eBay Looks to Out-Toy Amazon and Target with New Catalogue

April Davis By April Davis | 16 Nov 2018

In a move that mimics Amazon, eBay has unveiled a retro toy catalogue as it moves to profit from the demise of popular children’s retailer, Toys ‘R’ Us.

Like its main rival, eBay has joined the fight for toy supremacy, looking to take advantage of the $1 billion void in toy sales that Toys ‘R’ Us left behind when it closed its global operations.

Starting on Friday, eBay will be distributing its holiday Toy Book to shoppers at its Toytopia pop-up at New York City’s Chelsea Market. The catalogue will also be mailed to millions of consumers, while four million ‘mini versions’ of the publication can be found in copies of People magazine sold on newsstands and mailed to People subscribers.

Other retailers distributing bulky toy catalogues this festive season include the likes of Amazon and Target as big-name companies look to fill the toy void that Toys ‘R’ Us left behind. To differentiate its own offering, eBay has focused heavily on the retro toy market, hoping to lure shoppers to its site with the promise of finding rare and antique toys within its unique marketplace structure.

eBay advertises hard-to-find retro toys in its answer to Amazon’s toy catalogue.

The online marketplace is also offering shoppers a traditional bricks-and-mortar experience, opening its Chelsea Market pop-up on Friday morning, where children will reportedly be able to play with the retro toys featured within eBay’s new catalogue.

Although, eBay will face fierce competition from retailers that have a bigger, more established in-store network, offering consumers the bricks-and-mortar experience they used to have with Toys ‘R’ Us, plus a few other innovative cross-channel features. Target, for instance, has increased its toy section in stores by a “quarter-million additional square feet” to house extra merchandise and run in-store events for children and their families. Walmart has taken a similar approach by expanding its toy selection by 30 percent in the lead up to the holidays.

Looking a little closer to home, eBay Australia has predicted the biggest toy sellers for this festive season, with retro-remakes set to be the most popular.

“This year, we’ve seen a shift away from screens with kids being encouraged to play in new ways, often involving the rest of the family, and parents couldn’t be happier. What we really love seeing is the resurgence of some retro favourites – from Polly Pocket and Tamagotchi to Betty Spaghetty – allowing big kids to revisit their childhood,” said Julie Nestor, chief marketing officer for Australia and New Zealand.

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