The hottest toys trending this ChristmasBy Chantelle Brule on December 14th, 2016
With the holidays fast approaching, both parents and children alike are in prime toy buying (and toy daydreaming) mode. So what better time to release our annual Twitter top trending toys tracker?
As in previous years, we’ve tracked mentions of all items on this year’s Toys R Us Fabulous 15 list, but this year we used Agility PR Solutions software to also track some of the key influencers likely to help shape toy buying decisions this year.
After all, we all know that social media has a big impact on consumers. Just last week our friends at Bulldog Reporter reported that one in three people’s gift decisions are influenced by social media (along with the fact that 30 per cent of survey respondents say they are likely to post on social about their gifts).
Top trending toys
Most holiday seasons feature a must-have gift – last year it was Guitar Hero Live, and in 2014 it was the Snow Glow Elsa doll. This year that toy is the Hatchimal.
The Furby-like creature was created by Canadian toy company SpinMaster Ltd. and generated a whopping 95 per cent of toy related Twitter buzz of the top 15 this year (they’ve proven so popular that the company was forced to post an online disclaimer for agitated buyers dealing with empty shelves).
It seems no one was prepared for this toy’s popularity – not even SpinMaster — as stores everywhere have been continuously sold out of this year’s biggest toy.
Hatchimals… I need one. Apparently theres more chance of me going to space than getting one!
— ❤️ Mrs Wow ❤️ (@mrshom3rsimpson) December 4, 2016
Shoppers are going to desperate lengths to get these toys, in some cases paying over six times the retail price and camping out in front of stores.
Crazy Moms out there paying $300 4 Hatchimals & I’m just over here trying 2 get @JerkyXP 4 my kid! #soldout #sadPerrykid #christmaslist
— Channon ✨ (@channon72) December 5, 2016
I’m 3rd in line ! Girl under the tarp has been sleeping here since 4am ! @Target put the tarp over her . #Hatchimals pic.twitter.com/5iO77vdTrL
— BigmouthBigbelly (@BigmouthBgbelly) December 12, 2016
Some business-savvy consumers have even resorted to scalping Hatchimals: author Sara Gruen reportedly bought $23k worth of the items to resell them, which backfired when outraged parents refused to buy them.
Despicable creature and #WaterForElephants author, #SaraGruen hoards thousands in #Hatchimals for greedy re-sale.https://t.co/YkaY4xXshb
— Suléma Marie (@sulemamarie) December 12, 2016
Considering the enormous weight of Hatchimals Twitter chatter, though, we looked closer to see which other items were getting traction after removing this item from the analysis:
Selfiemic made up 59 per cent of mentions in the new dataset, followed by Little Live Pets Snuggles My Dream Puppy with 17 per cent, and the Sky Viper Drone with 15 per cent of mentions.
Social influencers on toys
But who drove the toys conversation most this year?
Our top trending toys analysis showed that @verynetwork, a retail website based out of the UK, had the most influence based on retweet reach (with a reach of 6,890,075). These sky high retweet numbers were a result of a contest the retailer ran; twitter users were encouraged to retweet the contest details in an effort to win the hard to come by Hatchimal.
@verynetwork was also the most retweeted influencer in the toys conversation. But while these influencers had the most tweets and tweet reach, mainstream media sources were the top influencers by total followers.
@Time was the biggest influencer by total followers with over 12M after it shared a story about Hatchimals returning to Walmart. @HuffingtonPost also had a big influence in this year’s toy conversation with over 8M followers.
Hatchimals are so hard to find that parents are making Santa explain https://t.co/7NY7mMUqBc pic.twitter.com/AV8igPyEvY
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 29, 2016