- Artificially limit supply. They had a giant warehouse full of Beanie Babies, but released them in squirts to prolong the buying orgy.
- Issue press releases about limited supply so news van show up
- Aggressively market to children. Daddy may not play with his kids as much as he should but one morning he can get up at the crack of dawn, get a Teddy Ruxpin, and be a hero.
- Make a line of minute variations on the same theme to create the “collect them all” effect.
- Make it only have one highly specialized function so you can sell one that laughs, one that sings, one that skydives, etc, ad nauseum.
Emeralds are rare. Honus Wagner cards are rare. Many toys are mostly different kinds of plastic. Plastic is not rare. Don’t give your kid a hunk of plastic. Give him a cup of imagination. You can’t get lead poisoning from imagination.