You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Holiday Preview: Movie Merch and Collectibles Top List of Hot Holiday Toys This Year

Forget “Tickle Me Elmo,” when it comes to holiday shopping this year, the biggest releases are tapping into the passionate fandom of TV, video game and movie franchises.

From traditional sellers like Walmart and GameStop, to online retailers eBay and Amazon, analysts say some of the most popular gifts this holiday season cater to nostalgia, exclusivity, and a personal and cultural attachment to particular characters and shows.

“We predict toys to have a big moment this holiday season, from the retro, to right now, and super special,” says Sam Bright, VP of Merchandising, for eBay North America. “As we continue to see box office hits and beloved franchise characters dominate the cultural conversation, it’s no surprise this demand translates to the most-wanted items for the season.”

harry potter funko pop ebay

Bright cites the success of “Black Panther” and the 20th anniversary of “Harry Potter” as two examples of a franchise whose buzz has extended beyond the headlines and into sales. According to Bright, there have been more than 200,000 searches on eBay for “Black Panther” since the film hit theaters in February, while shoppers picked up one Harry Potter item every minute in 2018, including more than 47,000 Harry Potter Lego sets and 37,000 Harry Potter Funko Pop figures.

Other franchises who made eBay’s “50 Hottest Toys of the Season” list include “Aquaman” figurines, Marvel’s Spider-Man collector’s edition for PlayStation 4, and the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” action hero.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is expected to open to big numbers later this month, and if advance ticket sales are any indication, the “Harry Potter” spin-off is likely to move units on store shelves as well. Funko Pop, the Washington-based collectible toy company, has an entire collection dedicated to the film, offering everything from plush toys, to fashion accessories, to figurines.

monopoly-fortnite-editionIt isn’t just movie franchises that are attracting big business this season. GameStop is offering a complete lineup of officially-licensed merchandise from several popular gaming franchises, including “Fortnite,” “Red Dead Redemption II,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” and “Fallout.” The offerings include collectibles, like character action figures and replica props, to unisex apparel and accessories.

The Virginia-based company ThinkGeek, which positions itself as a fan enthusiasts site, routinely does well with its “Game of Thrones” merchandise. They also offer toys and gifting items from cult favorite shows like “Rick and Morty” and “Doctor Who” as well. Wary of knock-offs and cheaper options online, ThinkGeek makes a point to stress that all the products they sell are officially-licensed for sale through their site. Many of them are also ThinkGeek exclusives.

Research from Adobe Analytics says it expects U.S. online sales to total more than $124 billion in the last two months of the year – an increase of 14.8 percent over 2017. Traditional “off-line” retail spending is expected to increase as well, though at a significantly lower rate of 2.7 percent. The biggest shopping day of the year: Cyber Monday, with Adobe forecasting more than $7 billion in sales on November 26.

According to Adobe, the most anticipated gifts this year include 4K TVs, retro video games and consoles, and toys like Fortnite Monopoly.

VarietySPY editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content