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Soft toys are a good companion for young ones, including toddlers and babies. They are specially made for young children out of textile fabrics and stuffed with a soft material which the young ones love to cuddle them, hug them, and play with them. Soft toys encourage the social and emotional growth of the children and help in developing sensory skills. These toys are also known as stuffed toys and are made in various forms, dolls, legendary creatures, resembling animals, human beings, and others.
Although stuffed toys are designed for children, the product does not have to be exclusively intended for playing; it can also be used as a decorative gift for parties and occasions. Manufacturers have been consistently putting their emphasis on scaling the production units of soft toys to cater to a more significant child population across the globe. For instance, according to a report published 1st March 2021 by The Economic Times, Swedish furniture major IKEA, which has over 1,000 products as part of its children's range, is looking to scale up the sourcing of toys from India for its operations. The company also focuses on investing in wooden categories of toys in the coming years.
Soft toys provide the young population with comfort and safety. The rising population of children has led to greater adoption of soft toys amongst toddlers and infants who often love to cuddle and play with them. Soft toys make the kids engaged with them, which has driven the demand in the global market. These soft toys allow the kids to gain a sense of control over their world and freely express their feelings and emotions.
Moreover, with the expansion of TVs and digital media channels like Disney plus and cartoon networks, the demand for fictional characters is rising, which has induced the demand for soft toys. According to The Toy Association's Genius of Play initiative, it was observed that playing together was the best way to help kids process their emotions. The association will see a greater demand for toys from different categories that will supplement the growth of children's skills, such as social and emotional learning skills.
Manufacturing of soft toys requires plastic made from crude oil, impacting both the environment and human health. The fabrics used in the manufacture of soft toys often lack quality, which might adversely affect the demand for soft toys in the market and lead to restraining growth.
Key Market Driver -
Increasing population of children has demanded for a greater adoption of soft toys, thereby driving the market growth.
Key Market Restraint -
The fabrics involved in the processing of soft toys can adversely affect human health, and hamper the demand.
The LEGO Group, Mattel, Inc., Hasbro, Inc., Playmates Toys Limited, Tomy Company, Ltd, Kenner Products, Spin Master Ltd, Jazwares, LLC, VTech, Funko Inc., NECA, Tru Kids Brands are prominent players functioning the market.
The global soft toys market is segmented based on product type, age, distribution channel, and geography.
Based on product type, the market is segmented into cartoon toys, traditional stuffed animals, dolls &playsets, and others. The traditional stuffed animal segment is expected to hold a significant market share during the forecast period. The stuffed toys are more appealing, and they are depicted as animals such as bears, elephants, rabbits, etc., which makes the infants and kids attach to them on a deeper level. They are usually classified based on their appearance, as they tend to be shaped like well-known creatures or objects. The teddy bear is the most commonly used stuffed animal found in households. For very young children, stuffed animals serve as objects of comfort. The toys make them feel safe and secure and can help them fall asleep and, therefore, are expected to witness considerable growth in the forecast period.
Based on age, the market is segmented into newborns, infants, toddlers, and other age groups. The toddler segment is projected to witness significant growth in the upcoming period. Young children often use soft toys to project their feelings and then comfort them, encouraging qualities such as love, affection, and bonding. These stuffed animals also encourage role-playing among the children. Different stuffed animals help young children recognize familiar words like cat, dog, bear, and pig, along with the appropriate sound made by each animal. Eventually, stuffed toys receive names and become constant companions. Stuffed toys may be a child's first real friends, and therefore, they are expected to boost their demand in the market. They are expected to gain greater adoption in households among the children, driving segmental growth.
Based on distribution channels, the market is segmented offline and online. The offline segment is anticipated to hold a dominant share in the global market over the forthcoming period. Offline stores, including hypermarkets/supermarkets and specialty toy stores, usually maintain different soft and appealing toy items at their outlet shops. This is likely to attract people towards buying such products from the outlets. The toy stores stock numerous brands of different shapes and sizes under one roof, and the consumers can instantly buy them off from the organized retail spaces. Also, the segment is likely to propel further due to their discounted offers and easy returns.
By geography, the global electric iron market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East by geography & Africa.
The North American region is expected to be the dominant region in terms of share in the market attributed to the increasing spending on fun and entertainment-related equipment such as playsets, dolls, and other stuffed toys. According to the data presented by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, U.S spending on fun-related activities and equipment reached USD 3.22 million. Additionally, the rising gift trends among the population are further driving the market growth in the region. Parents encourage their kids to buy sports toys and fun equipment to keep the youngsters learn and nurture new skills and become independent with their schedules which has fostered the demand for soft toys and play essentials in the region.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to expand its footprint on the industry due to countries like China, India, and Japan, where the disposable income of people has increased, and parents have increasingly started viewing traditional toys as a vital tool for child development. The fastest growth in the APAC region is also attributed to the recent government initiatives regarding the toy industry's expansion in countries such as India, China, and Japan. For example, in 2020, the government of India launched the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) to prioritize manufacturing and production processes. The scheme provides incentives to local manufacturing companies, including the toys industry operating in different sectors, to boost their production and reduce import prices. The child population growth subsequently raises the demand for toys and fun equipment in the years to come. Manufacturers focus on expanding their sales or business by broadening their product offerings or setting up new production plants in the global market.
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