Parents Spending Big Money on Connected #Toys for their Kids #DigitalKidsCon

Today I’m thrilled to be speaking at the Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair, revealing new research from BSM Media on moms, kids and smart connected toys. And what better place to talk about the results than at the Digital Kids conference at Toy Fair ’16.  As usual, our moms provided valuable responses on how digital and traditional toys are blending, and how much parents are willing to spend big money for smart connected toys. Here is an excerpt from the press release for the research and event.

In a survey by BSM Media and Digital Kids Media, 65% of parents say they would pay more for a smart connected toy (versus traditional toy) or on average $41-60 per toy, while 23% of parents would spend upwards to $80 or more for a connected toy. The spend is high and threshold low for parents who are driving a smart connected toy market, which was projected to hit $2.8 billion by the end of 2015.

“Today’s moms, particularly millennials, were raised with technology which has had a tremendous impact on toy-buying decisions for their children,” says Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media and author of Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales. “When they decide to buy, these tech-savvy moms do their research. They rely heavily on ‘word of mom’, online reviews, and of course, what the connected toy offers in education and entertainment value.”

Aside from a simple ask (which drives 53% of parents to purchase), parents are overwhelmingly swayed by the promise of learning.

  • When purchasing connected toys, games and apps, 65% of moms look for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) content, arguably one of the hottest trends of 2015.
  • Surprisingly, only 28% of parents said they choose connected toys that promote creative/imaginative play.
  • Of those kids with connected toys, 40% of their moms say their children spend equal time playing with the physical features as they do the digital elements.

“Today’s child anticipates that a toy will be interactive, adaptable and even programmable. Our young digital natives give little thought to the sophistication of smart connected play beyond that it’s just plain fun,” said Tonda Bunge Sellers, president of Digital Kids Media. “In fact, we are seeing boundaries between traditional and digital toys disintegrate for children as natural play patterns and learning become elemental to digital-physical toys, sports play, stuffed animals or even a rubber duck.”

As traditional toys take on a new life, offering a level of connectivity and interactivity like never before seen, parents are eager to purchase, but not without doing their homework first. Before they buy, 66% of parents research, read reviews and talk to other parents for connected toy recommendations.

  • Before buying, moms read product reviews 88% of the time.
  • Additionally, 71% of parents look to blogs for product recommendations, and 60% of parents ask other parents for recommendations.
  • While consumer reviews are key, moms will skip the stars and reviews completely if another mom friend recommends a game, app or toy.

For a snapshot of the summary and more findings, please see the infographic on the purchase influencers, cost thresholds and what motivates the child to ask and the mom to buy at BSM Media conducted a national study that surveyed 300 moms and 170 children (ages 5 – 16, mothers responded for 6 and under).

About Digital Kids

Through conferences and content, Digital Kids connects a global community of experts to share best practices and the newest innovations to inspire and advance business in the ever-changing world of kids’ digital lives. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Digital Kids is host to bi-annual conferences that attract toy industry stakeholders, app developers, brand owners, product developers and content producers to collaborate on the future of connected smart play products and services that span interactive, digital, physical, entertainment, and education. For more information, visit

About BSM Media

BSM Media is an internationally recognized, full-service marketing and media firm with the greatest breadth and depth of relationships with Moms and Millennials. CEO Maria Bailey and her team produce creative, turnkey programs that allow companies to reach their brand and product goals through influencer matchmaking tactics and trendsetting marketing strategies. For information and case studies on how to connect with powerful Millennial consumer groups, go to





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