The Rubik’s Cube was just the beginning. Then came the Cabbage Patch Kids (and Garbage Pail Kids), Trivial Pursuit, Transformers, Barney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Beanie Babies and Pokemon, and many more along the way. One main offer per year. They went viral before they meant anything. The debate has always been “did marketers dictate these products to us or did consumers come out in full force on their own without the help of advertising?” Marketing geniuses – when lucky – like to point out their efforts, otherwise how they would get the job. Consumers claim they made the choice for themselves. It’s probably a combination of the two, with a little more emphasis on marketing influences.
So we come to the new Christmas period. New toys. New gimmicks. New products. “Which of these new toys will go viral?” is the billion dollar question that would like to know the answer. Even if they had performed well on a product for a year, they could retire tomorrow.
Two toys from the 2022 shopping season seem to be making a resurgence in the 2022 market: Fingerlings and Hatchimals.
Fingerlings are essentially finger puppets that wrap around the finger. They are small, cute, and will be fun for kids under seven or eight. Maybe there will also be an offshoot for parents, just like My Little Pony had their Bronies. Yes, we hope not.
Hatchimal creatures first start inside a large egg. When your child plays with the egg long enough, it hatches and a fuzzy creature comes out. But it doesn’t stop there. He talks and walks and dances. Your baby needs to be able to feed him through the baby, toddler and baby stages. (Sorry, there are no Teen or Adult stages)
So, you’re buying a pig in one go, so to speak, hatches and needs looking after just like Tamagotchi digital pets a few years ago. This year’s offer is called Surprise! You will get two eggs for the price of probably one and a half. Double the fun for less than double the cost. To be honest though, they are cute little creatures and your kids could spend a lot of time with them.
Marketers seem to be pushing these two toys this year, but no one guesses which toy will dominate the market. In fact, the market is ripe for three or four viral toys.
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