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Lifestyle about a year ago

Nostalgic Toys Making A Comeback: Top Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas just around the corner, we analysed search volume data to discover which nostalgic toys have either retained long-term popularity or are due to be popular (or making a comeback) for Christmas 2022. 

To do this, we focused on 50 key nostalgic toys from the last 100 years, ranging from those released back in the 1920s to launches from the early 2000s. Read on to find out more…

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Most Searches in 2022

Focusing on the toys which had the most searches year to date (total between January to September), the most popular toys overall included Lego (1,593,000 searches), Pokémon cards (1,593,000 searches), and Barbie (859,500 searches), all showing long-term popularity since their launches. 

The year-to-date data showed the following search volumes, revealing a ‘top 10’ of:

  1. Lego – 5,688,000 searches year to date
  2. Pokémon Cards – 1,593,000 searches year to date
  3. Barbie – 859,500 searches year to date
  4. Transformers – 837,000 searches year to date
  5. Monopoly – 771,000 searches year to date
  6. Trolls – 628,500 searches year to date
  7. Rubik's Cube – 625,500 searches year to date
  8. Beyblades – 602,000 searches year to date
  9. Tamagotchi – 480,500 searches year to date
  10. My Little Pony – 456,500 searches year to date

In addition to the above, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Play-Doh, Aqua Pets, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also featured in the most popular toys when looking at the latest month of available data (September 2022), with Scalextric, Care Bears, Bratz, Mr Potato Head, Furby, and Hula Hoop following close behind.

The September 2022 data showed the following search volumes, revealing a ‘top 10’ of:

  1. Lego – 637,000 searches in September 2022
  2. Pokémon Cards – 246,000 searches in September 2022
  3. Barbie / Monopoly – 110,000 searches in September 2022
  4. Transformers – 90,500 searches in September 2022
  5. Rubik's Cube – 74,000 searches in September 2022
  6. Trolls / Beyblades / Tamagotchi – 60,500 searches in September 2022
  7. My Little Pony / Hot Wheels / Polly Pocket / Play-Doh – 49,500 searches in September 2022
  8. Aqua Pets / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 40,500 searches in September 2022
  9. Scalextric / Care Bears / Bratz / Mr Potato Head – 31,100 searches in September 2022
  10. Furby / Hula Hoop – 27,100 searches in September 2022

Transformers toy

3-Month and 12-Month Change

To discover which toys were rising (trending or due to ‘make a comeback’) and dropping in popularity, we also looked at 3-month and 12-month change data. 

Those which showed 3-month increases included:

  1. Sky Dancers – 125% 3-month increase
  2. Tiny Tears Doll – 83% 3-month increase
  3. Play-Doh / Etch A Sketch – 50% 3-month increase
  4. Monopoly / Scalextric / Weebles – 49% 3-month increase
  5. Fashion Wheel – 48% 3-month increase
  6. Gooey Alien Egg – 24% 3-month increase
  7. Tonka Trucks – 23% 3-month increase
  8. Lego / Beyblades / Tamagotchi / Hot Wheels / Polly Pocket / Care Bears / Furby / Mr Potato Head / Jenga / Bop It / Stretch Armstrong – 22% 3-month increase

Lego toy

At the other end of the scale, searches for frisbees and hula hoop toys saw the biggest 3-month drops of all 50 toys analysed, with a percentage decrease of -45% and -33% respectively. Sea Monkeys, Silly Putty, Aqua Pets, Twister, Mr Frosty, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also saw decreases in searches in this period.

Those which showed 12-month increases included:

  1. Sky Dancers – 238% year-on-year increase
  2. Gooey Alien Egg – 50% year-on-year increase
  3. Tamagotchi / Pokémon Cards / Rubik's Cube – 49% year-on-year increase
  4. Tonka Trucks – 23% year-on-year increase
  5. Tiny Tears Doll / Weebles / Lego / Care Bears / Mr Potato Head / Barbie / Transformers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 22% year-on-year increase

My Little Pony, Sea Monkeys, and Pogs experienced the biggest 12-month (year-on-year) drops of all 50 toys analysed, with percentage decreases of -55%, -33%, and -33%, respectively. Zhu Zhu, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Fashion Wheel, Monopoly, Frisbee, Aqua Pets, Magic 8 Ball, Slinky, and Bop It also saw decreases in searches in this period.

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*Search volume data pulled from Google Keyword Planner on 03/11/2022 included the following data points:

Sept 2022 search volume

  • Overall
  • 3-month change
  • YoY change
  • Yearly search volume
  • 2022 to date (January to September)
  • Last 12-months (Oct 2021 – Sept 2022)
  1. 50 toys were analysed in total, however, data was unavailable for ‘Beanie Babies’ and ‘Cabbage Patch Kids’, so the above insight is based on the remaining 48 toys.



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