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”.

To find a specialty toy store in your area, check out ASTRA's online Store Finder.

Curious about which specialty toys ASTRA's retail members believe are the latest and greatest this year?
Check out our Best Toys for Kids list.