2022 State of Play

Kid@Heart Steve Starobinsky

Who could have ever predicted a global event that would keep us from each other and the traditional entertainment venues that we relied on for Play?

Instead of pouting we pivoted. The resilient toy industry embraced technology and found ways to find new products digitally as well as overhaul their e-commerce platforms for an upgraded consumer experience. Retailers got inspired and went to TikTok to create incredible content, expanding their reach and that of the brands they had in their stores. Turning toy stores into studios, play experts were able to showcase their authenticity and love for this business – a love that I share celebrating my 20th year in the industry.

And even in unprecedented times, our industry persevered with double-digit growth the last two years, with games being a huge part of it, alongside outdoor toys and sensory toys. Consumers, now getting more time to unbox, analyze, and experience each toy with their child, gained a new appreciation for Play and its life long benefits. And we asked ourselves when did WE stop playing? And maybe finally realizing that we didn’t have to…

Steve Starobinsky has over 20 years in the toy & game industry and specializes in spotting trends worldwide and consulting with companies as Kid@Heart. Steve is currently VP of Sales at SolidRoots.


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