So Many Barbies
November 30, 2022 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Play-Doh in Panama and Monopoly in Malawi: the most popular toys in the world.
posted by gottabefunky (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think googling "Are Lincoln Logs the worst gift I can buy for a kid?" makes them popular.
posted by sevenless at 12:19 PM on November 30, 2022 [8 favorites]

Yeah, I can't think of one single kid I know in 2022 who actually has Lincoln Logs.

Seeing Barbie so popular around the world reminds me of one of my all time favorite comments on Metafilter.
posted by bondcliff at 12:41 PM on November 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ok, I know these maps are silly and don't measure what they claim to measure, but it's funny the American Girl dolls are Canada's most popular toy.
posted by the primroses were over at 1:21 PM on November 30, 2022 [5 favorites]

And the UK's favourite is... Stickle Bricks? Which I haven't seen since I was in primary school 45 years ago. Apparently they're still made though (and are still the shittiest construction toy ever devised).
posted by pipeski at 1:30 PM on November 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Now if there ever was a MetaFilter: title tag...
posted by y2karl at 1:49 PM on November 30, 2022

Well, my little girl has Lincoln Logs, but she hasn't played with them for a couple years now. And they were kind of frustrating when she did.

In fact, drilling down into their category toys for the US, I don't think these people have any idea what they're talking about.
posted by Naberius at 1:55 PM on November 30, 2022

I'm pretty sure any sort of listicle made these days, the data is collected in such a way as to deliberately make people angry.

Although from a data analysis standpoint, what's happening is 5000 things get one vote, 2000 things get two votes, one thing gets three votes -- that's not actually a sign of popularity because only 3 out of 7003 votes got there -- it's a statistical problem, like calling Norseburg North Dakota the "Murder Capital of the World" because 50% of it's population were murdered when Ole shot Lena last week.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:58 PM on November 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I remember when we did that--jeez, that was one dark Prairie Home Companion episode.
posted by box at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

There's something wonderful about the top toy (by whatever method this is) in Canada being American Girl Dolls. Somewhere, a flannel wearing Canuck wearing a Roots toque emblazoned with the red maple leaf is seething.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's possible that Stickle Bricks are popular in the UK because most schools and childcares have them. They're cheap, little kids like them and they're hard for a child to swallow.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 8:50 PM on November 30, 2022

Ah yes, Stickle Bricks. The toy that is great for getting hair out of the carpet. Almost as good as gak.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:19 PM on November 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I thought I read somewhere that the most popular toy in the world is the stick.
Maybe few people Google ‘stick’.
posted by MtDewd at 5:24 AM on December 1, 2022

They went with Google searches as the indicator of popularity, and not, y’know, sales? Really?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on December 1, 2022

Huh, I've seen Stickle Bricks around, but never knew what they were called. I always thought the design was questionable as a toddler toy, because the brush-like "stickles" seem perfect for retaining all sorts of crud.

The number of countries playing "The Game of Life" is, frankly, alarming. Or maybe they're just searching on Google, desperately trying to understand, because it doesn't make any fucking sense?

Also, a bit amusing that while Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan may not agree on much, they all apparently seem to like Ludo (essentially what in the US is called Parcheesi). It's like the cricket of board games.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:33 AM on December 1, 2022

Sales would be a more informative basis, but it's a lot harder and maybe impossible for you to get all the companies involved to provide that info broken down by country.

So they went with Google searches because Google makes that info public.

Ludo is derived from an older game which could have some influence.
posted by RobotHero at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2022

I just searched for the most popular toys in the UK over recent years and came up with a series of lists so heterogeneous that I think no toy appeared on any two lists.

Nor were Stickle Bricks on any of them.
posted by Phanx at 8:10 AM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

To find each country’s most uniquely popular toy, we used a ‘location quotient’ method to determine how much more popular a toy is locally than globally.
What these maps tend to do is compare to the average for the world. So what it means is Stickle Bricks aren't really the most popular toy in the UK, probably nowhere near the most popular, but it has above-average popularity in the UK compared to the rest of the world.
posted by RobotHero at 8:55 AM on December 1, 2022

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