A generation born into creating their own content online is transferring that hypercreativity to physical toys and play. From how they play to how they spend, gen Alpha consumers are setting a new pace for brands.

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Dennis and Gnasher 3D printed toys, courtesy of Toybox.

Gen Alpha are upping the creativity quotient in play by designing and printing their own toys. A 3D printer for kids hit the market in early June, giving kids the chance to make their own toys. Made by Toybox, the 3D printer bundle includes a catalog of items that kids can create, some from popular series and channels such as Cartoon Network, DC Comics, Warner Bros. and more. Users can select figurines from a selection of characters in an app to print toys in a range of colors, all of which are made from biodegradable material.

Spending habits are top of mind for this generation as well, and financial investments are already factoring into gen Alpha’s lifestyles and routines. BusyKid, a chore and payment tracking app, is giving gen Alpha the chance to purchase fractional shares in some of their favorite companies, expanding the app’s earning feature to include spending, saving, and investing. In a partnership with Stockpile, the app allows users to use money made from parent-approved chores to buy fractional shares in companies like Apple, Disney, Nintendo, Netflix, and more. Parents can even match their child’s investment up to 100%.

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Alex's Toybox experience, courtesy of Toybox.

Generation Alpha are taking on more than finances: their attention to global and social issues is already forcing major brands to hold themselves accountable and influencing corporations to do better in order to better connect with these future consumers. Nike President and CEO John Donahoe spoke with Vogue Business about why the brand is centering its attention on the current tweens and pre-teens. “The way most companies look at consumers is ‘well, who's got disposable income?’,” he said. “We don't look at it that way. We look at, who is setting the agenda? Who is the future?”

Donahoe reflected on the brand’s donations and alignment with social justice causes and organizations, and harped on “the importance of authenticity and vulnerability. This is partly how [Nike] connects with young people today.”

Consumers want to have a say in the products they’re buying and using, and generation Alpha is taking that co-creative imperative to new heights. Brands should keep an eye on how the generation turns play into business as they enter their early teens in the coming years.

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