May 14, 2021

Covid sneaks into the toy store


Cuddly toys in the shape of coronavirus, on key chains or as dolls are sold as gifts to babies.

Cuddly toys in the form of coronavirus, on key chains or as dolls are sold as gifts to babies.
Victor Echave

With the pandemic as an almost omnipresent issuee for nine months, the toy factories They have seen the opportunity to also bring Covid to some products in order to normalize, for example, the use of the mask or that viruses are part of the reality of some dolls for sale. For this reason, this year it is possible to see from babies with a complete kit to detect and heal the virus, dolls with masks, stuffed animals in the shape of coronavirus or board games that already existed before the pandemic but whose dynamics consists of knocking down a virus and now they are fashion.

If the masks have been part of everyone’s daily look for months, the dolls could not be less. Famosa has decided to launch these Christmass the version of Nancy, a day in a mask, where the well-known doll wears a mask to match her dress. It can be found from 14 euros. The same goes for LOL Surprise Heroes on the Frontline, a limited edition of these dolls that also wear a mask and have seven surprises to discover. Available from 17 euros, the benefits will go to children’s hospitals in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Another doll fully equipped to fight a virus – at no time is Covid expressly referred to – is Bellies Virus Tester, a modality of these babies that Famosa launches this year and where children can perform all kinds of tests on the baby -blood extraction or check the snot- and includes a recovery center and a capsule that according to the color of the lights reveals if the doll has already healed or not. The complete set is around 60 euros.

But at Christmas of the pandemic it is also possible to get a coronavirus teddy bear. Some stores in Galicia already offer this product in a keychain model or in a doll of various sizes. In toy stores where for years they have had original stuffed animals in the shape of organs of the human body, microbes or those responsible for specific diseases such as E. coli, they decided to add the already popular coronavirus to their catalog this year. “If until now this type of stuffed animals were carried by people linked to the world of Medicine, now the coronavirus is sold a lot for newborns. A godmother who comes, for example, and wants to give that gift to the godson because he is being born in a moment historical and there are also those who have passed the virus and are fine and take it away “, indicates the owner of the La Liada store in A Coruña, Lía Gimeno, who assures that after Christmas a part of the proceeds will be allocated from the sale of coronavirus stuffed animals to Save the Children. “Because it is bought as a joke but this is a very serious matter,” he says.

Beyond the dolls, there are several board games for sale where a pandemic or viruses are the protagonists although some have been on the market for years. This is the case of “Virus!”, A card game with several versions, which seeks to fight the disease by isolating the healthy body and that this year, according to reports in the English Court, has been among the best-selling toys. It is for people over 8 years old and can be purchased from 14 euros. Another game that has been going on for years is “Pandemic”, in which teams have to find a cure for a pandemic that is ravaging humanity. Also for people over eight years old and about 40 euros.

Already this year is “Stop the virus”, a game also for people over 8 years of age where they seek to be immunized against four viruses and that has an educational point since it allows children to learn safety measures as well as the risks of contagion at school in a fun way, the bus or if they do not take their mask or wash their hands. its price is 30 euros. And beyond the toys with the virus as protagonists -even indirectly-, the pandemic and more specifically the confinement meant the resurgence of certain items. This is the case of puzzles -some stores even tripled their sales compared to Christmas and in many they were sold out- and now it is possible to see quite a few toy store shelves full of what was the great entertainment in the confinement. The same occurs with certain handicraft items or board games that during the months of confinement registered a higher demand than usual.

The pandemic with its restrictions on mobility or capacity in shops that vary from every few days have made the Magi change their habits when looking for gifts For the smallest of the house. “In the store we do not notice it so much but in the head office there are more demands for online purchases”, they acknowledge in the Don Dino toy store. The same happens in the English Court. “The online world has evolved by leaps and bounds and it has made us evolve too”, they indicate in this shopping center, where they have seen how this year the catalog in virtual format has more acceptance than the paper one.

Of course, in the two toy stores consulted they assure that there are those who still prefer to go to the store to see the gifts in situ and to be advised. Even so, this year “you can see the fear and uncertainty” and people have been encouraged to buy earlier than in other campaigns.

And what is the most demanded by the little ones in the year of the pandemic? In the dolls section, the stars this year are the “Na Na Na Surprise” range, although the “Crying Babies” (this year the Unicorn and Golden Tears models) continue with a pull, as well as the Barbie “What do you want to be when you grow up? ” or the Flying Fairy from Crystal Flyers. Another of the star products, already sold out in some establishments, are the dolls from the Star Wars series ‘The Mandalorian’, especially the “Baby Yoda.” “The Vtech watches that were already successful last year remain,” they indicate in Don Dino, where they also assure that the board game “The house of challenges” is already sold out and that the classic “Simón” is very popular this year. . In this section, in the English Court the pull of Virus, Monopoly or Perplexus stands out. In addition, from the toy stores they recognize that there are certain licenses that maintain their success among the little ones such as Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol items or any Playmobil, Pin and Pon or Harry Potter item.

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