Original toys like Barbie, Legos become popular once again this festive season

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While tech-savvy gifts such as drones and iPads have previously topped toy lists, original toys such as Barbie and Legos are regaining popularity in 2022.

According to Catherine Jacoby, Marketing Manager at a toys store, the confinement of the COVID-19 pandemic has also pushed family games like monopoly to the top of the toy list.

The SABC visited toys stores in Johannesburg to find what made the 2022 top toy list.

“It’s been a rough year for the country; however, the festive season brings with it the magic of Christmas and hope for better days ahead. What better way to celebrate surviving a difficult year gone by than with togetherness and Christmas present under the tree? For young children, opening a beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning is sure to bring on the biggest smile.”

While some young children have already posted their Christmas letters to the north pole, others are hoping their good behaviour in the year will guarantee them, every item contained on their Christmas wishlist.

So, what is it then that South Africa’s children are hoping for this Christmas? These are what some of the children have to say.

“A PS5, it’s a really nice console to have right now because it has more graphics than all the other consoles. Also, Legos, because I like building stuff.”

“A Barbie keyboard and a floaty.”

“I want money from my daddy for lots of presents for me.”

The top toy list of 2022 will certainly keep the magic of Christmas alive with technology, special effects, and good old-fashioned family fun.

Jacoby says some of the historically popular toys like Barbie and Legos have stood the test of time. She says the 2022 toy trends have gone back to original toys and games that bring the whole family together.

“There has been a lot of innovation obviously coming off the back of COVID in the past 2 years. We have seen the trends in the toy world shift quite dramatically. The trends show that we are going back to the world of original toys. Family play is still very much there which originated during COVID. The likes of monopoly are still at the top of our list, Puzzles. Collectables which have been around for a while now. On the dinosaur side, they are evergreen, we also have Jurassic World. Construction, which is Lego and all of those things.”

Toys are not exclusive to young children. Jacoby says the COVID-19 pandemic has seen adults buy into the concept of toymania.

“Barbie is still popular, the Kaylee fashion doll for girls. Stocking fillers which bring such joy to a kid’s face. This trend that we are seeing is called ‘kid-dults’, a term that is being given to adult collectors. Adults who during the pandemic wanted to find their inner child sued toys as a sense of escapism from what was going on in the world out there. 25% of global toy sales in actually from adults.”

It’s been a tough economic year for many families, and splurging on expensive toys is not on the priority list for many. However, after visiting a few toy stores in Johannesburg, many retailers have incorporated cost-saving gifts that can be just as special. A barbie doll has been purchased for R90, a stuffed animal for R50, and educational puzzles for R100.