It's easy to be misled by many years in which parents bought toys all year round, into forgetting that not so long ago toys were for birthdays and Christmas. With the economy the way that it is, parents will be holding back in preparation for the holiday season. It's too early to say that traditional toys are finished.
The sharp drop in spring and summer sales for Mattell, the largest company in the toy industry is a sign of the times that digital toys have taken over as the Barbies of the new millennium. Due to the growth of smart phones and online gaming devices, sales of traditional toys such as Barbie dolls and Fisher-price products were hampered. Mattel's revenue was down 5% from last year, with sales of Barbie dolls down 13% and sales of Fisher-price products down 6%.
As a parent I can see that digital toys are now becoming more popular and starting to take over from classics. I had two older kids they always wanted Barbie's and babies to play with, now with my younger daughter it is Leap Pads and other digital toys. I think Mattel is going to see a decrease every year as more digital takes over.
Walking down the street, or sitting in any restaurant, you will see even the smallest and youngest people using digital devices. Children at a younger age are wanting cell phones, ipads, kindles, ipods, etc. There is almost no age too young now that a child can use these devices. Even something that the parents cannot figure out, give to a child and they'll figure out how it works and its special features in record time.