on this here

Olive Earth is a community blog propounding green and sustainability value imperatives for India. It brings together the power of community blogging and social apps to execute on the green imperatives and a sustainable life style by promoting eco-friendly products. At Olive Earth you will find a directory of eco-friendly product and service companies in India. At the Olive Application you can access our various social Applications promoting sustainability in India.

Article from

More Green Sustainable Packaging Articles

Related Blogs

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is a green toy?

What is a green toy?

Today everyone is concerned about the environment. That, of course, extends to our children who will inherit the world we leave them. So green toys have become a growing part of the toy industry. Many of the award programs are now giving out awards to companies that make “green toys.”

But what makes a “green” toy? There are a lot of different definitions that you might not know exactly what they mean. A “green” company or toy may embrace some or all of these principals. Do your research so that you understand when you purchase a toy that is advertised to be “green” or “eco-friendly” you know what philosophies they are embracing.

Plan Toys, one the most eco-friendly toy manufacturers, divides their definition into three green materials, green manufacturing, and green attitude.

Here are some of the terms you will see people using when talking about “green” toys.

Natural Materials: The toy is manufactured with natural materials this may include natural wood or organic cotton. To be considered organic the cotton needs to be grown without pesticides or other chemicals.

Coatings: Toys that use non-toxic paint coatings. They may use vegetable dyes for coloring.

Phthalate-free: Toys that are Phthalate-Free. Phthalate is a chemical which is used to soften plastics. If you are purchasing a toy made with plastic you will want to look for a label that says “100% phthalate free”

Sustainable Materials: Toys manufactured from recycled, sustainable and renewable materials. This includes toys made with recycled wood, recycled plastic, rubberwood and bamboo.

Packaging: Toys that are package with the least amount materials that will be thrown out.

Alternative energy: Toys that do not use batteries, but run on an alternative source such as solar, wind, or a child’s own energy. 5 billion batteries are purchased by Americans each year and these batteries leave behind 146,000 tons of battery waste.

Educational Toys: Toys that teach children about the environment and their place within the world.

Managed Forests: Companies that plant a new tree for every tree they use to make toys.

Socially responsible companies: Companies that donate back a portion of their profits to an environmental non-profit organization. Companies that ensure that all of their business practice are green. Does the company have a company-wide recycling program, do they encourage their employees to bike or car pool to work, are they reexamining the ways they manufacture and package their toys.

Using a combination of the thoughts above, you will be able to purchase wonderful ?green toys? for the children in your life.

Mara Kaplan is an expert in play and accessible play environments. You can find a list of wonderful green toys as other developmental appropriate toys at her blog. Learn more about Mara and Let Kids Play. You can find a directory of accessible playgrounds from throughout North America at

Article from

Related Blogs

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,