I’m getting so excited about Christmas this year. Last year’s Christmas celebration was essentially canceled for many of us. Like most families, my husband and I didn’t get to see any family members in person. Instead, we celebrated via Zoom, which was an experience I never want to repeat.
This year, however, is looking up. I’ve already booked my airline tickets to visit family over the holidays. Everyone has been notified, and the excitement has been hard to contain. Less than 80 days to go! We’ve created a group chat on our phones which keeps buzzing with everyone’s updates and suggestions. The turkey has been ordered with all its trimmings and we have booked theater tickets for everyone.
For me, I’m feeling a spending spree fast approaching. I’m going to splurge on all my family members for Christmas because the joy of getting back together is going to be overwhelming. All gifts will be thoughtful and, yes, plentiful.
The current demand for toys is very strong. The toys market in the G13* is up 12% in value year to date through the end of September (compared to last year); and compared to two years ago, sales are up 27%. The factories have been running night and day to try to cope with demand, and to ship everything in time for Christmas.
And the anticipation is being felt by many. For example, my advent calendar has already been purchased and is hanging in my home in anticipation of Christmas. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service Toys data in the UK, sales of advent calendars are up 82% on last year in September and sales for Halloween toys are up 116% in the US.
I’m often being asked, what will be the top selling toys this Christmas. It varies a lot by territory. In many countries Pokémon is having its best year ever, yet in some countries it’s not even on the radar (and never has been). I think the top sellers this year will be a mishmash of hot trends from unboxing to licensing, led by video games IP’s and the emergence of top SVOD programs. I expect collectibles, building sets, and doll accessories will be big, too. Toys with a strong focus on sharing and playing, as well as toys with a hint of nostalgia and sustainability should be attractive to consumers as well.
With all this pent-up demand, we are seeing tensions on the supply side, but I anticipate stock will remain strong. Retailers won’t be left with empty shelves due to supply chain issues, and there is no need for consumers to begin panic buying. That said, if you’re concerned about missing out, and you happen to know what your child wants (or what you want) for the holidays, why not do your shopping now? And if you go to a store and the item is not on the shelf, chances are it will be there a few days later. Be patient. Stock will be available. If there are any supply issues over the holidays, it will happen in dribs and drabs.
* Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States