Nostalgia and the Pandemic are Driving Online Toy Sales this Christmas

Power Retail By Power Retail | 06 Nov 2020

In response to the extraordinary uplift in online retail over the last 12 months, Lego has launched its holiday campaign to champion nostalgia and the increase of e-commerce and digital channels.

The campaign shows a family coming together to ‘rebuild the world’, as families remain home due to the pandemic. Unlike traditional campaigns, however, this Lego ad will include a shippable feature, enabling customers to purchase the toys depicted in the spot.

Furthermore, Lego has also created a series of curated Spotify playlists that are inspired by hobbies, interests and themes from the campaign.

“We’ve seen so many families building together this year, giving parents a chance to experience and appreciate how children can build, unbuild and rebuild the world around them using LEGO bricks. We want to inspire people of all ages to play and unleash their creativity this holiday season,” said Julia Goldin, the Chief Marketing Officer at Lego Group.

Lego sales have increased 14 percent in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period last year. The pandemic has accelerated the concept of families working together at home during the worldwide lockdown.

The upcoming Christmas sales period is expected to be bigger than ever, with digital channels becoming more prevalent due to the pandemic.

Lego’s operating profits have risen 11 percent to USD $622 million, even as stores shut across the globe.

The Nostalgia and Digital Blend

Other game retailers and companies have also experienced a large increase in online purchase behaviour. Nintendo’s operating profit rose by 428 percent in its most recent quarter, with games like Animal Crossing surging the popularity of consoles like Nintendo Switch.

In contrast, the manufacturer of Barbie, Mattel, has experienced a decrease in sales as a result of the pandemic, seeing a drop in net sales by 15 percent compared to 2019.

“We entered the second quarter with extensive retail closures and distribution challenges and had to absorb a full quarter of Covid-19 impact,” said Ynon Kreiz, the CEO of Mattel.

The Future of Toys

While certain toys have decreased in popularity, there was a sharp increase in jigsaws, board game and puzzle purchases in the first few weeks of the pandemic. In response, Fisher-Price opened a virtual museum on Instagram in October, which invited people to explore the nostalgia of toys. The museum is also linked to its virtual gift shop that sells limited-edition merchandise from the Mattel e-commerce platform.

“The Fisher-Price Toy Museum was inspired by the idea that, whether you were born in the 1950s, 1980s or 2000s, everyone has a memory of their favourite childhood toy, and many of those are from Fisher-Price,” said Chuck Scothon, the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Infant and Preschool at Mattel.

“The intent of this museum is to take visitors back to their unique childhood experiences, and give them the opportunity to relive their youth, even if just for a few moments.”

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