For many years, families have purchased Christmas advent calendars to countdown the days in December to Christmas Day. Historically, kids opened these calendars to find a little Christmas picture or simple chocolate behind each date numbered box. But, in recent years suppliers have created many different kinds of advent calendars.
In recent years, Lego, Playmobil and Schleich have cornered the market on toy advent calendars. But other toy makers are starting to enter the market with calendars such as Barbie’s advent calendar and Fisher Price’s Imaginext calendar. Both calendars allow kids to assemble toys with pieces retrieved each day of December. But advent calendars don’t just stop at the toy market for kids. They have gone on to be marketed to adults in areas such as chocolate and candy, cosmetics, tea and alcohol.
In Western Canada, Calgary-based Craft Beer Importers has created the Craft Beer Advent Calendar. This unique calendar has seen sales explode from 2,100 in 2012 to 23,000 in 2014. Retailers immediately purchased the entire production run for 2014. This year, the product is featuring the Intercontinental Edition, which features beers imported from 17 countries on 6 continents.
Two other breweries in the Vancouver area and one brewery in the Victoria area also have produced specialty beer advent calendars, which are mainly being sold in the Western provinces.
Innovative retailers have designed and created unique advent calendars that are available in stores or online from Amazon. Here’s a look at some of the unique calendars that can be bought this Christmas season.
The CRAFT BeerAdvent Calendar – This ‘Intercontinental Edition’ features secret beers imported from 17 countries on 6 continents around the globe. None of the beers in this calendar are currently available in Canadian stores and some were produced especially for the calendar.
Lego – The Lego and Lego friends advent calendar allows children to assemble lego scenes by adding a piece of lego each day until the scene is complete. Lego is a popular, collectable toy that has a strong following in the advent calendar market.
Playmobil – The Playmobil advent calendar is similar to the Lego advent calendar. Children can assemble a Playmobil-designed set by collecting toy pieces each day of December.
Schleich – Although lesser known than Lego and Playmobil, the Schleich advent calendar is unique and children love assembling this unique advent calendar toy scene.
Sephora – This cosmetics retailer has two different advent calendars for sale this year. The Benefit Cosmetics advent calendar features 24 mini beauty essentials. The second advent calendar is called the mini mani manor and features nail polish behind all of the December advent doors.
Barbie – In this calendar, children can collect an accessory for Barbie each day of December. This set includes a festive dress for Barbie along with accessories including purses, earrings, shoes and necklaces.
Imaginext – This calendar lets children build a rescue play piece. It includes 3 figures, a motorcycle, 2 helmets, tools and other accessories.
Angry Birds – K’Nex offers its own Angry Birds calendar featuring bricks, a launcher, 8 figures and other Christmas-themed items.
Polly Pocket – Mattel features this calendar with the polly pocket doll along with various clothes and accessories.
Kinder Surprise – Chocolate is always a popular hit and the Ferrero Kinder advent calendar provides Santa-shaped chocolates along with the popular kinder-egg and other special chocolates for adults and children to enjoy.
Starbucks – The Starbucks advent calendar features a magnetic board and 25 reusable tins containing sweet treats and a $5 mini Starbucks card. This makes a nice gift since it can be reused throughout the year.
These unique advent calendars are sure to get the excitement going as everyone counts down the days to Christmas. Watch out for more and more suppliers to develop unique advent calendars in the years to come.
With the “seasonal creep” we have seen with Christmas hitting the stores earlier and earlier, how long will it be until we have 55-day advent calendars for November and December…
Only 24 shopping days until Christmas!