As is the case in other consumer products, innovations often stem from a gap in the market, be it a new toy for a particular age bracket, an emerging interest, or an opportunity to leverage a given entertainment intellectual property. Toy companies are also on the lookout for the hottest internet craze and influencers to stand out in this crowded market.
Examples include the collaboration between WowWee and Pinkfong, creators of the ear worm “Baby Shark” song, or 16-year-old YouTube influencer Jojo Siwa’s deals with Just Play, Spin Master and Sambro.
Toy makers are also paying attention to the older crowd and kids at heart: collectables, board games and role-playing toys are increasingly designed for devoted fans of popular TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. You may want to pre-order your baby Yoda doll now before they run out.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.