The Fingerling Monkey may be this year’s hottest toy, but its popularity is far from unparalleled. A new must-have toy seems to arrive every holiday season. Richard Gottlieb, the chief executive of Global Toy Experts and publisher of Global Toy News, discussed some of the Fingerling’s craze-making predecessors over the last generation.
Popular toys are often like comets across the sky, drawing attention quickly and fading just as fast. “A good fad is about eight months from explosion to collapse,” Mr. Gottlieb said. While few toys outlast the initial hype, the ones he listed have endured as cherished memories from childhood and helped shape play time expectations long after they left the shelves.
They were also big business. Mr. Gottlieb ranked the toys below based on the impact each had on the industry, indicating when they became major hits in the United States. “These products,’’ Mr. Gottlieb said, “became cultural touchstones.”