Page 12 - Winter 2019
P. 12

Winter 2018/19
The online commerce machine surprised everyone by publishing a
printed toy catalog for the holidays. Are they simply traditionalists, or was
there something more behind it?
Brands We Love:
 If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you probably
spent at least a few November and
December childhood weekends making your Christmas list
from the Toys “R” Us holiday catalog.
If you are a little older, no doubt you
have fond memories of the Sears Wish Book holiday catalog. Whether
you were hoping Santa would deliver your favorite Cabbage Patch doll, a Tonka truck, or a Nintendo gaming system, those catalogs were bibles. Today, four-year-olds play
with iPads and select their gifts using their parents’ smartphones. Whether you find that promising or frightening, it nevertheless begs the question: Why would the single biggest internet retailer on the planet—one who has made Christmas shopping something you can do comfortably from your couch while watching football and sipping a glass of eggnog—suddenly feel the need to launch a
printed toy catalog for the 2018 holidays? Most companies have substituted online
catalogs for traditional print versions (even
for their own sales reps and retail partners), but Amazon seems to have zigged when everyone else is zagging. In October of 2018, the company mailed their 68-page toy catalog, called A Holiday of Play, to more than one million people. And, upon closer inspection, outlaying what has to have cost a pretty penny to create, print, and distribute just might have been a stroke of genius.
The opportunity to move into the space once occupied by Toys “R” Us and Sears came after the two former giants both stumbled in recent years. In October, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and it has been closing stores across the nation. After bringing back its iconic Wish Book (which debuted in 1933) for the 2017 holidays, the company announced it would not be producing one in 2018. The 2017 Toys “R” Us holiday toy book was 120 pages, but there won’t be another one in the United States anytime soon. In March of 2018, the company announced that it would close all its remaining stores in the United States and Great
 Back Cover of Catalog

   10   11   12   13   14