“Driven largely by this summer’s release of the Jurassic World feature film, 2015 will present consumers with an inundation of dino-themed toys.” Speaking at a media event at the 2015 NY Toy Fair, trend expert Adrienne Appell was right on the money when she predicted that dinos would be roaring back in all categories this year.
Not that they ever really went away — dinos have captured the imagination of generations of kids. But dinos really clinched a permanent spot in the toy industry and consumers’ hearts just over 20 years ago when Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park thrilled theatre audiences. Their popularity was further fuelled in 1997 with the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and again later when Jurassic Park III hit the big screen.
Since then dinos have stayed an evergreen commodity. Available in a wide variety of shapes, forms and materials — books and figures to plush and pool toys — dinos offer retailers year-round sales.
“Dinos sell consistently,” confirms Diane Mattice, an Ontario-based independent toy retailer and president of the Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada. Mattice, who sells a selection of dino-themed products, adds that dinos, especially collectible figures like those from Schleich, Papo, and Collecta, appeal to kids as young as three years old. “Dinosaurs are these huge creatures that are also slightly mystical — kids of all ages just find them so intriguing,” explains Mattice.
Like most retailers, Mattice expects this summer’s blockbuster, adventure film Jurassic World (June 12), and The Good Dinosaur (November 25), a more family-friendly, animated flick, to boost her dino business. “We’re prepared to see a real swell in popularity of dino products, this year. And although we haven’t started any serious ordering yet, we’ll be looking at licensed, movie-related items, as well as generic products — there’s a lot to choose from.”
Toys & Games looks at just a few of this year’s new or coming-soon “dino-mite” products.
Dino Sand Glove
Haba’s fleixble, skull-shaped glove was the talk of the NY Toy Fair. Perfect for backyard play or a day at the beach, the glove fits over a child’s hand. It features a hinged jaw that functions as a powerful digging tool, as well as a sieve for retrieving treasures! From Brands in Balance
Designed for kids, three and over, Geotoy’s new line of inflatable dinosaurs is made for rugged play at-home, in the pool or in a daycare situation. Five models are available, including this fearsome Triceratops that measures 43-inches long. Comes packaged in handy, peggable poly-bags. From On the Right Track
How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe?
How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe is the latest addition to Jane Yolen’s best-selling dino-themed series. Kids, three to five, will love this beautifully illustrated, hardcover book that will have them laughing at the dinos’ antics while learning about safety. From Scholastic Canada
Dinosaurus Construction Series
Designed for early graders, Bloco’s Canadian-made construction series now offers four sets, including an exciting 166-piece set from which kids can create a Velociraptor and a Pterosaur. Featuring Bloco’s signature flexi-firm foam shaped pieces and connectors, models are sturdy enough for play. From Bloco Toys
France’s Papo introduces several new models in a variety of sizes to its collection of highly detailed dino figures. With signature attention to realistic detailing, new additions include the unusual Tupuxuara, and the Apatosaurus in adult and baby versions. From D’Artagnan Distribution
Schleich, one of the leading names in collectible figures and animal replicas, introduces over 18 new models in a variety of sizes to its already extensive dino series. Some, such as the colourful Spinosaurus, feature an articulated jaw for added play value. Accessories for creating realistic settings are also available. From Schleich North America
The Dinosaur King Puzzle
Cobble Hill introduces The Dinosaur King, a beautifully illustrated, 60-piece puzzle that finishes at 19 x 12.5 inches. Kids, four and over, will have fun building and discovering the more than ten colourful prehistoric creatures. Featuring U.S.-made quality, the title comes in a unique box with rope for easy portability. From Outset Media
Fun and fast-paced, Gamewright’s Super Tooth card game will have kids, six years old and over, racing to capture sets of matching, plant-eating dinos. Along the way, players encounter large-toothed carnivorous obstacles, such as a Velociraptor and a T-Rex. The player who collects the most sets wins. Featuring delightfully illustrated cards, Super Tooth is ideal for quick family play. From Kroeger Inc.
Zoomer Dino Jester
As his name suggests, Jester is a friendlier-looking, goofier version of the award-winning Zoomer Dino. He features light-up eyes, sounds, a chunky, easier-to-use controller and new technology, including a 30-second record button that allow kids to “teach” him behaviours. From Spin Master
MiPosaur, the latest robotic pal from WowWee, is designed to sense its surroundings and interact with kids in a realistic way. It features GestureSense® technology that allows users to control it with the swipe of a hand, plus it comes with an interactive track ball that lets MiPosaur chase, guard and play with his own toy. From WowWee Canada
Little Pteranodon Puppet
Perfect for imaginative play and storytelling, Folkmanis’ adorable Pteranodon is designed to fit preschoolers’ smaller hands. It features Folkmanis’ signature soft fabric, a movable mouth, and flapping wings that measure 10 inches across. From Fire the Imagination
Part of Dunecraft’s best-selling, U.S.-made line of themed terrariums, the new Dinosaur Dome lets kids, four and over, create their own dino domain. It comes complete with fast-growing prehistoric plants, as well as a cute dino figure. The dome also includes a buried dino fossil for kids to excavate. From Outtathebox Sales and Marketing; and Zibbers Inc.