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Playing the Classics

Play might seem like an ever-changing entity, but classics can continue to captivate parents and kids.


You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. –Plato

ONE TREND: Refreshed Classics

Many trendspotters have noted that Millennials respect anything retro – in the form of furniture, media and, of course, toys. Because there are more outlets than ever for content distribution, there is a greater need for more stories and scripts than ever before. Content curators and power brokers have sensed this, with big brands like Barnes and Noble releasing numerous lines of refreshed classics. And it’s no surprise that Millennials’ need for authenticity and craftsmanship, their love of stories and their inclination towards the past have led them to take a second look at literary classics. The re-imagination of beloved books will surely continue to translate to media properties driven by them. 

  • BabyLit’s Moby-Dick or Pride & Prejudice playsets speak to Millennial moms’ and dads’ desire to get their little readers hooked on classics early.
  • Barnes and Noble and Amazon both carry the Classic Starts series– abridged versions of heady reads, designed for the early chapter book audience.
  • And design matters in the Collectible Editions library from Sterling Publishing’s Classics Series that feature vivid artwork done in contemporary styles. Millennials might be judging these classics by their covers – as they feature wall-worthy images that are intended to make readers re-think what might seem like stodgy stories.

ONE BRAND: Blue C Sushi

Blue C Sushi is an American reboot of a classic Japanese conveyor belt or kaiten sushi restaurant. A racetrack-shaped conveyor belt dominates the center of the restaurant. On it, the sushi goes round and round. In the middle of it, a team of sushi chefs work continually: carving fish, rolling maki rolls, assembling nigiri sushi-making whatever is needed to replenish the non-stop sushi distribution belt. And if you don't snag a seat by the conveyor belt? Tables are outfitted with illuminated blue "call your server" buttons. Let’s be honest: Watching a rainbow of sushi dishes travel around the dining room via conveyor belt at Blue C is just as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids.

ONE FACT: International Data Corporation (IDC) Predicts the Number of Internet of Things Devices will Double in Three Years.

By 2018, IDC predicts that the number of Internet of Things devices will more than double, prompting the development of 200,000 new apps. In the near future, companies lacking an Internet of Things strategy and expertise, the IDC report said, will be “like individuals functioning without most of their five senses.”

For play practitioners, it’s clear that it’s important to not just look ahead, but to remember that play products and everyday items that matter can serve as the starting point for the most sound innovation.