Insight: Beano for Brands research reveals what kids really want for Christmas 2019

Beano Studios kids-first consultancy, Beano for Brands, today reveals what kids want for Christmas 2019.

Beano for Brands asked kids about everything Christmas related, from their favourite things to do at Christmas to where they get their present ideas from, and how they respond to old traditions.

More than a third of kids know exactly what they want for Christmas right now (35%).

And kids are more likely to gather ideas via digital sources such as YouTube and online search, rather than from traditional media like TV.

  • Kids are compiling present lists, mentally or physically, all year round – 5% of kids polled start in January and nearly a quarter of kids have done theirs by Halloween.
  • Kids prize family above all else – 43% of kids said their ‘best bit about Christmas’ was spending time with family, with just 33% saying presents.

But tech has created new family traditions with the likes of Santa trackers playing a key part of Christmas (44% of our audience use them) alongside s
ocial sharing such as Elf on The Shelf photos (32% of kids count this as one of the special things about their family Christmas).

While previous generations may have insisted on the latest device, today’s kids just want to personalise their smartphone or iPad. Apple’s iPhone was the top branded Christmas present received by Beano.comkids in 2018, although kids were happy with an iPhone 5/6 as long as they could customise it with cases/pop sockets.

Mythical creatures are out: replaced by their real-life spitting counterparts. The Fortnite effect is strong for 2019, and llamas– made popular by the game – are the Christmas animals in demand.


  • Traditional pastimes spike at Christmas (nearly half of our audience bake biscuits and treats over Christmas). A poll found that 20% of kids are looking for ideas/help with Christmas-themed baking, with 18% wanting the low down on homemade Christmas presents. They also play games together as a family.
  • Watching TVis central to family bonding, particularly at Christmas.But whereas families were once glued to the Queen’s speech and festive specials of favourite shows such as BBC One’s Strictly, now it’s all about Netflix and films.

Family viewing is tailored to kids’ choices (
43% of kids told us they get to choose the films their families watch on TV at Christmas).

  • Retro toys are big news:Hasbro launched six Star Wars retro action figures as they were designed back in 1978; Jenga is having a revival and featured on this year’s Love Island; and Monopoly is still the game kids like to play most on Christmas Day with their families.

Films also experience a comeback at Christmas with Home Alone chosen as the number one movie by kids, and Mariah Carey and Wham picked by kids as their top festive tunes.

Emma Scott, CEO, Beano Studios, said this latest research, following on from Beano Studios’ seminal Generation Alpha study, reconfirmed that, in many ways today’s kids – with their focus on tradition and family time – have more in common with their grandparents than their millennial parents. This creates unique challenges and opportunities for retailers.

She said: “For these tech-enabled kids with old-fashioned family values, Christmas needs to be a year-round plan as kids are constantly gathering potential present ideas. Retailers need to think social but authentic as ‘fake news’ and phoney influencers are easy to spot.”

She added: “In a world of transient crazes, Fortnite has been a constant, because it taps into kids’ key motivations: it’s social, repetitive and enables kids to be seen as experts by their peers. Pinpointing ‘sticky’ trends is key to engaging with this age group, as is an understanding of their enjoyment of personalisation and their desire to be helped to fit in.”

Beano Studios’ 10 Golden Rules For Christmas (By Kids):

1. ‘Online and friends give me ideas (not TV)’
2. ‘Parents NOT presents’
3. ‘MY tech (forget the hi-tech)’
4. ‘Trot on unicorns, I want llamas’
5. ‘Online traditions are important too’
6. ‘No to solo play’
7. ‘I make my lists all year round’
8. ‘Sorry Queen, I want Netflix’
9. ‘Online data is my new collectible’
10. ‘Old toys are cool’



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