• Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

From Lego to Barbie, How Classic Toy Brands Stay Relevant Every Holiday Season

ByBeth J. Davison

Dec 6, 2019

Parents who struggle to find the perfect gifts for their children can rest assured that classic toy brands like Lego are always a safe bet.

Some toy industry experts say the brands these same parents have played with as kids continue to be resilient and top annual toy lists, vacation after vacation. Market research firm The NPD Group places Lego, Barbie, Hot Wheels and Little Tikes in the top 10 best-selling properties with sales rising across the board.

Joan Ramsay, entertainment industry analyst at NPD Canada, believes that Lego and Barbie have a unique advantage, as these brands have the ability to retain their traditional shapes – building blocks and dolls, respectively – while creating new looks. and by adapting to the film or the character. tendencies.

“Lego is still one of the biggest sellers of the year,” Ramsay told BNN Bloomberg in an email. “In addition to the classic Lego and Duplo block sets, Lego is excellent at keeping the line up to date with licensed products from Frozen, Toy Story, Harry Potter, etc.”

“It’s taking the classic brand, but updating [it]. Barbie had a lot of activity around her 60th birthday, and we saw the first Barbie that uses a wheelchair and other variations.

Harry Potter and Frozen lego sets (toysrus.ca)

The Walt Disney Co. is also set to shine this holiday season, helped by its box office dominance this year with blockbuster movie releases such as Avengers: End Game, Frozen II, The Lion King and Toy Story 4 – all of which is happening. lend to toy related goods.

“The Disney licensed products are doing extremely well,” Ramsay said. “In my opinion, this is less related to the buzz around Disney +, but more to the strong properties that they have. For example, Disney’s top three properties are Frozen, Toy Story, and Disney Princess, all of which are very solid toy lines. “

Disney also has Marvel with the Marvel toy universe and Lucas with all Star Wars toys, Ramsay added, noting that the company is “by far” the largest licensor for the toy industry.

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Lego A / S toys are on display at a Toys “R” Us Inc. store in Paramus, New Jersey, United States, Tuesday, November 26, 2019. (Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich / Bloomberg)

At Toys ‘R’ Us Canada, Toy Story has been one of three growing properties this season, and brand-related action figures have seen their sales increase in the past nine months, the company told BNN Bloomberg in an email.

The fact that many traditional toys don’t involve computer screens also benefits them, according to Burt Flickinger, managing director of US retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.

Flickinger, who covers both the toy markets in Canada and the United States, says they are constructive or construction toys, noting that parents and other donors are desperately trying to keep their children away from mobile devices. and violent video games.

He predicts that Frozen-related merchandise, Baby Shark and Lego toys, in that order, will be the biggest sellers of the holiday.

For many classic toy brands, an increase in online shopping also doesn’t seem to have a major impact on what sells, Ramsay said.

“Online sales of toys are growing at a faster rate than many other consumer products,” she said. “But there is no indication that this changes what is bought, just how it is bought.”

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