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Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

Life for youth in the U.S. has changed dramatically in the past few days.  Many school districts have closed; in some states, all of them. If your brand serves youth, or you know a school-aged child, here is our perspective on the possible impacts you will want to keep top of mind:

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

It’s the year of inclusivity and sustainability on the toy front.  We were impressed—the toy community has been listening to insights of the sort YouthBeat® provides. 

Here are our top 5 takeaways from the Toy Fair 2020 convention:

1. You Do You, Kids

Acceptance was all around the showroom floor.  What’s your mood? Show it proudly from Confetti and Friends.  YouthBeat® keeps saying we’re overdue for a bracelet trend…it could be this one.

Christopher M. Castillo, Digital Marketing Manager

Our YouthBeat® team was recently asked a question on social media from a real estate agent regarding what our research says that might help market real estate services better to Millennials and Gen Z. Given that we’ve had Millennials in our panels since they were in grade school, and Gen Z since they were toddlers, we know them very well.

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

What’s been interesting for YouthBeat® to observe over the last couple of years is how technology development has changed course.  For most of the 20-tens, the race was on for toy and technology companies to introduce coding toys to increasingly younger children.  Now that such options exist even for preschoolers, manufacturers are turning their attention to the ambience of the technology experience for kids and families.

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

The turning of one year into another is a good time to reflect—in a child’s world in the U.S., the advancing of the school year over the summer may be the more relevant measure of milestones, but we old fogies at YouthBeat® like to check in on the calendar as well.  2019 has been a dynamic year in youth culture, and one that portends importance for the coming year and years further in the future.  

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

The YouthBeat squad descended on Navy Pier in Chicago recently for the annual Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG).  In comparison to the international Toy Fair event in New York every year, the experience in Chicago is much more approachable in three ways: 

What Youth Want For The Holidays

YouthBeat: What Youth Want For The Holidays

Learn about how kids, tweens, and teens are feeling about this holiday gift season in our 2019 Holiday Wish List infographic. 

Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President

This year, much like 2018, marked continuous evolution, even upheaval, in retail environments for youth.  In the summer, Amazon once again hosted Prime Days, also known as “Black Friday in July,” which accelerated the Back-to-School Shopping season.  Other top retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and 200 other companies, jumped on the bandwagon with some offering up to a week’s worth of bargains. In the fall, Gamestop announced the closing of upwards of 200 stores.