EconomyThe Pop it phenomenon, the invincible Pokémon… What are...

The Pop it phenomenon, the invincible Pokémon… What are the star toys in playgrounds?


The big back-to-school day – and the possible stress of whether or not the friends will be in the same class – is over. Now it’s time for the playground, just to clear your head between two lessons. But with what in the hands? If the Pop it phenomenon is still in the game, the eternal Pokémon cards are resistance, as are the marbles. “20 Minutes” goes around the toys that are a hit with this back to school 2021.

The phenomenal Pop it

It was not just a fad, and the summer holidays did not diminish its success. Since last spring, children have been snapping up Pop it, which is all the rage on social networks with more than 350 million views on TikTok for the #popitchallenge.

Pop it, a kind of perpetual bubble wrap, a de-stressing and addicting children’s game – Canva

But what is a Pop it? You have surely already had the irrepressible desire to burst the bubble wrap in your moving boxes. Well, the principle is the same: just press on the bubbles of this plate of various shapes, silicone and multicolored. You can play with several people, include different rules or even add dice to the game.

Be careful, however: “Even if the Pop it remains in the top sales, the current figures are down compared to those of May. From 7,000 units sold per week, we have gone down to 1,500 ”, notes Elodie Gouisset, Director of the Products Division at King Jouet. Simple slowdown or a sign of decline in prospect?

The unbeatable Pokémon cards

As the franchise turns 25 this year, Pokémon cards remain a must-have for schoolchildren. Collections, exchanges… The Pokémon machine does not jam.

Pokemon playing cards (illustration).
Pokemon playing cards (illustration). – F. Brenon / 20Minutes

It is based on a universe rooted in popular culture. “It is a 360-degree license present on video games, toys, animation and game cards. The phenomenon crosses the generations and each new release is a success in stores,” we told the Grande Récré.

The game benefits in particular from a race for rare cards, in which the older ones also indulge. And some collectors or resellers do not hesitate to rush on new packages in the hope of finding a valuable card. An element that has allowed the brand to remain trendy among the youngest.

The cyclical Beyblade top

Since its arrival on the French market in 2003, the Beyblade top has oscillated between less good shots and stays in the top sales. The rules are simple: using a launcher, you drop the top in an arena or on the ground. It will have to turn longer than that of its opponent or eject it from the fight. The winner then wins – in principle – the loser’s top.

The Beyblade spinning top returns to the top of toy sales this year.
The Beyblade spinning top returns to the top of toy sales this year. – P.-G. Ipo

Like Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblades are taken from a successful Japanese manga. As Franck Mathais, JouéClub spokesperson, explains, these tops bring together all the elements of a good playground toy. “Around an already well-established playing principle, there are cartoons that push the product. And above all, the toy is being renewed with the release of new models that children want to add to their outfit to be the best ”.

The Hasbro distributor knows how to promote his product. In recent years, competitions bringing together thousands of children have been organized in shops, and sometimes even in schools.

The timeless ball game

Will they one day be out of date? They have been around for centuries and yet the marbles continue to roll in the playgrounds.

Marbles are still popular with schoolchildren.
Marbles are still popular with schoolchildren. – La Grande Récré

No need to introduce them: you have probably played them before, like your parents before you and your children after. According to Franck Mathais, of JouéClub, it is “the playground par excellence because it is simple, combines collection and competition. A great classic that sells very well every year since at the beginning of each school year, we buy our new bag of marbles ”.

Big, small, round, flat, with nuggets… No matter their style, marbles are always in fashion. Evidenced by the broadcast this summer on TF1 of a game show of which they were the stars: Marble Mania.

The big comeback of POGs?

Ten billion units sold worldwide, 500 million in France… The POGs caused a sensation between 1994 and 1998. And twenty-five years later, the new generation can discover the famous illustrated cardboard washers. A little reminder of the rules: after betting the same number of POGs and stacking them face up, players take turns trying to return as many pucks as possible. All using a Kini (a heavier POG). Each returned POG is pocketed by the launcher and goes into their collection.

These are the companies POG Unlimited and the French Asmodée, world leader in board games, who today want to offer them a comeback. And if they haven’t flooded the playgrounds yet, the POGs may be riding the parents’ nostalgia to win over the kids.



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