Classic Children’s Toys Make a Comeback in 2011

According to Panjiva, Santa’s gift bag will be stuffed with Barbie, Lego and Hot Wheels

New York, Nov. 16, 2011 – When consumers head to stores on Black Friday, they may find many familiar toys on store shelves this year. According to data released today from Panjiva, the leading source of objective information on global manufacturers, several classic children’s toys are expected to make a big return this holiday season. In fact, data generated from the company’s Panjiva Trends technology found that shipments of timeless toys such as Barbie, Lego and Hot Wheels far outnumber shipments of many items on this year’s hot toy lists.

With economic times still uncertain, Panjiva data points to the fact retailers are looking to mitigate this risk by stocking shelves with the products that they know have appeal. From August through October, when most holiday shipments arrive, several traditional toys experienced the highest number of shipments since 2007, when Panjiva started tracking the information. Specifically:

Barbie is the most popular she has been in years, with over 2500 shipments that included the iconic dolls, doll houses and cars and other accessories. This is up over 13 percent over last year’s shipments and up over 35 percent since 2008 when American consumers were feeling the brunt of the recession.

Lego, the popular plastic construction blocks, is also top-of-mind for retailers this year with 1217 shipments, a more than 65 percent increase over last year’s 401 shipments. About eight percent of those shipments (94 shipments) are for the Ninjago Limited Edition Lightning Dragon Battle, a frontrunner on many of this year’s hot toy lists.

Hot Wheels products round out the top three veteran favorites with 1118 shipments. The shipments include the well-known cars, as well as assortment gift sets, tracks, and many items from the Monster Jam line of trucks. Overall, shipments have increased almost 30 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Panjiva also found that several hot toys from the late 1990s and 2000s are still popular. Elmo, a perennial holiday favorite since the debut of the original Tickle Me Elmo in 1996, had 384 shipments. Shipments of toys from the movie franchise Toy Story peaked last year but still remain popular with 622 shipments in 2011. Many of the franchise’s toys include versions of classics such as Mr. Potato Head, Etch A Sketch, green army men and a piggy bank.

“The 2010 holiday season far exceeded expectations, but it appears as though retailers are entering 2011 with cautious optimism,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green. “By betting on the toys they know children will like and that their parents are often drawn to for sentimental reasons, retailers are less likely to be caught with excess stock going into the New Year. It also helps that many of these products are better on consumers’ wallets than fancy electronics or the latest ‘it’ toy capturing dramatic price markups.”

About Panjiva
Panjiva is an online resource for sourcing executives to gain valuable knowledge about suppliers around the world. By providing the most comprehensive data in an easy to use format, Panjiva informs the decisions that facilitate doing business globally. Supply chain and global production executives responsible for finding the right factories, negotiating costs and avoiding costly supply chain disruptions have been “flying blind.” Panjiva is the first and only online information source designed to provide complete transparency into overseas suppliers. Leveraging a variety of public and proprietary data sources, Panjiva is bringing new levels of visibility to the management of global supply chains. Panjiva was founded by CEO Josh Green and CTO James Psota. Panjiva received an equity investment from Battery Ventures and a contingent of angel investors. For additional information, visit: http://panjiva.com.