Anime toys and games topping Christmas lists

According to Lycos searches, the top 12 toys for Christmas will have 4 or 5 Anime properties in them, leading with Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Transformers, and Zoids. This doesn't include the many Anime game titles that will be purchased for the PS2, Xbox and Gameboy, which are also in the top 12 list. Adding the games: Final Fantasy XI, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Sacred Cards and Dragonball Budokai 2 make the list...
Top Toys 2003
November 13, 2003

It's time for our annual look at the nation's top toys for the Christmas season. As usual, we're going to split the list, with a look at toys and game consoles today and specific computer and video games tomorrow.

Here are the most popular toy searches from the last month:

1) Playstation 2
2) Xbox
3) Barbie
4) Bratz
5) Yu-Gi-Oh! cards
6) Transformers
7) Nintendo Gamecube
8) Care Bears
9) Legos
10) Beyblade
11) Zoids
12) Gameboy Advance

As in previous years, the big video gaming systems are the top toys searched on Lycos. Playstation 2 and Xbox were also #1 and #2 last year. However, the new portable N-Gage system from Nokia, designed to be a cross between cell phone and game system, isn't generating too much interest online so far.

2003 has seen a huge surge in searches for Bratz dolls, which you may remember as a Lycos 50 One to Watch from October 2002. The dolls are a multiracial collection of figures that advertise "funky fashion" and "stylin' attitude." Not to mention that they look like 14-year-olds with collagen injections. The Bratz rank below Barbie in search traffic, but given that many Barbie searches are coming from adult collectors, I think it is safe to assume that Bratz are the number one toy for girls in 2003.

The other big story of the year is the massive resurgence in toys from the 1980's. Many toy manufacturers have reintroduced 1980's toy lines, hoping to capitalize on the nostalgic memories of newer parents. This year marks the first time Care Bears have made the Lycos 50 top toys list, and they are 50 percent more popular than last year. Transformers have made the list in years past but they are currently twice as popular as in 2002. Although they did not make this year's list, My Little Pony is twice as popular as last year and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are four times as popular.

Though few of the searches specify toys, Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and the characters of Finding Nemo seem to be the most popular licensed characters searched for this holiday season, along with the usual Japanese anime characters such as the Dragonball cast.

Top Computer and Video Games 2003
November 14, 2003

Yesterday we looked at the top toys of this Christmas season; today we'll look at the top computer and video games.

If you want to learn about these specific games, we want to point out our new Gamesville Guide to Video Games, with reviews and ratings for computer and video games, plus previews. Unlike other video gaming news and reviews sites focused on young male gamers, the new Lycos Gamesville site has more content for parents and more mature female gamers ages 20-30.

Here are the most popular computer and video game searches from the last month:

1) Final Fantasy XI
2) WWE Smackdown 5
3) Grand Theft Auto Vice City
4) The Sims
5) Tony Hawk Underground
6) FIFA 2004
7) Max Payne 2
8) Yu-Gi-Oh: The Sacred Cards
9) Madden 2004
10) NBA Live 2004
11 Star Wars: Rebel Strike
12) Dragonball Budokai 2

Final Fantasy XI is the latest edition in the long-running role-playing game series. This game is a bit different from the games that preceded it -- it's an online role-playing game with thousands of players around the world, similar to Everquest. It's already out on PCs, although if you want to play it on Playstation 2 you'll need to wait until March and you'll need to purchase a hard drive add-on). For those who want a more conventional Final Fantasy experience, there's Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, which almost made our list, or Final Fantasy XII, which should be out in the spring, or Final Fantasy X-2, which isn't the same as XII (it's a sequel to X). Did you get all that?

In non-FF news, this marks the fourth straight year that The Sims ranks as one of the four most-searched video games. The life of this game is continually extended with new expansion software. Grand Theft Auto Vice City also continues to be hot, one year after release.
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