The hottest new toys for 2020
Parents are being encouraged to buy toys that promote the role of play amid concerns children are spending too much time in front of screens.
Australian Toy Association president Jonathan Zimbler said the industry was shifting its focus to more innovative products to let children be more creative.
Mr Zimbler said many parents needed to be reminded that toys "were not just things to keep kids quiet, to stop them from kicking and screaming at the checkout".
"When you are buying toys you should consider that it can teach children hand-eye co-ordination, sharing with friends, and competing with friends," he said.
"Playing with a toy activates a child's brain in a way that computer screens and televisions can't."
Researchers have raised concerns about a rapid uptake in screen time for children even before they turn three.
Mr Zimbler said children who had access to a wide range of well-selected toys were more likely to be challenged and stimulated.
He was speaking ahead of the Australian Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair industry event in Melbourne.
Mr Zimbler said there was a resurgence in toys that were a drawcard decades ago, such as Action Man, and bath toys.
Popular items that are hitting shelves this year include the latest tile-based version of Lego.
Collectables such as Ty Beanies Bears and Hot Wheels would also be in demand.
"Collectables help teach children to recognise the difference between each item in their collection, to value and look after things, and also to learn how to list things," Mr Zimbler said.
There was also a growing trend towards manufacturers using sustainable materials.
Australians are expected to spend about $2 billion on toys this year.
Mr Zimbler said children benefited most from toys that were suitable for their development stage.
Buying toys that tapped into a child's interests, such as outdoor play, bath time play, arts and craft, building, or imagination, meant they were more likely to be engaged in play and learning.
THE HOTTEST NEW TOYS FOR 2020
THE MAN TGS STREET SWEEPER
Outdoors fun with sweeping equipment on both sides that raise and lower, and a hose attached to the back.
TY BEANIE BEARS KATY KOALA
Profits towards saving wildlife. Made of eco-friendly fabric.
SLEEPOVER PEPPA PIG
Press Peppa's tummy to hear a calming lullaby.
Dots range using tile-based play concept - perfect for self-expression.
Wearable rainbow, funky animal, dark unicorn, and cosmic bracelets.
Photo cubes, jewellery holder, necklaces, pencil holder
Booster bags with tiles
Available: From March
HOT WHEELS MAKE A KIT
Pull cars apart and rebuild.
100% recycled plush toys.
100% recycled plush toys.
APOLLO MAGICIAN KIT
Street magic with a baseball cap, self-tying shoelaces, vanishing ink and lots more.
Available: From September
GEMEX SUPER GEM CREATOR
Turns liquid into gems in under three minutes.
GO GO BIRD
Simulates a bird flying, easy to control remote.
Robot for playful learning. Kids speak and it answers.
Interactive dog. Play, train and love with what is said to be every child's new best friend.
OH MY GIF
Collectable animated figurines.
RRP: From $8
Book and character letter cards for teaching letters and their sounds.
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