I found his statement to be particularly meaningful. Lately, the art & crafts supercategory is in decline and I believe its because retailers see art toys as just “time occupiers”. However, I believe the truly exceptional items can substantially influence a child’s trajectory towards a professional passion and it’s something that should encouraged and nurtured. Think of it this way, instead of just a coloring book on a road trip, its actually your child’s first graphic novel.
While the toy industry is seeing consistent growth of over 7% year over year (THANKS FIDGETS!), the arts and craft category is seeing a top line decline of -5%. What’s more surprising is that creativity and content creation are in major demand in our society. How do we leverage the toy industry to make the next Netflix star? Why shouldn’t this category groom the next creative director for Marvel? If LEGO is associated with future engineers – why shouldn’t Crayola be a portal to Chanel, Gucci, and the fashion world. Here are the products that I believe will bring excitement and profits to your creative sections for this fall and the profession that they could lead to a child having.
I asked a professional artist friend in the CPG industry what his favorite arts & crafts toy on the shelf was and he struggled to find an answer. Instead he shared a personal story of an item, Mattel’s Picture Maker, that helped reinforce his creativity as a child and ultimately led him down to his current career. This product was basically a draw by stencil item, but to my friend it meant so more.
“I loved it because it let me “draw” the Peanuts characters or at least allowed me to think I did. The sense of accomplishment that it gave me helped to encourage me to keep drawing beyond the use of the toy”. – Lord Mesa is a successful pop culture artist. Check out his work on Instagram.