Toy trends for 2014: what to expect on European shelves

High-tech games for ‘kidults' proved to be one of the main talking points at the Hong Kong Toy Fair this month, but what are the emerging trends in Europe? As the international Nuremberg toy fair Spielwarenmesse prepares to kick off in Germany at the end of January, we take a look at what's hot in toytown on the continent.

Retro mania

Sometimes new isn't always best. According to the Spielwarenmesse trend gallery, parents love to see the younger generations enjoying toys they recognize from their own childhoods. 2014 will see a revival of toys from the past, revamped and modernized for today's market.

Mini is king

Space is increasingly at a premium as more and more of the world's population gravitates towards cities, and the toy industry is scaling things down accordingly. This year's Spielwarenmesse will see a plethora of toys designed with modern life in mind: think compact and easily transportable.

Fit for life

Life skills are developed through play, and parents are increasingly focusing on practical methods of learning with toys that encourage handicrafts, cooking, gardening and even pretending to be doctors. This year's fair will showcase a wide selection of practical toys to aid constructive play.

Tech toys

Last but not least, the speed of technological developments has, of course, opened up a world of opportunity for toy manufacturers. Trendspotters at Spielwarenmesse suggest that this year's show will see a wealth of traditional games brought into the digital domain to appeal to young and old alike.

Spielwarenmesse will run January 29 - February 3.

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