What Kids Really Want from Modern Collectibles
There is more than a hint of nostalgia when it comes to traditional collectibles such as trading cards and football stickers.
However, younger generations today aren’t so easily sold when it comes to engaging with things that are more analogue than digital.
When you think about it, children are exposed to so much stimulating, technology-based media that it stands to reason that they would expect a little bit more than something they can’t directly engage with when it comes to choosing hobbies, interests and collectibles.
Learning and playing in a tech-based world
While those growing up in the eighties and nineties were steadily introduced to early video games consoles and widespread use of television, younger generations have never known a time without advanced tech at their fingertips throughout the day. Nowadays, technology is as much a part of a child’s education as it is part and parcel of their spare time and family life.
From child-sized audio players that belt out stories in audiobook form, to smart-touch lights and programmable robots, children are now becoming accustomed to tech playing a regular role in their everyday lives.
Interaction equals long-term interest
With many industries and job roles becoming increasingly reliant on employees having a digital skillet, enabling kids to interact with various forms of digital technology is now seen as a way to set them up for a connected world and successful future.
Whether it’s the ability to control characters on-screen while playing computer games or using a child-themed educational app on a smartphone, a healthy balance of technology and life can actually help children learn more about the world around them in innovative ways.
When it comes to more traditional collectibles, this could be why children turn off from products that don’t incorporate any kind of immersive interactivity.
Experts believe that by combining digital technology with physical collectibles or toys, children are able to tap into hard-coded “play patterns” relating to wanting to collect things. Social play can thereby transform collectibles into something that lasts beyond the initial novelty of an inanimate object.
Because kids want to know what any given collectable is, what it can do and how they can interact with it, adding digital functionality makes it more likely that the aforementioned points will be ticked off by children looking to feel empowered when engaging with more advanced collectibles.
Why do collectibles that centre around technology do so well?
Because many families don’t want to see their kids spending too much time in front of a screen, collectibles which merge the traditional, tangible joy of having an item in your hand with added digital engagement is fast becoming popular with parents and kids alike.
Making the process of activating the interactive content in modern collectibles as straightforward as possible is also key when making them accessible to younger collectors.
Using augmented reality and app technologies they don’t necessarily need to fully understand but may have seen in games such as Pokémon Go, helps to create a feeling of familiarity that makes children want to engage further.
What’s more, children often want to share a lot of what they do with their friends and family, which is where having interactive content that they can capture in a photo or video and send to their peers without them having to be in the same room is a welcome perk.
Interaction with notable brands
Another reason why children may prefer the heighted engagement offered through modern collectibles is the ability to connect with their favourite brands in way that they can’t through other mediums.
Playing a game of trading cards or exchanging collectible figurines can have a feeling of limitation, particularly when it comes to children deciding what they can do next with their traditional collectables beyond the initial thrill of getting something that wasn’t previously in their collection.
The benefit of digitised collectables is that they have the ability to increase the feeling of interaction for children when it comes to much-loved characters and brands they’ve engaged with outside of the collectibles market.
For example, by downloading the AR Discs app from Google Play or the Apple App store, kids can always return back to the movie clips and characters they liked most – which turns a standard collectible into something that feels more personal to the user and offers significantly more reuse value.
What’s next for modern collectibles?
What was once an emerging player on the collectibles scene is now set to become a growing trend for kids and parents when it comes to deciding what’s on the list for birthdays and holiday seasons.
The crossover between toys, collectibles and screens is likely here to stay, as it encourages traditional play in a way that app or gaming focused platforms can’t truly replicate.
By appeasing mum and dad with time spent away from the screen, yet allowing kids to access video clips, images relating to their favourite animated characters or educational-led information – it could be entirely possible to blur the lines between entertainment and learning activities.