DreamToys revealed the toy industry’s Top Toys for Christmas yesterday, and the annnouncement, plus further messaging, enjoyed widespread coverage in the press and on television.
This year’s announcement was brought forward in part due to rising concerns from retailers about meeting demand in the lead up to Christmas, owing to logistical issues caused by the ongoing pandemic. As well as unveiling the 12 toys that the expert panel had selected as the Top Toys choices for 2020, plus a longlist of 59 toys that the panel considerd noteworthy, the Toy Retailers Association shared information about the toy market under the unique circumstances of this year, with messages that have hit home with media outlets and generated coverage of benefit to the wider toy community, not just those toys that made it onto the DreamToys list.
Spokesperson Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee, urged customers to shop early to avoid missing out due to the inevitable challenges that suppliers, retailers and delivery companies will face this festive season, while data from NPD was shared to demonstrate how the toy market and consumer behaviour has been affected this year.
Toy World spoke to Gary Grant yesterday morning as the DreamToys digital event started, and he reiterated that the “buy early for Christmas” message was no marketing ploy: “We’re struggling to keep a lot of items in stock at the moment – many of the Barbie lines, games and lots of other lines. It’s not suppliers’ fault; when lockdown started, retailers deferred or cancelled a lot of orders, and we lost a lot of production in spring. Add to that the fact that the toy market has generally performed far better than expected and it’s no surprise that we are anticipating stock shortages in many key lines.”
Coverage appeared from media including Radio 5 Live, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Sun, i-news and of course the trade press.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, ITV’s This Morning dedicated its opening segment to the DreamToys Top Toys. Phil and Holly enjoyed trying out Character Options’ Laser Battle Hunters, which Phil described as “amazing” – indeed, Holly informed viewers that she was handling a link single-handedly as Phil was enjoying mastering his vehicle so much: “…he didn’t look up once!” Holly examined MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix Fashion Doll and demonstrated playing the disc that comes with it, then the duo agreed that Hasbro’s Monopoly For Sore Losers was a “genius” idea. Finally, the pair seemed impressed with a Lego Harry Potter Hedwig that a member of their team had spent all night building.