From popular plushies to video games, there has been a big trend in animal-themed games, merchandise, and accessories, in recent years.
From the continuing popularity of Animal Crossing, to the ongoing fun of Sylvanian Families, here are just some toys and games which are proving to be quite popular this year.
1. Animal Crossing
Since its release, Animal Crossing has become a global phenomenon, captivating players of all ages with its whimsical charm and endless possibilities.
The game's unique blend of relaxation, creativity, and community-building struck a chord with millions of players worldwide. With its open-ended gameplay and adorable animal villagers, Animal Crossing provided an escape from reality, especially during the challenging times of the past years.
The game's ability to foster a sense of connection and social interaction, both through local multiplayer and online features, further solidified its continued popularity.
As well as this, the continuous updates and seasonal events introduced by the developers have kept the game fresh and exciting, ensuring that players always have something new to discover and enjoy.
2. Planet Zoo
Planet Zoo, the video game from Frontier Developments, has captured the hearts and minds of animal lovers and simulation enthusiasts alike. With its meticulous attention to detail and realistic depiction of running a zoo, Planet Zoo has emerged as a standout title in the simulation genre.
Players are empowered to create and manage their own zoos, carefully balancing the needs of a diverse array of animal species while considering visitor satisfaction and conservation efforts.
The game's stunning graphics and lifelike animal behaviors bring the virtual zoo to life, immersing players in a rich and rewarding experience.
Released recently in July 2022, the game Stray has given a new angle of animal-related entertainment sparking trending conversation about the release. Set in the atmospheric backdrop of a decaying cybercity and its shadowy underbelly, players must guide the feline protagonist through the neon-lit alleys and unravel an ancient mystery to find a way back home.
As you navigate this intriguing world, inhabited by both enigmatic droids and perilous creatures, you'll experience the adventure from a cat's perspective, interacting with the environment in unique and playful ways.
The popularity of the game is shown through their recent success, with nominations at The Game Awards 2022 for Game of the Year, Best Art Direction and Best Game Direction. "Stray seems to have hit it out of the park”, said Simon Carless, co-founder of the game discovery consultation firm GameDiscoverCo, to Vice "...because it created a category—'3D cat exploration adventure'—that players really want, but didn't know they wanted."
Jellycat, the popular animal plush toys, have taken social media by storm and have become highly sought-after collectibles. Their popularity stems from their irresistibly soft and huggable designs, making them perfect companions for both children and adults.
Jellycat's commitment to creating high-quality plushies with attention to detail has garnered a dedicated following. These plush toys often feature adorable animal characters with endearing expressions and unique textures, making them instantly recognisable and also highly ‘Instagrammable’.
Some of the most popular Jellycat plushes include the Bashful Bunny, a cuddly and floppy-eared favorite, and the Cordy Roy Elephant, Fuddlewuddle Lion, and Odell Octopus have also captured the hearts of collectors worldwide.
5. Sylvanian Families
Sylvanian Families, the beloved toy line originating from Japan, has captured the imagination of children and collectors around the world.
These charming miniature animal figures and playsets offer a world of imaginative play and storytelling. From the adorable Hazelnut Squirrel family to the adventurous Marshmallow Mouse family, these meticulously crafted figures have intricate details and removable clothing that add to their charm.
Sylvanian Families first made their debut in 1985, captivating children with their adorable animal figures and intricately designed playsets. The toys quickly gained popularity, becoming a sensation in Japan and later expanding to become a global phenomenon.
Such was their success that it led to the creation of an animated TV show for kids, bringing the enchanting world of Sylvanian Families to life on screens around the world.