You know we must be in a recession when the “hot” holiday toy of the 2010 Christmas shopping season are Zhu Zhu robot hamsters. These rodent toys retail for under $10/each (plus accessories) and I don’t really know much about what they do. I guess they do things like hamsters, without the smell, waste, or obligation to feed them.
People waited in long lines to get these hamsters, and many were unsuccessful – a classic case of demand exceeding supply. I am sure that people are hawking them on sites like Ebay right now, similar to what was done when things like XBox and Wii game consoles were the hottest toys that couldn’t be found in stores.
Unfortunately for the company, they didn’t buy RobotHamsters.com, and someone else was able to buy it a few weeks ago. I’m sure most kids know the brand name, but it’s the parents that are searching around to buy them, and I am sure most are calling them “robot hamsters.” I guess one company’s loss is another company’s opportunity.
This is similar to the Myachi hand sacks that have also been popular. I went to Toys R Us with my friend Lonnie and his family a few months ago, and one of the founders of Myachi was in a prime spot playing with his toy. The kids were mesmerized, and Lonnie’s son mentioned that he had one as did his friends. Lonnie and I asked the guy a bunch of questions, and I couldn’t remember the brand name for the life of me until I just Googled it.
Unfortunately for Myachi, which was founded by two college students over 10 years ago and had their domain name registered 1998, another company was able to buy the generic domain name HandSacks.com in 2007, and they’re now a competitor. While all the kids may remember a brand name, it’s the parents who hear about these toys second-hand and need to buy them. If the companies just owned the generic domain name, which were available to register even after the brands were successful, they would probably see increased online sales.
Anyway, happy Black Friday.
I see that robothamsters.com points to a sedo parked page. I’d be careful what pops up on those sponsored ads, if I were the owner.
If the person had other ads displayed, they wouldn’t make any money.
It’s an $8 gamble for someone. It can pay off if they make some decent money in the next few weeks. IMO, a one pager about the robots would be better than a parked page in this case. Perhaps they could add Amazon or Toys R Us affiliate links.
Wouldn’t it be wiser for a person to spend their time and money on Web sites that will be valuble long-term, instead of trying to make a few bucks off the latest toy trend?
As a new domain investor, I’m spending my time focusing on building Web sites that are a business and provide a service. I’m working on 20 of these Web sites right now.
I agree with whoknows. It’s better to have a name like christmastoys.com or toptoys.com that can stay with you holiday after holiday. Everybody knows that trends have a short half life. Otherwise, you are going to have to work hard every year rebuilding a site and getting it indexed. I’d rather just keep changing the toys.
It looks like Zhu Zhu pets and Twilight will be dominating the toy market this year
Just catching up on my feed reading, saw this post and had to comment.
I actually think that both Elliot and whoknows are right. A subject specific site will hold interest but only for as long as the trend is current. This is especially true for a lot of toys. With a seasonal generic such as christmastoys.com you run into relevancy issues at other times of the year. Whose to say that robot hamsters won’t be popular gifts at Easter? The truly generic solutions such as toptoys.com present the best all-round solution but if developed won’t be as niche specific and therefore may be seen as less relevant than robothamsters.com
For me the best solution would be to quickly build out the trend site in order to capitalize on the traffic and relevancy. Once the trend is dead you can associate the domain/content to your more generic catch-all site which then reinforces its relevancy for robot hamsters.
Alternatively you could build something like my site (shameless plug) http://www.qskipper.com to take advantage of the trends without taking multiple $8 TM gambles!
I dont really see these things being as hot as they were last year. Black Friday is a great time for many people to make money if they are smart about it. This is something I have been doing for years and always come out on top. These will be hot – but I doubt will bring what they did last year. Kids get bored easily and are always looking for the “next” thing