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For This Holiday Season, Old Toys Are New Again


This month we're bringing you gift ideas and today's suggestions for kids. We called up toy industry analyst Sean McGowen for his thoughts. And we noticed two themes in his suggestions - tiny is big this season and retro is back. If a kid can lose it or if parents can remember it from their own childhood, it might be one of this year's hottest gifts.


SEAN MCGOWEN: For girls in the 8 to 10 range, you know, it might be Puppy Surprise. I think it was about 25 years ago or so that it was first introduced. But the basic idea is you have a little stuffed dog that's having puppies and when you buy it you don't know whether you're getting three or four or five, so, you know, the surprise is how many you got and what they look like. And it's been a big seller again.

My Little Pony continues to be very popular. There's something called Shopkins that has become very hot in the last few months this year. The Shopkins are little, tiny, plastic representations of things you would find around the house, so things you would find in the refrigerator, things you might find in your clothing closet. And they're sold in miniature packages. And you don't know what you're getting sometimes until you open the package. If I could explain why this was a hit, you know, I might not need to work for a living. For boys, believe it or not, turtles have made a big comeback.


UNIDENTIFIED MEN: (Singing) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

MCGOWEN: Lego is always a standby that works very well. The Lego Universe, at this point, is much more than just a construction toy. It's action figures. It's vehicles. It's dolls. But it's really, I think, the combination of kids wanting to play with Legos 'cause they're so much fun and parents trusting this brand and knowing that, you know, you really get a lot of hours of play for it.

GREENE: That's toy industry analyst Sean McGowen running down all the old toys that are new again. Good luck fishing them out of the vacuum cleaner. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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