COMMENTARY: Toys Are More Fun Than Candy

Mattel’s North American team recently kicked off an Easter program called Save the Bunny, which launched with a clever celebrity PSA. The concept is to promote giving toys, rather than copious amounts of candy, for Easter. As part of the promotion, consumers who visit will have a chance to win a Mattel toy every day this month, download exclusive coupons on toys from Mattel brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and Thomas & Friends, and win grand prize money.

As a parent and someone who loves toys, I whole-hardheartedly agree with this idea. Not only does my 3 year old not need a giant chocolate bunny, gallons of jelly beans, and piles of fluffy marshmallow chicks (OK, I’ll admit this is making me hungry), but I know from experience that I won’t actually let her eat it all, and I’ll end up eating it, which isn’t exactly part of my summer bikini plan (though I’m pregnant, so what’s the difference, right?). Anyway, she will have a lot more fun if I limit the candy to a few of her favorites, and fill that basket—er, strongly suggest the Easter Bunny fill that basket—with toys!

For retailers, signage suggesting spring/summer toys to fill Easter baskets should already be up, but it’s not too late! Many consumers wait until the last-minute to shop, especially with the holiday coming earlier this year. A special display of spring-like, small, basket-sized items makes shopping easy and promotes quick sales. The pharmacies already do this, toy stores should too!

Here are some of my top choices:

9781607107699_300Silver Dolphin Books and Play-Doh have partnered to develop a line of high-quality novelty and educational books designed for kids ages 3 and up. From the adorable lift-the-flap book Mama’s Little Ducklings to Counting Bunnies—a cute way to learn numbers—these spring-themed board books are perfect for the Easter basket.

491_pkg2Bubbles: A retail display should offer a range of bubble products, from the simple, to the character-themed, to the more action-packed products like the Gazillion Bubble Twister, from Funrise. The Fubbles No-Spill Bubble Guitar, from Little Kids, may not fit in a basket, but it’s so cute it belongs in the display anyway.

Barbie in The Pink Shoes Barbie as Kristyn Farraday 2-in-1 Doll is magical for little girls as young as 3 years old. My daughter is easily able to make Barbie do a pirouette, changing her skirt from pink to blue and purple. This simple magical transformation equals lots of play value.

douglas_flower_doodle_ruffle_tote1The Flower Doodle Ruffle Tote, from Douglas, is just too cute.

bubblybunnyhiresFor the youngest kids, Bubbly Bunny from Cloud b takes a classic bunny plush and adds gentle sounds and a sleep timer for a nap time and sleepy time companion.

crayolawashablesidewalkchalk24countChalk: The Orb Factory‘s Make Your Own Glitter Chalk and Crayola‘s Washable Sidewalk Chalk are favorites.

bunny_peek_a_booBunny Peek-A-Boo, from Smart Toys & Games, is a first brain game for kids ages 2 to 5. The sturdy wooden blocks and rabbit characters help develop spatial perception skills. Sixty challenges are included.

ox_kite01Kites: I like BrainStorm Products‘ WindNSun Uglydoll SkyPals.

Check back each week for more commentary from Jackie. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!


About the author

Jackie Breyer

Jackie Breyer

Jackie Breyer is the vice president of Adventure Media & Events, and group publisher of The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider. She has been reporting on retail and toy industry trends for more than 20 years. Jackie has been featured in the Netflix series The Toys That Made Us, The History Channel’s The Toys That Built America, and Nat Geo’s The ’80s Top 10: Toys, as well as The TODAY show, CNBC's Power Lunch, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar, and more. Jackie is the 2012 recipient of the Wonder Woman in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Award in the field of Journalism & Social Media. A true ’80s kid, Jackie is a fan of Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Super Mario, Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Archie Comics. Her first Cabbage Patch Kid was named Cecily Aretha. She still has her charm necklace, and her Garbage Pail Kid card collection is bigger than yours. Jackie has successfully trained her kids Lena and Henry to be Mario Kart experts. You can follow her on social media @jackiebreyer and connect with her on LinkedIn.