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Every year, Americans spend more on Christmas than they did the year before. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend 4% more on the holidays each year. In 2019, consumers said they would spend more than $1,000 over the holiday, up from $967 the year before. But did you ever wonder just what they spend that money on?

Every winter we’d bombarded with post-holiday consumer data: online vs. brick and mortar, chains vs. independent stores, debt and credit and black friday. Sharing numbers on holiday spending is kind of national pastime. But all of it leaves us a little cold. We want to know who’s buying what and why? Here’s what we know.

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The Child will be delivered in April

On November 12, 2019, Disney blessed the world with The Child, better known on social media as “Baby Yoda”, via its live-action Star Wars saga The Mandalorian on Disney+. The adorable, soup-sipping, green grub was an instant hit and millions of fans flocked to e-commerce sites to grab some Baby Yoda merch.

But, inexplicably, Disney had no Baby Yoda merchandise to sell. Not a t-shirt, mug, or action figure. This from the company that virtually invented merchandising. This from the franchise that made Mattel toys billions in the 70s and 80s. So what did everyone do? They clicked on thousands of “Pre-Order” buttons for Baby Yoda items as soon as they came on line, sending the adorable jedi up Amazon’s sales ranks.

By December 5, the $9 Funko Pop! Star Wars “The Child” action figure was the number-one selling item in all of Amazon’s Toys category, and it won’t even ship until April. That’s right, just weeks before Christmas and days after Black Friday, the best-selling toy was a Star Wars action figure that wouldn’t be delivered in time to even become a stocking stuffer.

Meanwhile, pre-order places in line were selling on eBay for $129. That’s the spirit.
And as of this week, Amazon lists dozens of products in its top-100 products across the Toys & Games, Entertainment Collectibles, and Handmade Products categories. These products come and go in Amazon’s sales ranks because, in each case, they sell out of pre-orders.

In other words, Baby Yoda is going to have a stellar 2020.

One bathroom for all of us

The holidays are all about family gatherings: multiple generations sharing a meal, gifts, and the guest bathroom. This year, holiday shoppers were more prepared than ever.

That’s because leading up to the holiday season, Poo-Pourri shot to Amazon’s top-10, peaking at the #1 spot on December 21, 2019, just in time for Christmas.


What is Poo-Pourri, you ask? It’s a pre-poop spray that undermines toilet stink before it happens. It was created in 2007 by Suzy Batiz, and the company has now sold more that 60-million bottles. Poo-Pourin hit #2 in 2018 and #5 in December 2017. It seems people are, uh, catching wind of the product in order to keep the bathroom smelling fresh.

The air-fryer no one knew they couldn’t live without.

For every generation, there’s a product that promises to do a thing that we’ve been doing just fine for years … but better. In the 2000s it was the sous-vide water bath. In the 2010s it was the insta-pot. In the past couple years, though, holiday sales data shows that the air-fryer is the new hot appliance.

During the 2018 holiday season, 21 air fryers made their way to Amazon’s top-100 at least once. The Black+Decker PuriFry Oil-Free Air Fryer even made the top-10, peaking at 9. In 2019, the average sales rank for all items sold at Amazon with the term “Air Fryer” in their titles peaked at 31.5 on December 22, just in time for that Prime next-day air ahead of Christmas. 

As for whether or not air fryer’s are all that, experts are beginning to call them a lot of hot air.

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