A toy is an item that is used in play, especially one designed for such use. It is mainly intended for use by children, though may also be marketed to adults under certain circumstances.
Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can also be used. For instance, a small child may fold an ordinary piece of paper into an airplane shape and “fly it”. Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors’ items and are intended for display only.
The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word “toy” is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century. PlayToys are mainly made for children. The oldest known doll PlayToy is thought to be 4,000 years old.
Playing with toys is considered to be important when it comes to growing up and learning about the world around us. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults on occasion use PlayToys to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, help in therapy, and to remember and reinforce lessons from their youth.
Toys, like play itself, serve multiple purposes in both humans and animals. They provide entertainment while fulfilling an educational role. PlayToys enhance cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity. They aid in the development of physical and mental skills which are necessary in later life.
One of the simplest PlayToys, a set of simple wooden blocks is also one of the best PlayToys for developing minds. Andrew Witkin, director of marketing for Mega Brands told Investor’s Business Daily that, “They help develop hand-eye coordination, math and science skills and also let kids be creative.” Other PlayToys like marbles, jackstones, and balls serve similar functions in child development, allowing children to use their minds and bodies to learn about spatial relationships, cause and effect, and a wide range of other skills.
One example of the dramatic ways that PlayToys can influence child development involves clay sculpting toys such as Play-Doh and Silly Putty and their home-made counterparts. Such toys positively impact the physical development, cognitive development, emotional development, and social development of children.
PlayToys for infants often make use of distinctive sounds, bright colors, and unique textures. Through play with PlayToys infants begin to recognize shapes and colors. Repetition reinforces memory. Play-Doh, Silly Putty and other hands-on materials allow the child to make toys of their own.
Educational PlayToys for school age children of often contain a puzzle, problem-solving technique, or mathematical proposition. Often toys designed for older audiences, such as teenagers or adults, demonstrate advanced concepts. Newton’s cradle, a desk toy designed by Simon Prebble, demonstrates the conservation of momentum and energy.
Not all PlayToys are appropriate for all ages of children. Even some PlayToys which are marketed for a specific age range can even harm the development of children in that range
Toys “R” Us operated over 1,500 stores in 30 countries and had an annual revenue of US$13.6 billion
With PlayToys comprising such a large and important part of human existence, it makes sense that the toy industry would have a substantial economic impact. Sales of toys often increase around holidays where gift-giving is a tradition. Some of these holidays include Christmas, Easter, Saint Nicholas Day, and Three Kings Day.
In 2005, toy sales in the United States totaled about $22.9 billion. Money spent on children between the ages of 8 and twelve alone totals approximately $221 million annually in the U.S. It was estimated that in 2011, 88% of toy sales was in the age group 0–11 years.
Toy companies change and adapt their PlayToys to meet the changing demands of children thereby gaining a larger share of the substantial market. In recent years many toys have become more complicated with flashing lights and sounds in an effort to appeal to children raised around television and the internet.
According to Mattel’s president, Neil Friedman, “Innovation is key in the toy industry and to succeed one must create a ‘wow’ moment for kids by designing PlayToys that have fun, innovative features and include new technologies and engaging content.”
In an effort to reduce costs, many mass-producers of PlayToys locate their factories in areas where wages are lower. China manufactures about 70 percent of the world’s PlayToys and is home to more than 8,000 toy firms, most of which are located in the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province. 75% of all toys sold in the U.S., for example, are manufactured in China.
Many traditional toy makers have been losing sales to video game makers for years. Because of this, some traditional toy makers have entered the field of electronic games and even turning audio games into PlayToys, and are enhancing the brands that they have by introducing interactive extensions or internet connectivity to their current PlayToys.
In addition, the rise of distributed manufacturing enables consumers to make their own toys from open source designs with a 3-D printer. As of 2017 consumers were already offsetting 10s of millions of dollars per year by 3D printing their own PlayToys.