Toymakers Want A Piece Of Your Kid’s Easter Basket

Image courtesy of stevekuze

Who says Easter baskets are only supposed to contain chocolate bunnies and and sugar-encrusted marshmallow bunny-like things? The toy industry is actively pushing for parents to include dolls and games in with all the sweet stuff — and parents are apparently listening.

The National Retail Federation expects spending for Easter gifts and celebrations to reach $18.4 billion this year.

Part of that may be that Easter is in mid-April this year, three weeks later than it was last year. The later date gives families more shopping time. The warmer temperatures of mid-April also make it less of hassle for families to shop for Easter basket-stuffers.

Toy retailers are happy to take advantage of this trend, Bloomberg News reports. Toys ‘R’ Us is urging parents to think beyond stuffed bunnies for non-candy gifts, with a “think outside the basket” marketing campaign.

Thinking outside the basket isn’t cheap. Here’s one that Toys ‘R’ Us has pre-designed to be stuffed with Pokémon merchandise, including the Sun and Moon games and some plush critters and other toys. Total cost: $157.73, a lot more than you’d pay to fill the same size basket with, say, Cadbury Creme Eggs and jelly beans.

“Moms like the idea of adding other things so that the Easter basket isn’t completely filled with candies and chocolates,” a spokeswoman for toy company Jakks Pacific told Bloomberg. Her company introduced a line of inexpensive Disney Tsum Tsum figurines in pastel colors specifically for this purpose.

Other brands are marketing toys inside eggs, or marketing the small toys they would call “stocking stuffers” during the Christmas season as “basket fillers” or “basket stuffers.”