Playtime is back on the agenda for Aussie families, according to a new report by BIG W.

The Toy Mania Report* reflects the changing needs and wants of Aussie families with parents embracing playtime more than ever, with over half of parents (55%) spending more time playing with their children since isolation. In fact, a whopping 83% of Aussie parents said they are using toys for learning and development purposes to enhance the increased playtime during unprecedented times spent at home together.

In the report, BIG W has identified the top 5 toy trends for 2020, which are clearly linked to the times many Aussies find themselves in, with budget-friendly toys and outdoor play topping the list as families tighten their belts and are spending more time at home.

One of the biggest shifts in consumer behaviour the report uncovered is a clear trend towards online shopping. As families look to the convenience of delivery from the comfort of their homes, preferences have shifted online, with BIG W anticipating at least a 30% increase compared to last year’s Toy Mania event.

According to BIG W Chief Toy Buyer, Christine Faulkner, findings in the report reflect the great selection of toys set to excite kids across the nation this year: “Families are looking for cost-effective options that they can enjoy together with their kids and our dedicated team of toy buyers have curated a bumper catalogue, with over 700 items going on sale.”

The Top Toy trends, according to BIG W are:

  1. Pocket-Friendly: The financial pressures since Covid-19 are forcing families to reassess spending habits with budget-friendly options top of mind.

BIG W has curated an affordable range so all families can find gifts to suit their budget including top-selling brands like Hot Wheels 10 pack ($9.50), Barbie Fashionista dolls ($10), LEGO creator Fire Dragon or Rocket Truck ($19) and the great stocking filler, Tiny Pong at just $5.

BIG W is also anticipating close to half of all customers will opt for lay-by options as they look to budget for Christmas and spread their payments throughout the year.

  1. The Great Outdoors: After so much time spent indoors over the last few months, outdoor activities are experiencing a mass revival.

Over half (53%) of Aussie parents revealed they prefer outdoor play to indoor, with data showing bikes and scooters as the favoured outdoor toy (78%), followed by trampolines (57%).

Backyard Imaginary play will come to life this Christmas with BIG W’s Wooden Outdoor Mud Play Kitchen ($89) and the Wooden Cubby House from ($199) available for pre-order.

  1. Retro Resurgence: Standing the test of time, toys of the 80s have enjoyed a resurgence of late as young parents regularly join playtime during isolation.

The Rubik’s Cube (from $15) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has achieved ‘geek chic’ status with the new Rubik’s Revolution, featuring six fast-paced electronic games packed into one cube. Also touching multiple generations is the Nintendo range – in 2020, it continues to entertain big and little kids alike with the Nintendo Switch Lite ($299) and Nintendo Switch ($449).

However, when it comes to the most nostalgic toy, it’s the Cabbage Patch Doll who topped the list (25%), and for collectors of another 80s classic, BIG W is exclusively stocking the limited edition Swarovski Crystal Tenderheart Care Bear ($99).

  1. Gadgets Galore: The Toy Mania report reveals that 60% of kids prefer tech toys over others, with parents indicating the interactivity with others online is driving the higher engagement.

BIG W continues to deliver on the latest in the gaming space, with Thrustmaster range set to be a top seller, including the PS4 T Flight Hotas 4 Fly Stick ($129) and Xbox One Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel ($199).

Additionally, the Report uncovered that 8 in 10 parents choose toys that aid learning and development. The Fisher-Price Smart Learning Watch ($12), LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Super Bundle Pack ($59) and the DGTEC Kids Wi-Fi Tablet ($89, available exclusively at BIG W) will be available for Toy Mania.

  1. Aussie inspired: Families are embracing Australiana themed toys and brands.

BIG W is continuing to embrace Australian-born innovations including every preschooler’s favourite Blue Heeler, Bluey (range starting from $10), CKN Toys Mystery Reveal Heroes ($8), and of course, Australia’s very own The Wiggles range which includes Piano and Play Mat & Microphone Set ($29), Ballet Dance Mat set ($59) and Drum Kit ($49). Adults will enjoy the ABC’s Hard Quiz game ($34).

The Toy Mania Report also reveals:

  • LEGO, Barbie and Hot Wheels are the three big brands that will dominate the annual toy celebration;
  • LEGO topped the best sellers list in every State for the past 12 months;
  • The nation’s COVID-19 lockdown has created a new generation of budding puzzlers; compared to this time last year BIG W has seen a 225% increase in kids’ jigsaw puzzle sales.

In 2020, there are many ways to shop Toy Mania safely, with Contactless Pick up and home delivery. Back by popular demand is online lay-by for Christmas, which is available with an active Paypal account. BIG W also offers a Toy Price Match Guarantee on identical items.

Toy Mania is available in-store until 15 July.  For more information, visit:

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