Spielwarenmesse: Halloween and new trendy shows

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Halloween and new trendy shows

from Maria Costa

Shows and movies from TV have always influenced costumes, decorations and even toys for Halloween. But the new era of television is having an even more intense impact during this festivity, with far more content available through platforms such as Netflix or Youtube, and cool channels such as HBO (Home Box Office). Specifically, some shows are actually representing a great source for product’s inspirations for the season, not only for costumes but for all sorts of toys and other playthings.

The classics

Halloween costume

Scary and magical things, zombies, witches, vampires and monsters are classic topics that always do well for Halloween. In Europe, where celebrating Halloween is getting more common, these classic themes seem to be even more important than in the USA. In America most people choose a more original costume, while Europeans are importing the tradition by actually dressing up as monsters, vampires, et cetera.

Anyhow, there is no doubt October is a good month for television channels to release shows and movies based on spooky subjects, for example “Vampirina” (Disney Junior, since 2017) and “The Bureau of Magical Things” (Nickelodeon, 2018). Apart from that, there are specific episodes aired from most shows; “PAW Patrol Halloween Special”, “Fancy Nancy - Nancy’s Ghostly Halloween”, “Billy and Mandys Jacked - Up Halloween”, among many others.

Beyond TV channels targeting children, HBO hit the jackpot with Game of Thrones, a highly popular show that has been having a great impact on the toy industry in general, and a great deal during Halloween. For the last few years, the characters from the show have been some of the most featured in costumes all over the globe, and their aesthetics have been inspiring toys and decorations that are genuinely used during this festivity.

New platforms, new content, new influencers

Even if traditional TV is still influential, it is clear that the balance is moving towards content released on other platforms. Actually, Netflix is one of the biggest content producers at the moment, and that, obviously has consequences for the toy industry.

There are many relevant shows I could talk about, but I am only going to be able to name a few of the Netflix’ shows that are relevant for the industry nowadays, especially for Halloween. One of them is “Stranger things”. Fans of the show can find a broad range of products and toys that are very appealing at this moment. For instance, action figures of their favorite characters in a various range of finishes, from the original cute designs of the Funko collective vinyl figures to the highly detailed McFarlane figures. There are also excellent board games such as Monopoly Stranger Things Game from Hasbro. And of course, in the market you can find are very accurate costumes targeting both adults and young children (even if the show is not appropriate for kids at all).

Stranger things, Hasbro

Netflix has made other important shows available to watch in a number of countries that are increasing their popularity among adults such as; “Rick and Morty”. This cartoon parody with its nastiness and disgusting topics is actually a great show to inspire all sorts of toys, games, and costumes for Halloween. For the coming years, I can easily predict the recently released Neflix show “The haunting of hill house” being the origin of new terrifying costumes for sure!

For children, the platform also takes advantage of the season to release content that is related to creepy themes. For instance, to name a few, in October 2017 they started showing “Creeped Out”, this October they are making the film “Super Monsters Save Halloween” available, as well as other great content to inspire spooky fun products.  

Beyond scary things, there are other shows that are relevant for this season released through Netflix and also through the hugely influential Youtube. Shopkins is a great example, with their webseries available on both platforms, and with some specific episodes about Halloween. In the last few years there has been an increased interest in costumes that feature these cute little characters as well as products that are designed for this moment. I am talking about costumes such as Shopkins Strawberry Kiss Classic Child Halloween Costume or toys that are revealed by opening little pumpkins such as Shopkins Halloween Surprise 2-Pack In Glow-In-The-Dark Pumpkin Carrier.

Shopkins Halloween Episode in Youtube

Diversification of content challenges toy companies

There is no doubt about the increasing importance for toy companies to be updated and informed about new shows and their popularity. Something that, on one side is more difficult than ever due to the amount of content and the diversification of platforms and devices in which this content is shown, but on the other, it represents an amazing source for ideas to develop different and unique licensed products and toys that have great impact and success during Halloween.


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Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

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