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WHEN IS a toy not a toy? Given how children’s playing options have changed in recent years, you might as well ask how long is a piece of string? It’s always been a running

joke in toy circles that kids play more with the boxes that their toys come in than they do with the actual toys. Today, children are

besieged with play options. Three-dimensional play competes with the rich tapestry that is the digital playground and, so as not to miss a trick, the likes of Minecraft and Skylanders

times continues? If only evolution could progress as rapidly. I remember an episode wilight Z

of The T one that

always makes me chuckle. A scientist, played by David McCallum, develops a time machine that makes him evolve rapidly. First, he grows a sixth digit, then his head swells to house his growing brain. Finally, he evolves beyond the need for physical form and he becomes pure thought. For now, physical toys are

still very much in demand. I remember when I sold this magazine to Intent

The one thing that no one can accuse the toy industry of is not chancing its arm with innovation.

bring together the best of both worlds. It must be great to be

a child in 2014, although I don’t envy parents Keeping up with kids

has always been tough but today’s parents don’t just need eyes in the back of their head but a completely diff erent skill set to fully understand the modern play world. Take tablets and smartphones, just two of today’s play environments. Most houses have one or the other - or both - and I pity those parents whose kids own them. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine how much portable technology is coming our way if the trend of recent

Media, the new owners initially struggled to come to terms with an industry that seemed so old fashioned compared to the very modern world of video games from whence they came. As time went by it became clear that the toy business could also teach its new owners a few new tricks. The world of character licensing had been second nature to the toy industry for some time but video game makers were only just fi nding their feet with licensing. Now, both industries

operate in the world of licensing in equal measure and share competition for their livelihoods with the same array of entertainment entities.

Jon Salisbury has written about the toy business since 1985, editing magazines and running toy media events in New Y He can be contacted at or @JonSalisbury Editorial: 01992 535646 Advertising: 01992 535647

ToyNews is published 11 times a year by Intent Media ~ Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG14 1JA Fax: +44 (0)1992 535648

© Intent Media 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owners. ISSN: 1740-3308

Intent Media is a member of the Periodical Publishers Associations 66 August CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS

AUDITED CIRCULATION Average Net Circulation: 6,106 July 2012 to June 2013. SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: £50 Europe: £60 Rest of World: £90 The international cost applies per subscription and covers airmail dispatch of 12 issues To order your subscription via Visa, MasterCard, Amex Switch or Delta contact or call 01580 883 848. Alternatively visit our website Circulations Manager - Lianne Davey, ork and London.

Follow me on Twitter @jonsalisbury

News of our Toy & Game Inventors Workshop has our columnist looking at the ever growing list of play options facing children, and parents, today

It is also fair to say that the toy industry has transformed itself radically as it has incorporated technology into its products.

The one thing that no one can accuse the toy industry of is not chancing its arm with innovation. The T

oyNews Toy &

Game Inventors Workshop will prove the point and provide an invaluable insight not only to some of the inventions that might be coming our way, but also off er networking opportunities among the product development community. The toy industry is a people business. As a tributary of the entertainment industry, it’s often who you know as much as what you know that matters.

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