You may think it is early, but it is actually just the right time to get ready. The holiday gift trends are here. Let’s see what toys will be in highest demand.
Actually, we have already done some of the predictions from big toy retailers. But now the National Retail Federation (NRF) and some more big time company execs in retailing are revealing what consumers are interested the most this year. It turns out it is a populated, but strict list.
According to recent industry research, the five top considerations consumers use when choosing a gift are cost, value to the recipient, usefulness, customization, and a “wow” factor, Independent Retailer reports. Studies also show that the generation into which a consumer was born plays a vital role in their tastes. For example you will make a teenager pretty happy with a new smartphone, but not your grandfather. The reason for that is not that your grandfather is “old” or “boring”, but because he simply has interests in other things.
Baby boomers for example prefer nostalgic items. Items that bring back an earlier time in the form of an era-specific piece of music, a personalized gift with a saying or photo that resonates with a historic event, or any gift that is proudly made in America. Many toys can carry sentimental value for shoppers of a certain age. “What we make are timeless, classic, American toys,” says Dan Smith, President of Magnum Enterprises LLC. “Rubber band guns, slingshots, crossbows – these are all toys that I used to play with as a kid. These are toys that will take you back to a time when kids used to build things themselves, and did not rely so heavily on electronics to keep them busy.”
“The Holiday season is always a busy time for us in the gift and toy industry,” says Jaime Greene, Toy Guru at Safari Ltd. ” Shops are getting prepared for the explosion of customers that will inevitably happen during those magical weeks. It is important for shops of all kinds to merchandise their products properly and display them in a way that will maximize their sales.”
People from Generation X prefer a more personal touch to their gifts. This doesn’t mean that they want a personalized gift. They want something that is personal, shows you know and care for them. They also like new experiences, to learn new things. So you can please them with books, trips, travel-related items.
For the personal touch-type gifts it is a good idea to rely on stuffed animals. “Hedgehogs are really popular this season as well as traditional teddy bears,” said Coral Lauber, Vice President of Sales for Fiesta Toy. “Any plush toys that are bright in color and have big eyes, those are doing really well for us.” Hand-held electronic such as a new Kindle, a small gaming system, or motorized vehicles such as helicopters and even drones are trending for this season as well. Licensed products from Marvel, DC Comics, Minions, Jurassic World, superheroes and all things Disney are top of the list.
Unsurprisingly Millennials are all about electronics. New devices and useful accessories for them are the best gifts for this generation. Protective gear for the tech devices is also well received. If you want to surprise the, gifts with a “wow” factor are also well received. “Something outrageous like a cat eating pizza in outer space on a flask is both humorous and also a unique and one of a kind gift”, says Daniel Shoemaker, National Sales Manager at Kalan LP. Products related to unusual subjects like zombies, dinosaurs, unicorns, narwhals, rainbows, emoji’s and glitter are all popular choices for making combined gift packages that sell strongly to Millennials.
Of course you know the person you need gifts for the best. So there may be exceptions to the rule. It won’t be surprising to have someone who would love a new gadget but is a baby boomer. So follow your heart and gut, too.