Every year, like clockwork, the big retailers announce their “Hot Toy” lists. These lists are meant to provide gift givers some guidance in what toys children want for Christmas. My quibble with these guides is that they are based upon what is expected to sell best rather than what might play best.
“Hot Lists” are primarily made up of toys from larger manufacturers who have invested heavily in promoting their products. As a result, children and their parents are primed to ask for these toys when they come to the store. These are the toys that are said to have the fabled “WOW” factor.
The only problem with the “WOW” factor is that the after purchase experience does not always match the purchase experience itself. The toy that seemed so exciting becomes just another toy cluttering a family’s playroom.
What if an enterprising retailer created a “Great Toy” list instead of or along with a “Hot Toy” list? The “Great Toy” list would contain toys that have a proven history of providing a great play experience. These will be toys that are not just exciting in the shopping cart but in the play-room as well.
A “Great Toy” list would have a number of benefits:
Retailers would make more money. Why? Because great toys tend to be classics and classics can typically sell for full margin. In addition, many classics have higher retail values because they are made out of better materials. Ramp up the unit volume and the gross profit goes up nicely.
Manufacturers would make more money as well. They would generate increased sales of their backlist products and this would provide more dollars to invest in research and development for classics of the future.
We would all benefit because consumers would reminded that toys are more than a momentary experience but an ongoing memory.
- Wooden Alphabet Blocks
- Baby Doll
- Nok Hockey
- Lincoln Logs
- Tonka Trucks
- Radio Flyer Wagon
- Doll House
- Chess set