One thing that’s recession-proof? Toys. Although disposable income has decreased greatly in the past year—the average American has $1,315 less per year to spend on extras than he or she did when the recession started—spoiled children need not worry. Despite the downturn, no one seems to be cutting back on Barbies and toy cars. In fact, the opposite is true.
According to the Toy Industry Association, sales are actually on the rise. Toys had a 2 percent uptick in sales in 2010, raking in $21.87 billion compared to $21.46 billion in 2009. The biggest sellers were infant and preschool toys, outdoor and sports toys, and of course, the time-tested favorite—dolls. Some of the hottest items this year included the uber-spendy preschool favorite, the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet that sells for more than $200; the as-seen-on-TV Turbopak, a backpack that turns into a scooter for $80; the Nerf Vortex Nitron blaster with a 20-disc magazine and electronic scope for $40; or Razor’s tricked out pogo stick, Bogo, for $90. And that’s just the beginning.
“The average price of a toy is about $8,” says Adrienne Appell of the Toy Industry Association. But does that mean the tree is filled with $8-dollar picks? Not exactly. “There is a market for these higher-end toys,” she says. “Around the holidays shoppers like to purchase a splurge item.”
And splurge they will, especially when it comes to technology. While a Gameboy or Giga Pet used to be the epitome of kids’ tech, it seems that today’s tots have much more… sophisticated tastes. Not only are there whole hosts of iPad apps for children, but Toys R Us has an array of laptops and netbooks on its site, and video game consoles are adding features and price hikes. Nintendo’s latest system release, the hand-held 3DS, runs $170.
From hot new video-game systems to popular movie-themed products, we culled Amazon and Toys R Us for some of the most popular and most expensive new toys of 2011. These 10 trendy toys have price tags that might just make your jaw drop. It seems that this year, Santa’s stock portfolio is doing better than ever.