It’s Not Too Late: What Kids Really Want for the Holidays


We’ve all seen the “Hot Toy Lists” many top toy retailers post this time of year. And, of course, adults often scamper to buy up the top toys in the days leading up to Christmas. Finally, there’s a list that comes from kids themselves. And according to The Kringle Report, the big-three brands for this season will be Lego, Barbie, and Hatchimals.

“Instead of asking adults and so-called experts what toys kids want, we are directly asking the kids,” said Cory Schwartz, president of ConsumerQuest, the research firm behind The Kringle Report. “Our research reflects what kids want for the holidays in their own words, which becomes not only a leading indicator for the industry, but also a great buying guide for parents.”

The Kringle Report is released each month leading up to Christmas, letting toy manufacturers and retailers know what needs to be on their shelves. Unlike industry reports that count what already been sold and therefore are “historical,” the Kringle Report is based on interviews with kids and their parents.

Here are the top-10 toys for girls and boys in the most recent Kringle Report:



1. Lego Friends

1. Nintendo Switch

2. Nintendo Switch

2. Lego Star Wars

3. Barbie Dreamhouse

3. Xbox One

4. Hatchimals

4. Lego City

5. Lego Disney

5. Playstation IV

6. Pie Face Game

6. Lego Ninjago

7. Easy Bake Oven

7. Pokemon (trading card game)

8. Hatchimals Colleggtibles

8. Minecraft (video game)

9. My Little Pony plush

9. Lego Minecraft

10.  Fingerlings Monkey

10. Beyblade


Tellingly, the toy industry’s “hot toy” lists often get things wrong. For example, Amazon’s 2016 list included Furreal Friends Bootsie Pet, Wowwee CHiP, and Zoomer Chimp, while Walmart’s list included Hot Wheels AI Racing Set and Num Noms Lipgloss Truck. “Although these toys sold fairly well last year, they were far from the hottest toys of the holiday season,” pointed out Schwartz.

“These hot-toy lists are generated by retailers with the goal of driving sales, not predicting them,” said Schwartz. “So, as a result, these types of lists avoid ranking items, and often overhype toys that are being directly sold by the retailer. Clearly, we believe that collecting thousands of wish lists directly from kids, and quantifying this data without bias, is much more helpful to the industry than hot toy lists that are prone to wishful thinking and self-promotion.”

“When it comes to what kids want, kids know best,” according to Schwartz and his research team at ConsumerQuest. That’s why Schwartz, who specializes in kid research, developed The Kringle Report.

ConsumerQuest asked kids, ages 5-11, to name the toys and games they want the most. They also asked parents the number of times their child has asked for each item on their wish list. “We call this the all-important ‘nudge factor’,” Schwartz said. “We believe that it’s safe to assume that most kids will get what they ask for, making The Kringle Report a useful forecasting tool for toy makers and retailers.

According to The Kringle Report, the item that is receiving the most “nudges,” according to parents, is Nintendo Switch.

A total of 1,276 children and their parents have been surveyed for The Kringle Report this fall.  These respondents named a total of 3130 unique “wish list” items.

The Kringle Report is sold commercially to toy retailers and manufacturers exclusively on, a cost-sharing marketing-research platform.

About ConsumerQuest

ConsumerQuest, Inc. is a full-service market research firm that has been conducting market research with kids in the toy and game industry for more than 25 years. The company has conducted more than 500 research projects with children and moms. Its roster of clients includes the largest companies in the toy and youth entertainment industry as well as many smaller, growing companies. 

About Collaborata

As the market-research marketplace, Collaborata is the first global platform connecting clients to buy or co-fund research projects executed by vetted experts. Founded in 2016, the Chicago-based startup enables research clients and suppliers to customize projects and share results while dramatically reducing costs.

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Jimmy Zollo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Collaborata -- a Chicago-based tech startup serving the insights and marketing research world. Collaborata is the first-ever platform that enables organizations to share research costs and insights. Collaborata was a finalist for the 2017 Midwest Digital Startup of the Year, the 2016 Insight Innovation Award and has been featured on Business Insider, BuiltInChicago, Greenbook, Quirks, Research Live, MRWeb, and Market Research World. For more information, please visit: Jimmy developed his passion and enthusiasm for the Chicago tech community, while driving growth at GrubHub for four years. He helped develop GrubHub's industry-leading restaurant network, traveling across the country to launch new markets and grow existing ones. Following GrubHub's IPO and merger with Seamless, Jimmy transitioned to the corporate team, leading partnerships between GrubHub and many of Chicago's leading law, consulting, tech, and marketing firms.


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