Top Selling Toys Of 2020 Reflect Pandemic Resurgence Of Classic Perennial Toys
NPD just released their toy industry performance awards for 2020, based on their various ongoing retail tracking research studies.*
One of the most notable features and arguably most sought-after categories would be:
Global Top Toy Property Of The Year (won this time by Barbie) & Global To Selling Toy Of The Year (won by a Hot Wheels item).
While the various lists include some newer properties, the fact that the big two awards were won by two long standing brands (Barbie was launched in 1959 and Hot Wheels first launched in 1968) is very revealing.
We have already seen that the products/brands/categories which performed well in 2020 tended to be more oriented towards parentally approved purchases than in a typical movie license heavy year. Normally when the movie slate is quiet, classic perennial brands are the winners as parents choose to purchase the toys they knew and loved themselves when they were children, whereas in a big movie year children tend to clamour more for movie licensed toys and parents tend to either give in to the pestering or be influenced by the typically heavyweight marketing and social media clamour that comes with massive blockbuster movie releases.
The fact that these two venerable brands have scooped the big two awards for 2020 tells us a lot about how 2020 panned out. It also though is a recognition of how well the Mattel team have updated Barbie from the stuttering start of the social media age where they faced a backlash on many fronts to today where they are actively and proactively setting the agenda for Barbie to play a role in the lives of the next generation of children (not allowed to say girls anymore, beware!).
Yet again though, we should feel reassured that the toy business while being very heavy influenced by the changing ages is in another way timeless. Brands can be adapted to fit what society is looking for over time, but underlying play patterns tend to endure because they are on such solid foundations.
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