Barbies, Legos, and Tablets: Top Toys of 2011

Image from: zuender/Shutterstock


As we enter the final days of November, children everywhere are finalizing their lists for the upcoming holiday season. I remember poring over catalogs and memorizing commercials as I decided what toys I had to have that year. These days, children not only use catalogs and TV for inspiration, but they can supplement their research with the Internet. I decided to take a look at our Compete data to see what kids (and their parents) are most excited about this year.

First, I took a look at the top searches leading to Toys R’Us, Amazon (toy section), and Walmart (toy section) over the past two weeks (November 6-19). Though a few newcomers broke into the top ten, it was comforting to see many of the traditional brands are still on top. Walmart searchers are looking for Legos, Barbie games, Fisher Price, Power Wheels, and Nerf. Amazon terms included Charlie Brown toys and Polly Pocket. Though Toys R’ Us still had some oldies on the list (Fisher Price and Legos), it also featured some of the hottest new toys this year—Monster High Dolls, BeyBlades, and Orbeez.

In addition to search activity, I also took a look at some of the most popular products on ToysRUs.com over the past two weeks. Again, the top products were a mix of newcomers and classics. The most viewed toy by far was the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet, a sign that tablet mania has trickled down to the under-10 demographic as well. The Vtech InnoTab Learning Tablet was another toy tablet in the top ten most popular products. Not all top toys were techie, however. Barbie products claimed three of the spots—including my personal favorite, the Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse. Power Wheels and a train set also made the list.

I compared the Toys R’ US visitation and search activity to this time last year, and noticed that overall visitation was up while search referrals were down slightly. More shoppers may be navigating directly to the site this year, rather than finding the toys they need via search engines.

Either way, it’s clear that children know what they want this year and will be hoping for a tablet under the tree. What are you buying for the children on your list?

About Lindsay Steinbach:
Lindsay Steinbach is an Associate in Retail and Consumer Products at Compete. Lindsay is responsible for data mining and providing analysis for a wide rang of retail and CPG clients. Before Lindsay joined the Compete team she was a student at Dartmouth College. Connect with Lindsay on LinkedIn