Expert Advice

Expert comment on heritage and retro

Expert comment on heritage and retro

It’s true to say that heritage or retro toys seem to be making a comeback.  As well as classic brands that seem ever present in the toy box such as Lego, Sylvanian Families, and Monopoly, there are also some well- known toys that return to stores in a slightly different guise.

Peppa Pig Weebles herald the return of the familiar 70’s toy reinvented with the popular Peppa Pig license and we at predict that this new brand will soon be a best-seller.

But why is this?  - Is it because it’s helped along with nostalgia as well as innovation? We ask our expert, Dr Amanda Gummer… “What is the appeal of toys that parents and even grandparents remember playing with and can they have a bearing on children’s development?”

Here’s what Dr Amanda has to say… 

“It’s a fact that inter-generational play is incredibly valuable for families; anything that encourages parents to get down and play with their children is to be applauded.

“When parents recognise toys from their childhood, they normally accompany memories of happy times, which releases endorphins and reduce stress, immediately putting parents in a more playful mood. This makes the act of playing more enjoyable for the parent and therefore they’re more likely to do it again.

“In addition, as there is obvious conversation to be had about how a parent remembers playing with a toy, heritage playthings can open up communication between family members in a natural, easy way. Anyone who’s asked a child what they did at school and received a monosyllabic grunt or reluctant ‘not much’, knows that children don’t respond well to the question and answer style of conversation.

“Playing with heritage toys can provide a neutral focus and the conversation flows more easily so anecdotes about school are more likely to come out, as are issues the children are struggling with. Playing together provides the perfect inroad to a conversation about similar situations when the parents remember playing with the same toys - this can help children feel that parents understand and can help.

“Additionally, intergenerational play helps adults to model behavior that they want their children to display - sharing, turn taking, playing ‘fair’ etc. Winning graciously and losing magnanimously are difficult concepts for children to grasp, but by playing with children, parents, grandparents and other family and friends can really bond with the children and provide a positive role model.

“So next time you’re looking for toys for children, try to remember what you enjoyed playing with when you were young and enjoy being a kid again -  your children will thank you for it!”

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