A toy is a product designed primarily for children, though it may be sold to adults in certain circumstances. Playing with toys can be a fun way to prepare young children for real-life situations. Toys are made from a variety of materials such as wood, clay, paper, and plastic. Many items are designed to be used as toys, but they can also be used for other purposes. For example, a small child can “fly” an ordinary piece of paper folded into an airplane shape. Interactive digital entertainment and smart toys are two newer types of toys. Some toys are made primarily for collectors and are only meant to be displayed.
China now manufactures about 75% of the world’s toys. Regulations and safety guidelines (bio-plastic, more environmentally friendly) on toys are, however, being implemented in many countries. This allows countries to have some control over the importation of Chinese toys. Because of the currency rate, this would have a huge political impact on the industry. However, when converting profits across global borders, such as in Canada, Europe, and Russia, to name a few, this strategy may result in a revenue loss.
Because oil prices fluctuate so much, the oil and toy industries are inextricably linked. Because many manufacturers rely on resins to produce more toys, this could become a growing problem in the toy industry. However, many factors, such as natural disasters around the world, could influence the price of oil. This would raise oil and plastic prices because markets demand more plastic than producers can supply. At a low oil price, there must be a balance between supply and demand for manufacturers to keep their selling prices relatively high and increase their profit margins. Furthermore, many businesses do not lower retail prices because they spend less on manufacturing; rather, they lower their prices to compete more effectively with other market competitors.
Licensing is one of the most important social issues in the toy industry. Approximately a quarter of toys are licensed. The licensed toys are based on current entertainment such as new movies, television shows, and popular games and apps that children enjoy. Many Asian-Pacific countries are now the world leaders in toy licensing. Due to the fact that the majority of toys are manufactured in Asia and oriental countries such as China, they have the most clout in the industry.
Technology is the most important factor in the toy industry. Since the invention of computers and the internet, technology has advanced at a breakneck pace. In which, in today’s technological world, toy manufacturers are adapting quickly to change. Children, for example, progress from hand-held toys to electronic toys, gadgets, and tablet-based technology. As a result, toy companies are constantly looking for new ways to reinvent old games and develop them with new technology in order to appeal to both current and potential customers.
The toy industry places a premium on environmental concerns. Many environmental organizations and associations are urging toy manufacturers to make toys that are more “eco-friendly” for children’s safety. Other plastic alternatives, such as bio-based, bio-composite, and/or biodegradable plastics, could be used in the toy manufacturing process. This will improve toy manufacturing companies’ environmental sustainability and performance. Furthermore, because parents are willing to spend more money on toys and gadgets if it means that their children will be safe while playing, this will increase sales and profits in this industry.
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