Print this page Specialty Toy Industry Fact Sheet

Specialty toys, in general, are different from mass market toys in several ways:

  • Specialty toys are available at locally-owned neighborhood toy stores rather than big box chain stores.
  • Specialty toys tend to focus on the features of the play, rather than the features of the toy.  They are likely to have less electronic gadgetry and more play value.
  • Generally, specialty toys are not based on licensed characters from television or movies, children playing with them have a greater opportunity to use their imagination and make up “the story” themselves.
  • Specialty toys are sold at independent toy stores that specialize in customer service and have staff members who are highly knowledgeable about toys and play.
  • Specialty toys tend to be of higher quality than mass market toys and last longer—often through all the children in a family and then into storage for the next generation!—than mass market toys.
  • Typically, specialty toys are not heavily advertised on television and promoted to children as “must haves”.

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