Childhood toys capture an essential part of the holiday season, from elves making them in the North Pole to moms and dads trampling each other in the aisles to buy this year’s hottest plaything.
Last year, two in five shoppers bought toys during the holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. Some of the most-wanted gifts for girls last year included toys inspired by Disney’s hit movie Frozen, Monster High Dolls and American Girl. Boys wanted cars and trucks, video game stations and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But quite a few classics were also on shopping lists, such as Barbie, Legos and My Little Pony.
“There are a ton of retro toys that today’s parents and grandparents remember fondly from their childhoods and are excited to share with the children in their lives,” says Kristin Morency Goldman, a spokesperson for the Toy Industry Association.
One notable benefit of these re-released classic toys is that many are low-tech and allow parents and children to “switch off” from today’s technology as they play together, Goldman says. That taps into concerns many parents have about the effect of high-tech toys on their children’s social and intellectual development. Even the late tech genius Steve Jobs reportedly limited his children’s tech time. These iconic toys offer an alternative for parents.
“The enduring appeal of retro and classic toys shows that traditional play patterns remain the same – and just as popular – over time,” Goldman says.