Toy pundits start talking holiday toys

I suppose after yesterday—and sitting around talking about a movie not due out until mid-2009—a nice little discussion about hot holiday toys should seem positively timely. I mean, hey, Christmas is right around the corner, right?

(Let’s just pretend that it wasn’t 90 degrees here today….)

Anyway, it’s about time for the people in the know to start talking about what’s hot this year, and what people will be scrambling to get for their little darlings when it’s time for holiday gift-giving. The verdict? Power Rangers, Pokemon, Transformers… and a new take on the old Rubik’s Cube, say experts.

“I don’t see any one huge thing coming along that’s going to take all the attention like T.M.X (Elmo) did last year,” said independent toy industry consultant Christopher Byrne.

“Whenever there’s not one big hit, it’s really good for classic toys across the board and that means people have to — heaven help us — pay attention to what their kids really want.”

(You can always count on our friend The Toy Guy to come through with the money quote. Nice work, Chris!)

I myself have never understood the “one big hit” phenomenon, so I’m relieved to hear that this year may be free of any form of Elmo-mania. Or insert-item-here-mania. Reading that things may be calmer and more varied this year almost alleviated my annoyance over the dire importance of discussing this in September.

The piece goes on to discuss why Pokemon is so hot right now (though it does manage to leave out the most pivotal reason, which is that my son is on a mission to own every piece of Pokemon paraphernalia available in the free world), as well as other recent trends in toy development.

Towards the end of the piece there’s a cursory discussion of recent toy recalls and what impact they may have on consumer buying behavior, moving forward. No discussion is devoted to whether any of this will prompt parents to, I don’t know, buy less or even start emphasizing non-toy or homemade gifts. (I guess that would just be going too far.)

Hey, at least they didn’t end it with “Only X more shopping days!” That would’ve made me want to hit someone with a Tickle-Me Elmo.

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