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Q: Hot Toys Christmas 2003 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Hot Toys Christmas 2003
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: everythingbinary-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 18 Aug 2003 14:26 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2003 14:26 PDT
Question ID: 246142
This will be more or less a question of opinion, but the answer will
be rewarded to the researcher that can back up their thoughts with
solid data.

What I am looking for is a list of about 10-20 toys that are projected
to be the top sellers this coming Christmas. Emphasis should be placed
on the top 5 positions and more importantly the ever so popular toy
that exists, but can't seem to stay stocked on the shelves. The range
for these should be young kids to late teens.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Aug 2003 16:54 PDT
Hello there,

Interesting (and fun) question, but I'm afraid you've asked it a month
or two ahead of schedule.

There are two or three organizations I know of that track hot-selling
toys in the US (which is the market I assume you are most interested
in)and make predictions of the blockbuster toys for the holiday

However, these lists tend to appear in the Fall, and it's a bit early
to be looking for them now.

If you'd like, I can provide you links to the organizations that
publish these lists as an answer to your question, and you can hen
check with them periodically to see when they publish their lists for

If that's not satisfactory -- and if your question is not answered by
another researcher -- you may want to post it again in about six weeks
time, as the Fall list of Xmas predictions begin to appear.

Clarification of Question by everythingbinary-ga on 18 Aug 2003 18:12 PDT
I will be interested to see if anyone else can come up with the
material at this time. With that in mind, unless another can come up
with the current information, I would accept an answer of links to the
organizations that you spoke of as long as those lists are available
without cost when they are released. Thanks for your current efforts
and lets see what this thread does for a few days.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Aug 2003 18:54 PDT
Sounds like a wise plan.  If no one else offers up an answer here, let
me know in a few days time how you would like to proceed.

Clarification of Question by everythingbinary-ga on 18 Aug 2003 20:27 PDT
Will do. Thanks
Subject: Re: Hot Toys Christmas 2003
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 19 Aug 2003 07:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Everything Binary, 

According to various market research reports, Christmas is the
high-season of toy-shopping, some boy as much as 70% of their annual
spending on toys during Christmas (Source: Andrea Neighbours „ Toy
Story“ Business Report, .

Several trends could be identified in the past several years. First,
there is a rising popularity of console games (PS2, etc.), which
doesn't seem to be fading this year. Second, some classics never die,
and the fact that new features are always added, adds to their
attractiveness, even to children who already own a specific toy from
that series: Barbie Dolls, Lego, and babies'/toddlers' Fisher Price
products are among them.

Most popular toys in 2001, according to searches in the Lycos search
1) Xbox
2) Gamecube
3) Playstation 2
4) Barbie
5) Legos
6) Gameboy Advance

7) Leap Frog/Leap Pad
8) Transformers
9) Model trains
10) Hello Kitty
11) Fisher Price
12) Scooters

(Source: The Lycos 50, Daily Report, "Top Toys 2001"

In 2002, the list did not change significantly: 
1) Playstation 2
2) Xbox
3) Yu-Gi-Oh! cards
4) Barbie
5) Nintendo Gamecube
6) Beyblade
7) Legos
8) Transformers
9) Zoids
10) Hot Wheels
11) Hello Kitty
12) Gameboy Advance
(Source:  The Lycos 50, Daily Report, "Top Toys 2002"

Console games still have top sales. Classics - Barbie, Legos, Hello
Kitty and Transformers - still appear. So what's changed? The Yu-Gi-Oh
cards, collectors cards from Japan (and currently a non-ending fade
among the relevant aged boys).

Other Japanese cartoons that drove sales (and actually, according to
Lycos, searches for them are more toys-related than cartoon related)
are the Beyblades and the Zoids. I expect the Beyblades to do well
this year as well. In general, in the last several years, Licensed
Products ruled the fad market. It is natural, after all, because after
the fad is gone, most licensed products find their way into eBay
collectors' shelves.

Film Merchandise (Licensed Products)

The following children's/teen films, that might yield lots of toys and
other merchandise, are due to be released towards Christmas:

- Lord of the Rings (mid December) - The Return of the King: There
several toys and games related, mostly for the older audience
(speaking of older people's toys, the third part of the Matrix is also
due in November).

- Christmas films: Elf (on a child taken by Santa to the North Pole)
and (similarly enough) the animated Tom Hanks' "Polar Express", both
are big-studio, merchandise films.

- Cartoons: the Looney Toons film is due to be released mid-November.

- Even better: Unlike the Toons, who have merchandise all year long,
Cat in a Hat, a Universal Production (due: end-November) would
probably yield many toys.

- Television should also be considered: whether or not "SpongeBob
SquarePants" is going to be released as a film, merchandise is a sure
thing. Harry Potter and his line of merchandise seems also a sure
thing, being at the first search results of fictional characters
images this August (Google's Zeitgeist,
<://>), without much ado.
Similarly, it seems to me, that Hello Kitty toys will sell - from
search results. Top TV shows that are here to stay and could sell
something to children: The Simpsons, South Park (personally, I think
all of them are nothing but for children).

Research on upcoming films: 
and searching for [Upcoming Films]
and for [upcoming films Christmas 2003]

Classics that will always sell

As mentioned before, some classics are on the top of the list each
year. Barbie dolls, to which new accessories and fashions are produced
all-year-long, are always popular. So are Lego products, and Fisher
Price ones. Another classic that would always sell well, so it seems
to me, are stuffed animals. Other dolls that gained popularity in the
past few years are dolls that could be fit to fashion, such as the
Diva Stars and the Bartz. (see also DVer City, "Shopping Trends for
Christmas" ,

As for boys' dolls, or action figures, Power Rangers and the
Transformers continue to be popular (See: Toys Collectibles,
In addition, Japanese action figures (i.e. from Dragon Ball) would
probably sell good. Besides, "NECA will be making action figures based
on the classic holiday film A Christmas Story. The regular action
figures will be made on a six-inch scale: Ralphie, "The Old Man" (with
a leg lamp), Mom & Randy, and Flick with a magnetic tongue so he can
get stuck to the pole. A 10-inch Ralphie figure and a 12-inch "The Old
Man" figure will have sound chips." ( "Top 10 Action Figure
Surprises from Toy Fair 2003"

Computer and Video Games
As mentioned before, this is the lion's share of any holiday toys'
sale. It should be mentioned, however, that game sales dropped
considerably in the last year (See: Joseph Moran, "To Cut or Not to
Cut" Game Market watch, July 2003 . Speculations
on the success of various upcoming games could be found at various
gamers' forums and sites.

In VideoGameReview, a customer particularly mentioned the upcoming
November 2003 games for XBox (as well as some for PS2):
"Grognard", "X-Box = best upcoming games"
See also: 
Cube News - 

Search strategy: similar to films. 

Growth Potential
According to a Nielsen survey, electronic toys (as well as video
games) have the best growth potential (Source: "Results of Exhibitors
& Buyers Survey"

That certainly includes the abovementioned Beyblades, which are
battery operated, as well as similar battery operated action figures
and toys.

Scooters also went good this year, especially the electric ones. In
some countries, they may be subjected to special age limitations. The
award wining "Scream Machine" (, which is almost a
motorcycle, could have good prospects.

In this aspect, a good place to identify new trends in the toy
industry is the American International Toy Fair  held each year in
February. Naturally, this is long time from Christmas, and the fad
toys that are not gadgets (but based on TV and films) are not likely
to appear. See reports:

Toys Collectibles - -

And a list (with description) of exhibitors

Further Sources

Your primary source should be PlayDate "PlayDate 2003 is an exclusive
media showcase highlighting the best selling toys and games for the
coming holiday season as predicted by the nation's top retailers. The
event, organized by PlayDate Inc., will be held on October 14 at the
Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. PlayDate 2003 will offer
journalists an opportunity to gather all the information they need for
their "What's Hot for the Holidays" stories and provide early
predictions on what toys will be best sellers. More than 30
manufacturers and retailers are expected to be on hand to unveil
exciting toy and game demonstrations and brand new product launches.
This is the fifth year PlayDate will be held in the U.S."

Holiday Sales Research - National Retail Federation

Berate, - -
what are the most popular toys at sale now.

The Birmingham Fair - - British
toys for the 2003/4 holiday season.

Teach More Love More - -
on holiday season forecast, and why it goes wrong (insurance for

EBay Forum - "Hot Christmas Toy?? "
- several good speculations:
FurReal animals, especially a dog. 
Creepy Freaks 
New Bratz or Barbie dolls

General search terms: 











I hope that answered your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarifications on this answer before you rate/tip it. I’d be pleased
to clarify the question.
everythingbinary-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Top notch answer. The data will give me a good insight for the upcoming season. 
Couldn't have asked for a better answer!

Subject: Re: Hot Toys Christmas 2003
From: pafalafa-ga on 19 Aug 2003 08:45 PDT
Nicely done!  Hats off to the esteemed politicalguru-ga (obviously a
holidayguru as well).
Subject: Re: Hot Toys Christmas 2003
From: denco-ga on 19 Aug 2003 11:55 PDT
Alas, what was missed is anything to do with "Dora the Explorer" which
is going to be huge this holidays, and Blue's Clues items (I think) will
continue to be big this year, as these are the first and second most
popular shows with (highly spoiled) preschoolers.

Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and GameCube (mentioned
by politicalguru-ga above) are real popular with my many nephews, and
that is one of the best tests out there.

From the website.

"LOS ANGELES - In a little more than two years, Nickelodeon's Dora the
Explorer has vaulted past "Blues Clues" to become the most popular show
on cable or commercial broadcast television among preschoolers. And with
a national tour under way, it could get bigger still."

" "When `Blues Clues' hit its high-water mark," says Nickelodeon Executive
Vice President Cyma Zarghami, "it had been on the air six years, versus
three for `Dora,' and had three years of live touring. ... 'Dora' looks
like it's going to be huge." "

Looking Forward, denco-ga

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