Hot Gifts For Teens & Tweens

from the Toy Industry Association

When you need to know what’s hot – and what’s not – in fashion, gaming and pop culture, everyone knows you have to turn to a tween or a teen for the official lowdown. Unfortunately for parents, that sense of style also makes the 9+ age group one of the most difficult to shop for.

Trend experts at the Toy Industry Association (TIA) have found that kids in this category tend to gravitate toward toys and games that are tied to hit movies and breakthrough stars, as well as gadgets that feature today’s cutting edge technologies. But TIA experts stress that although fads will always attract teens, parents and family members should consider the young person’s interests when looking for the perfect gift.

“Interests will always trump trends,” says Adrienne Appell, a trend expert at TIA. “Consider what gets the special young person in your life excited, and you’ll be able to find a ton of great toys and games that are a perfect match!”

Appell and her colleagues at TIA have identified a selection of tween/teen products – from digital to classic – across a range of interests:

Tech Trends Mix With Classics
Entertainment & Lifestyle
  • Glee Board Game (Cardinal Games) – “free your Glee” by singing and dancing to win.
  • Justin Beiber Game (Canadian Group) – Bieber knowledge moves players along the board; the winner gets a “backstage pass” where a secret message from the “Baby” singer awaits.
  • Scene It? Twilight (Screenlife) – knowledge of the popular franchise is rewarded in this game.
  • Monster High Dolls (Mattel): collectible dolls –from Laguna Blue to Draculaura – that encourage role play among tweens.
Games & Social Play
  • Phone Frenzy (Buffalo Games) – contacts in each player’s cell phone get in on the action.
  • Yamodo! Party Time (Yamodo!) – made up word definitions lead to silly, crazy fun.
  • Ninjago (LEGO) – collectible, interactive battling game.
  • Blurt (Educational Insights) – blurting out the correct answer first wins the game.
These are just a few examples of the many toys and games that tweens and teens are saving their allowance money for.  To catch some of these products in action, watch TIA’s video on … And check back to often for up-to-date toy trends and information.

Posted October 2011