Finding That Long Lost Toy: When Buried Memories Surface


There are lots of brands we get warm-fuzzy feelings about because we recall them from our childhood.  Some brands rely on the “warm-fuzzies” to drive sales and it makes sense: if I loved something when I was a kid, why wouldn’t I want to share that experience with my child?    But what happens if a toy or game is long forgotten?  Maybe it wasn’t a blockbuster or didn’t have a huge market presence – does that mean that it can’t benefit from the “warm-fuzzies?” 

I recently saw the game Choco from Tactic.  I recalled having as a child and playing it over and over with my sisters, but until that moment I had completely forgotten about it.  In a way, I felt like a child finding that long-lost loved toy that I had sadly given up looking for, and although I am a bit too old for it I'm still glad it was found.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop talking about it!  Even now I'm still trying to figure out what kid I can buy it for!  It’s like the “warm-fuzzies” hit me harder for this game than many of the nostalgic products that are in my current consciousness simply because I had retrieved this lost memory of it. 

Science knows that we create memories from a very early age and although we can’t always recall these memories, it doesn’t mean they aren’t assessable.  Like my experience with Choco, we often need some sort of trigger.  I didn’t remember the name of the game or what the box looked like, but the images of the characters inside the chocolates where what made my memory “pop.”  Without the visual trigger, I might not have recalled this game at all.   

In blockbuster products like Cabbage Patch Kids, Candy Land or the Fisher-Price Record Player, it’s easy to bank on the “warm-fuzzies” hitting lots of people, but not every item can bank on that kind of reception.  My reaction to Choco is sure to differ from other people who had it as a child.  Some might remember it, some might not and then I’m sure there are a few like me who got “MEGA warm-fuzzies,” but that varying reaction doesn’t mean it can’t be useful for sales.  It was really wise of Tactic to maintain some of the imagery from the 1970s game to appeal to people who might remember it.   Similarly, the adorable chocolates and cute characters can still appeal to people who have no prior experience with the product.  It’s all about balance – that is until we find a way to bottle and sell these magical “MEGA warm-fuzzies”

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