At the April Las Vegas Market, the latest directions for kids’ products looked fresh and fabulous.
Kids are always drawn to bright colors. In Las Vegas, however, bright color stories were delivered in more nuanced ways. In some cases, color application included watercolor, gradient or splatter textures that tempered their impact. As a result, colors felt energetic, yet did not look too intense. In other situations, saturated pastels replaced primary brights altogether. While this scaled-back look was admittedly softer, colors still had an almost luminescent personality that gave products plenty of punch.
On the other end of the spectrum were an increasing number of neutral stories. Mixing off-whites and beiges, light browns, warm grays and toffee colors created low-contrast combinations that felt calming. Neutrals also worked with colors, as long as the neutrals dominated, and colors were scaled back or textured.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Forms and drawings were simple, yet also sophisticated. Words like naïve, primitive and cut paper described them best. Figures looked imperfect, but charmingly so, suggesting a child was the artist. That added a layer of authenticity to the style.
THEMES AND MOTIFS
Several themes and motifs were endorsed for their future potential. Farmhouse was one of them. At Mud Pie, critters like pigs, cows and chickens appeared in huggable plush, clothing and blankets. Backpacks, toys and puzzles recalled wooden barns. Farmhouse’s supporting motifs: tractors, gingham checks and flowers.
Met Colors called outer space a theme with possibility. Planets, rockets, crescent moons, stars, space aliens and astronauts emerged about two years ago. Landing the Perseverance Rover on Mars reignited interest in the theme in early 2021, moving it back onto the trend list through 2024.
Rainbows made a comeback by exploring new color stories and partnerships. Jamie Marie’s rainbow bands teamed hot and pastel pink with turquoise, sky and cornflower blues. Bright yellow was also in the mix. Small-scale patterns filled some of the arches. Hearts and clouds kept them company. At Mud Pie, saturated pastels and/or secondary hues took the lead. Simple, hand-drawn arches brought a naïve quality to the collection, which also included an allover floral companion. Met Colors took an abstract approach, with splatters of saturated-pastel “paint” overlaid on a giraffe.
ALSO OF NOTE
- Mom and baby animals…sweet faces are key
- Fun food icons…focus on ice cream
- ABC’s…new treatments for letters are important updates
- Words…uplifting, encouraging, kind
- Safari…not new, but still selling well
- Pooh-like bears…incoming