This weekend begins one of the busiest shopping weekends in the world, as consumers will pack the malls on Black Friday and get on Amazon ($AMZN) for Cyber Monday.
Here are seven trends that were seen the past three days before Black Friday out of all products within Amazon's best-seller rankings:
L.O.L. Surprise Dolls are everywhere
MGA Entertainment ($PRIVATE:MGAENTERTAINMENT) hit a gold mine with their L.O.L. Surprise Dolls.
These toys are mini-figurines enclosed in multiple capsules, which give hints as to what random doll is inside. Because there is no guarantee what type of doll is inside, the toy's website has a rarity system that ranks the most exclusive dolls in the series. It's similar to quarter-fed capsule machines back in the '90s...
Or a real-life version loot boxes that are popular in video games today. But that's a topic for another day.
Not only did these toys rank as one of the most popular products at Best Buy ($BBY) — yes, the electronics retailer — in October, it also ranks several different products in Amazon's best-selling toy rankings on November 22. This includes the $10 "Glam Glitter Series Doll with 7 Surprises," which was #1 out of all toys for the past three days.
There is also the "Bling Series with 7 Surprises," a similar product that ranked at about 4 and the "Bigger Surprise with 60+ Surprises," a huge bundle that lists for $89.99 and averaged a rank of 7.
In a world still recovering from the "unboxing video" plague, L.O.L. Surprise Dolls are looking to be under millions of Christmas trees or given during a night or two of Hanukah.
For toddlers and young children, Melissa & Doug reign supreme
The other hot toy company this holiday season according to Amazon best-seller data is Melissa & Doug.
A privately owned toy manufacturer headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, these products are geared more towards younger children and parents who want their kids to develop "creativity and learning skills."
The second best-selling toy on Amazon is a game called Suspend, which is similar to the classic game Jenga, which usually lists for $16.99.
It also had a few other toys that ranked among the top Toys & Games at Amazon during the week. Here were the top-20 toys that consistently ranked within the top-100 over the past three days (Subscribers can see the full list here):
|Name||Toys & Games Rank (Average)||Days in Top 100|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll with 7 Surprises||1||3|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Bling Series with 7 Surprises||4.666666667||3|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise with 60+ Surprises||6||3|
|The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition||10||3|
|Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game (31 pcs)||11.66666667||3|
|LEGO 6213564 Star Wars TM Advent Calendar, 75213, 2018 Edition, Minifigures, Small Building Toys, Christmas Countdown Calendar for Kids (307 Pieces), Multi-Color||14||3|
|Jenga Classic Game||14.33333333||3|
|Monopoly: Fortnite Edition Board Game Inspired by Fortnite Video Game Ages 13 and Up||15||3|
|Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Rainbow Mini Notes (125 ct) With Wooden Stylus||18.33333333||3|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Pearl Style 2 Unwrapping Toy||19.33333333||3|
|Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10-Pack Case of Colors, Non-Toxic, Assorted Colors, 2-Ounce Cans, Ages 2 and up, (Amazon Exclusive)||20.66666667||3|
|Crayola Light-up Tracing Pad Pink, Coloring Board for Kids, Gift, Toys for Girls, Ages 6, 7, 8, 9,10||22.33333333||3|
|Don't Step In It||22.66666667||3|
|L.O.L. Surprise! Under Wraps Doll- Series Eye Spy 2A||23||3|
|PAW Patrol - Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck with Extendable 2 Foot Tall Ladder, Ages 3 and Up||24.33333333||3|
|What Do You Meme? Party Game||27||3|
|Cards Against Humanity||28.66666667||3|
|Connect 4 Shots Game||30.33333333||3|
|Barbie Careers Baby Doctor Playset||31||3|
|Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit||31.33333333||3|
An Incredible holiday for Disney
Although the world of physical media is slowly dying (at least at Best Buy), Disney ($DIS) is doing super.
Incredibles 2, a much-anticipated animated sequel from Disney and Pixar, was the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time when it released in mid-June. Now, five months later, the film is set to help Disney to even more profit during the holiday season.
Over the past three days, Incredibles 2 had an average sales rank of 3 on DVD and 3.6 on Blu-ray in Amazon's Movies & TV category, the highest average ranks for any movie or tv show in the category over the past three days.
While we won't know how much it will sell this holiday season, having both versions of the film rank that highly during the busiest shopping season of the year is a great sign for the company.
Nintendo is dominating the holiday videogame market
Incredibles 2 also did well in the world of interactive media, where its movie tie-in game for the Nintendo Switch helped Nintendo ($TYO:7974) rule over the Amazon best-seller list.
Yesterday, there were five Nintendo Switch items in the top-10 best-selling Video Games products: the newest Just Dance 2019 for Nintendo Switch (2nd), a Switch bundle with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (3rd), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (5th), a joy-con controller bundle (8th), and the aforementioned Incredibles 2 game (9th).
However, Nintedo did not have the #1 best-selling product yesterday, nor consistently over the past three days. That title belongs to Sony ($SNE), who had a 12-month PlayStation Plus membership card rank first for three consecutive days.
A PS Plus membership is required for PlayStation 4 gamers to play online, which is needed for some of the most popular games out there today such as Fortnite. With that in mind, gamers and parents of said gamers wouldn't be caught on Christmas giving out a new PS4 game without a $65 a year membership card, it seems.
Becoming is not Amazon's #1 best-seller (during Black Friday, at least)
Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming is a New York Times Best-Seller, sold 1.4 million copies in its first week... But didn't rank as the number-one best-selling book on Amazon during Black Friday
According to retail data from the past three days, Becoming was far from the best-selling book on Amazon and understandably so: there are plenty of children's books that are some of the hottest gifts for the holiday season.
These include The Wonky Donkey and a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. To find Obama's book among these average best-sellers, you'd have to dig down to around an average placement of 31.6.
On the Kindle store, Becoming fairs a bit better; it consistently ranked 2nd out of all e-books... But still lost out to Hate Notes, a romance novel by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward.
|Name||Kindle Store Rank (Average)|
|The Magnolia Story (with Bonus Content)||3.333333333|
|I Am Watching You||3.666666667|
|Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel||6.333333333|
|My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton||7|
|Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone||8.333333333|
|A Case of Need: A Novel||10.66666667|
|The Reckoning: A Novel||11|
Although not ranking #1 in either Amazon book category might be disappointing, it isn't such a big deal; when your book makes the NYT best-seller list and sells 1.4 million copies in the first week alone, are you really going to be upset over not being #1.
An Instant Pot for every kitchen
Don't know what to get a chef this holiday season? Amazon shoppers are leaning towards Instant Pot products, made by privately owned Canadian company Double Insight.
The top-three best-selling Home & Kitchen appliances on Amazon yesterday were all Instant Pot products,
|Name||Home & Kitchen Rank (Average)|
|Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, SautÃ©, Yogurt Maker and Warmer||1|
|Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, SautÃ©, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer||2|
|Instant Pot LUX60V3 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, SautÃ©, Steamer, and Warmer||3|
|Anova Culinary A2.2-120V-US Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black||4|
|ECOVACS DEEBOT N79S Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Max Power Suction, Alexa Connectivity, App Controls, Self-Charging for Hard Surface Floors & Thin Carpets||5|
|iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity||6|
|Instant Pot Ultra Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker||7|
|Cascade Complete ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent, 78 Count||8|
|Dash Rapid Egg Cooker: 6 Egg Capacity Electric Egg Cooker for Hard Boiled Eggs, Poached Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, or Omelets with Auto Shut Off Feature||9|
|Philips Turbostar Airfryer||10|
Instant Pot basically combines several products — a rice cooker, pressure cooker, and yogurt maker, to name a few — and puts it into one appliance that lists for under $100. It's a new-found necessity in home kitchens, and on Amazon, it is getting some major sales.
The gift that keeps on giving... tax refunds and virus protection
Last, but certainly not least, the world of Software is divided up into two best-sellers during Black Friday week: tax software and antivirus programs.
TurboTax ($INTU) and Norton ($SYMC) both had the best-selling product average over the past three days, averaging a rank of 3.6 in the Software category. That's better than the actual Windows 10 operating system, as well as the Microsoft ($MSFT) Office suite.
|Name||Software Rank (Average)||Software Rank (Count)|
|Norton Security Premium - 10 Devices - Amazon Exclusive 15 Month Subscription - Digital Download [PC/Mac Online Code]||3.666666667||3|
|TurboTax Premier + State 2018 Fed Efile PC/MAC Disc [Amazon Exclusive]||3.666666667||3|
|Norton Security Deluxe - 5 Device [Amazon Exclusive - 15 Month] [Download Code]||4||3|
|Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 | 1 device, Windows 10 PC/Mac Download||5.333333333||3|
|OEM Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, 1-Pack, DVD||7.666666667||3|
|TurboTax Home & Business + State 2018 Fed Efile PC/MAC Disc [Amazon Exclusive]||8.666666667||3|
|TurboTax Deluxe + State 2018 Fed Efile PC/MAC Disc [Amazon Exclusive]||10.33333333||3|
|GoPro Plus | Subscription with Monthly Auto-Renewal | Damage Replacement for your Camera, Cloud Backup + More||12||3|
|Microsoft Windows 10 Home English USB Flash Drive||13.66666667||3|
|Norton Security Premium - 10 Device [Key Card]||13.66666667||3|
The cloud storage system Dropbox ($DBX) also made an appearance in the best-selling software products, but only appeared in the top-100 for two out of the three days.