Okay, I understand that we're all trying to "give a jolt" to the economy. But I was still surprised today when Lycos provided a list of Christmas gift ideas two days before Thanksgiving Day. Aren't we all supposed to wait until Black Friday?
Nevertheless, for shoppers who like planning ahead -- or for online retailers and etailers looking for what will be hot this holiday season -- Lycos just announced its ninth annual list of the most popular toys and video games, based on web search activity.
(For a complete list and commentary of the Lycos Top Toys and Video Games of 2008, go to the Lycos 50. You can also voice your opinion on this year's list, and weigh in on weekly Internet trends and pop culture on the Lycos 50 Blog or follow the Lycos 50 on Twitter.)
It shouldn't come as a shock that Apple's iPod holds the top spot as the #1 most-searched for toy this holiday season. But this year, the Apple frenzy includes hot-searched items like the iTouch and iPod Nano.
Harry Potter, at #11, makes a fifth consecutive appearance in 2008, with Harry Potter games, books and DVDs dominating Harry Potter-themed searches.
New in 2008 is KOTA, the Triceratops Dinosaur (#15), generating more search interest than Fisher Price's New Elmo Live (#19). Meanwhile, not so hot in 2008 are Hannah Montana-related toy items, which made a big splash in 2007, but fail to make this year's list.
Spongebob Squarepants (#14) takes over as the top licensed character-themed toy of 2008. Spongebob was last seen on the Lycos Top Toy list in 2005. And when it comes to dolls, Barbie (#6) continues to reign, extending her run on the annual Lycos list of Top Toys and Video Games to nine consecutive years of appearing in the Top 10. But there's not enough data on Caribou Barbie to see if that will be a big hit this year -- let alone in 2012.
Gaming consoles see a big resurgence in search popularity in 2008, with the Nintendo Wii (#10) capturing the most search interest, generating 25% more search activity than the Xbox 360 (#12) and Playstation 3 (#13). Also seeing a resurgence in 2008 are old school classics like Monopoly (#17), despite the current housing market.
Five of the top 25 toys in 2008 originate from the popular world of anime including Naruto (#3), Pokemon (#4), Dragonball (#5), Inuyasha (#7) and Gundam (#16). Meanwhile, one new toy making the 2008 list may be unfamiliar to most adults, but if search activity is any indication, expect the Bakugan Battle Brawlers (#24) to be flying off the shelves this holiday season.
On the video game front, the massive multi-player game RuneScape (#1) scores big with web users for the fourth consecutive year as the most-searched video game of 2008, while Final Fantasy makes its first appearance on the list since 2005, with Final Fantasy XIII (#3). Also racking up points online, making first-ever appearances on the top video games list, are war-themed games including Call of Duty: World at War (#9) and Gears of War 2 (#14), while Guitar Hero World Tour (#8) and Wii Fit (#15) are the most popular Wii-themed games based on web searches in 2008.
Also new in 2008 are Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games Fable 2 (#17), Fallout 3 (#18), Street Fighter IV (#10), Dead Space (#19), Far Cry 2 (#22) and BioShock (#25). This also marks the fourth consecutive year the Madden football-themed games fail to make Lycos's Top Toys and Video Games list.
As for me, I don't do any Christmas shopping until the very last minute. That way, I don't have to figure where to hide presents where my three kids (or wife) can find them before December 24th. Yep, when I say "last minute Christmas shopping" I mean last minute shopping. You'd be surprised how simple decisions are on Christmas eve.