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Iceni Magazine | March 1, 2021

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New research maps the average millennial’s ‘toy story’

New research maps the average millennial's ‘toy story’

The average millennial’s ‘toy story’ began with Play-Doh at the age of two, followed by Hungry Hippos at six and Lego when they were nine, according to research.

A study of adults aged 22 to 37 explores their childhood toy-timeline, and shows that from birth to three years of age, millennials were also playing with My Little Pony, Barbie and Duplo.

While these toys were still popular between the ages of four and seven, children had also moved onto Sylvanian Families, Tamagotchi and Care Bears.

By the ages of eight to 10, Spirograph, Connect 4 and Etch-a-Sketch could also be found in kid’s bedrooms.

And between the ages of 11 to 14, computer games were firmly established as the toy of choice – with Game Boys, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 all featuring in the top 10.

Juliet Ward, head toy buyer at Argos, which carried out the study to launch its Toy Exhibition which is taking place on the 22nd-28th October at its Tottenham Court Road store, said: “The progression of toys is an interesting one, you can clearly see how the requirements of a developing child change as they get older.

“Like most children, millennials were engaging in role play at an early age, and this progresses right through to the ages of eight and nine.

“However, by the age of 10, children were much more influenced by playground crazes such as Tamagotchi, Pogs and Pokeman which became extremely popular.

“The Xbox 360 launched in 2001 and PlayStation 2 in 2000, so it comes as no surprise to see that millennials nearing their teens began engaging with computer games.

“Shortly after the Xbox arrived, the Nintendo Wii launched which was the first interactive console of its kind.

“This launch was monumental and potentially changed the way children play in the decades that followed.”

The study shows the average length of time millennials would play with toys each week, which found active play time was longest for those age four to seven, who engaged in 11 hours and 14 minutes a week.

This compares to just eight hours and 15 minutes of play time for 11 to 14-year-olds.

The average millennial reckons they owned 162 toys over the course of their childhood – which included the Fisher Price phone, Hot Wheels cars, Beanie Babies and BMX bikes.

This differs from kids of today – of the parents polled, they reckon their oldest child has an average of 151 toys by comparison.

And 35 per cent believe their children spend less time actively playing with toys than they did at the same age.

Millennials admitted their favourite type of toys were dolls (19 per cent), followed by pretend kitchens or tool benches (12 per cent) and construction toys (11 per cent).

But one in four parents polled, via, admit they think today’s toys are better than ever before.

Juliet Ward added: “Argos has been synonymous with toys for generations of families over more than four decades.

“Now in our 45th year, we have followed millennials from toddlers to parenthood, with some toys standing the test of time.

“The Toy Exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for parents to feel nostalgic and share the toys they loved with their children.”

“Kids will be drawn to the top toys of 2018 with hot toys like the Ride-On-Unicorn set to be headlining Christmas lists this year.”

The Argos Toy Exhibition takes a nostalgic look at the past 45 years of toy retailing, as well as the key toys for today.


1. Play-Doh
2. My Little Pony
3. Barbie
4. Duplo
5. The Fisher Price phone
6. Playmobil
7. Stickle Bricks
8. Sylvanian Families
9. Hot Wheels cars
10. Beanie Babies


1. Play Dough
2. My Little Pony
3. Skipping rope
4. Hungry Hippos
5. Etch-A-Sketch
6. Sylvanian Families
7. Tamagotchi
8. Care Bears
9. Beanie Babies
10. Gameboy


1. LEGO sets
2. Game Boy
3. Barbie
4. Tamagotchi
5. Skipping rope
6. Connect 4
7. Pokemon Cards
8. Spirograph
9. Pogs
10. Etch-A-Sketch


1. Game Boy
2. LEGO sets
3. Tamagotchis
4. Connect 4
5. Nintendo Wii
6. BMX Bike
7. Swingball
8. Xbox 360
9. Scalextric
10. Spirograph

Article By Emma Elsworthy


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