The Retro Resurgence: Why Stocking Old-School Toys is Smart Business

Posted on: 25 October 2017

If you've ever stocked any kind of toys in your store, whether that's your sole specialism or simply one of many, you'll know that toys can be a difficult market to operate in.  What seems like it's going to be a big hit can sell badly; something you only took a test run of can suddenly become the next big thing, fixing you with a supply and demand problem while every parent in the vicinity comes to your door begging to purchase that 'it' thing their child is after.  However, there are some things you can do to help keep your business steady while you fight the trends – and just one of these things is stocking a range of 'retro' toys.

Steady Demand

Retro toys, such as hula hoops, wooden jigsaw puzzles and traditional teddy bears, are the kind of toys that never really go out of style.  They're suitable for a wide range of ages, they're visually appealing, and they're recognisable to adult purchasers who aren't familiar with the current 'it' toys.  You may not sell hundreds per week, but you'll certainly sell some.

Pushback Against Technology

As more and more parents become concerned with the amount of time their children spend looking at screens, stocking alternatives to technology-based toys is a good move.  Wooden puzzles and board games don't require a hookup to the internet, they don't need charging before use, and they don't guzzle batteries – so they're perfect to recommend to anybody who's currently trying to pry their kids away from an iPad.  Whether you agree with their concerns or not, it's wise to account for their business.


As any good retailer will tell you, the look and feel of your store are just as important as every other element.  People want to be inspired when they visit a shop in-person.  They want to browse in an environment that is exciting and gives them ideas.  Beside a row of boxed-up video games and samey-looking plastic playthings, some simple wooden retro toys will stand out on your shelf or in your window display, and add a little variety.  Whether this encourages browsers to purchase them, another item or both – it's still a boost to your business.

In short, these toys are the kind of staple that you should always keep in stock.  You're not betting on anything by bringing them in, as you know they'll steadily sell.  And who knows?  Maybe someday soon, these wooden jigsaws and train sets could be the 'it' thing again, too.