Plastic has been embedded into the history of Christmas and gift giving since the beginning of the 20th Century, and really took off with the rise of the Industrial Era. Plastic has been influencing smiles globally on Christmas morning and continues to be a driving product in today’s commerce.
Giving bicycles at Christmas time is a consistent trend for decades. With many parts of the bicycle being made of different types of plastic – from the bike tire, to the handle bar grips, to the base of the seat – bicycles are one of the most given Christmas toys that have been heavily influenced by the plastics industry. Bikes as we know them have made many design changes through the years since the early 19th century when they were invented, but most modern bikes rely on the plastics industry for producing high quality, low cost parts.
During Christmas time an incredible 28 Lego Sets are sold every second worldwide. First introduced in 1935 by a Danish toymaker and selling in sets by the 1940’s, this ABS plastic toy sells by the millions annually and is especially popular during the holiday season.
This annual winner of a gift can be made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), or polypropylene (PP). The modern hula hoop was invented in 1958 and an estimated 25 millions hoops were sold in their first four months of production.
The first Barbie doll launched in 1959. The modern Barbie doll has a body made of ABS plastic and a head made of soft PVC plastic. Still making an incredible amount in annual sales, through the many decades of controversy and play, in 2018, Mattel’s Barbie brand generated gross sales that amounted to about 1.09 billion U.S. dollar.
Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
Originally manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1964, Mr. Potato head has been the infamous redesignable face & feature figurine for many years. With over one million Mr. Potato head kits sold in their first year of production, Mr. Potato head remains an oldie but goodie of the plastic toy manufacturing industry.
Plastic Toy’s of Christmas Future
What will be the next iconic plastic toy? Who is to say! Maybe you will be the great inventor of the world’s next “Hula-Hoop” or “Barbie Doll.” All that we know for sure is that plastics influence on the toy industry is not going away any time soon. What plastic toy will be under your tree this Christmas?