Today is the first day of december and Christmas is right around the corner. I have not yet done my shopping and have been wondering what I should buy for everyone. Some years it is easier than others to know what to buy…..usually everyone wants the same “must have” item. throughout the years we have had many hot, fly off the shelves, every kid has to have toys.
1920’s was the start of the Christmas giving craze with the boom of the Yo-Yo
1930’s Monopoly, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Comic Books
1940’s Slinky, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Silly Putty, Tonka Trucks
1950’s Barbie dolls, car racing sets, Hula Hoop, Mr. Potato Head
- Mr. Potato Head was the very first toy ever advertised on television and over a million toys were sold in 1952. The next year Mrs. Potato head was introduced.
1960’s Easy Bake Ovens, Etch-a-Sketch, Operation, twister, Sesame street
1970’s The pet rock, rubiks cube, green slime, hungry hungry hippos, Atari
- In 1975 over 5 million pet rocks sold which was a 15 million dollar profit in only six months
- The late 70’s Atari Video Computer System was the hottest toy for several Christmas seasons. The first two years sales were disappointing due to the market crash, however by 1979 they had several games to choose and the Atari CVS was renamed the Atari 2600. It quickly became the best selling Christmas present with a million sold that year and cartridge sales at a hundred million dollars.
1980’s Cabbage Patch Dolls, Smurfs, BMX Bikes, Transformer toys, Gameboy
- Almost 3 million Cabbage Patch dolls were sold in 1983. The dolls were in short supply and high demand which brought out desperate and crazy shoppers. Dolls were being delivered to stores by armored car and TV commercials wer pulled in an attempt to tame the madness.
1990’s Game Boy, Power Rangers, Beanie Babies, Firby, Pokemon, Roller Blades
- Over 1 million Game Boy systems were sold when it was released during the 1991 Christmas season. The system came with the game Tetris which was a hit for all ages.
- Tyco was not expecting the expensive Tickle Me Elmo doll to do so well. After it was featured on the Rosie O’Donnell show and with the low supply, it was more desirable than ever. People were going to great lengths to find the doll with some being re-sold in newspapers for as much as $2000 per doll…….You can now find an original doll online for less than $20.00
- 1998 it was all about Furby. The Furby was introduced at the Toy Industry Association’s annual Toy Fair in February, months before it’s planned release in October. With all of the premature media coverage the toys were the new hot item. It was difficult to keep up with product demand and in 1998 only 1.8 million were sold, however in 1999 the number grew to 14 million.
2000’s Razor scooters, Bratz dolls, Zhu Zhu Pets, Video Games, iPod, iTouch, Ipad
- 2006 Playstation 3 allowed gamers to play online and offered multimedia storage as well as the ability to play music, and movies. PS3 had thousands of dollars of pre-sold units and people began camping outside stores to find a system.
- 10 million Zhu Zhu Pets were sold in 2009. The robotic hamsters were flying off the shelves. Kids loved the toys and the parents enjoyed the under $10 price tag and unlike actual hamsters they didn’t poop.
Looking back at our once modest, Yo-Yo filled stockings, we can see how gift giving has changed. What happened to the joy of family bonding with a small surprise gift? I can hear todays kids when they are adults…..“When I was little, all we got for Christmas was a lousy Ipad.”
What will be the next big seller?