Are Harry Potter Legos More Popular than Harry Potter Movies?

Pattern Data Science

April 25, 2022

It’s been a decade since the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron announced the first official International Harry Potter Day, and Pottermania is just as strong as ever. The holiday, which takes place every year on May 2nd (the date on which the fated Battle of Hogwarts took place), gives fans of the smash hit series a chance to celebrate the Wizarding World all over again.

As the leader in global ecommerce acceleration, we’re constantly analyzing trends in online commerce to help brands understand how various events impact consumer behavior. So, with the 10th Anniversary of International Harry Potter Day coming right up, we wanted to discover:

  • Does Harry Potter merchandise receive any kind of boost during International Harry Potter Day?
  • Which types of Harry Potter merchandise are the most popular?
  • And has the pandemic changed demand for Harry Potter merch?

To find out the answers to these questions, our data science team examined several search terms and categories associated with Harry Potter and analyzed market demand on Amazon over the past few years.

Does International Harry Potter Day drive online demand for Harry Potter?

The first thing we wanted to examine was what kind of impact, if any, International Harry Potter Day has on online demand for all things Potter. To do this, we took a look back at weekly demand for various Harry Potter related categories and items on Amazon U.S. Let’s start with the broadest look possible by examining demand for “Harry Potter” as a general term.

Interestingly, last year it was actually Valentine’s Day that drove the most demand for Harry Potter as a broad term. The week of Harry Potter Day didn’t appear to have any major impact on demand, although there was a slight bump the following week of May 9 - 15.

Demand spiked again in late June and early July, while Halloween and the end of the year also brought surges in demand.

To get a clearer picture, however, we next need to dig a little deeper into some specific Harry Potter categories and items. Let’s start by seeing which were the most popular last year.

When comparing total Amazon demand in all of 2021, “Harry Potter gifts” saw far and away the most demand, 73% more than the next most popular category, the Harry Potter movies.

Harry Potter legos were the next most popular, while merchandise came in fourth, and the books that started it all rounded out the top five.

So did any one of these categories see a big Harry Potter Day boost? Let’s compare the change in weekly demand for each category.

Here we see that none of the top 5 categories received any significant bump during the week of International Harry Potter Day, and only the movies even experienced above annual average demand that week.

All five categories started the year strong, particularly Harry Potter merchandise, and most saw demand slowly decline as winter turned to spring. The books and movies both saw an increase in demand during the last week of June and first week of July.

Unsurprisingly Harry Potter gifts and Harry Potter Lego both rely heavily on the holiday shopping season to drive demand, but the other categories prove that demand for all things Harry Potter remains consistently high most of the year.

Which Harry Potter characters drive the most online demand?

Of course, searches for “Harry Potter” themed items could be about the franchise at large, or about the Boy Who Lived himself, but we wanted to see how some of the other characters from the series stacked up.

Let’s start by comparing total demand for some of the most popular character’s wands, since some say the wand makes the witch or wizard (or the other way around):

Out of the pool of the six wands we compared, “Harry Potter Wand” captured over half of the total demand. This almost certainly includes some people simply searching for wands related to the universe as well as those searching for Harry’s wand itself.

In a strong second place is Hermione Granger’s wand, while the fabled Elder Wand came in at number three, and Ron Weasly’s wand just edged out Professor Snape and Lord Voldemort’s wands.

Taking the same view at character costumes shows once again that the likely mix of Harry-specific costumes as well as broader franchise costumes, put “Harry Potter costume” at a clear #1. Hermione is the second most popular character when it comes to costumes as well, although this time capturing nearly a third of demand.

Voldemort and snape leapfrogged Ron this time, proving more villainous costumes are always in high demand.

And here’s a quick view at the popular Funko Pop figurines shows finally gives Ron Weasley a win, edging out Hermione for second place behind the particularly dominant Harry Potter Funko Pop search term.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s take a look at one of the elements of the Harry Potter franchise that fans connect with the most: the four Hogwarts Houses.

Here we see a fascinating reversal of what you might expect based on the books and films. Gryffindor, home of nearly every major protagonist in the series, including Harry Potter himself, actually saw the least demand of the four houses.

Instead it was Slytherin, the house most associated with dark witches and wizards and all the major villains in the series, that saw the most demand.

Hufflepuff, the house known for good vibes and good friends, edged out the bookish Ravenclaw for second place in the race for the online demand House Cup.

Interestingly, Slytherin’s place on top has been a somewhat more recent development.

From January 2019 through July 2020, Hufflepuff was actually the most popular house. Then, in September 2020, popularity for Slytherin shot through the roof, and has remained consistently the most popular house since.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is Gryffindor’s status as the least popular house.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Harry Potter merchandise

Finally, we wanted to see if the COVID-19 pandemic had any immediate or long-term impact on demand for different types of Harry Potter merchandise. Were people eager to turn to a cozy favorite old series in the early days of lockdown? Or has the series grown less popular over the past couple years?

Let’s dig deeper into the data to find out, starting with a look at Harry Potter Merchandise:

Demand was at its all time highest in early 2019, but dropped off quickly toward the end of the year. There doesn’t appear to have been a major pandemic influence, as that drop came in October of 2019, and stayed consistently low throughout early 2020, getting a significant boost in August, and then again during the holidays.

2021, like in 2019, started the year on a high, only to fall off to a consistent level throughout the rest of the year.

Let’s next take a look at the two biggest elements of the franchise: the books and the movies.

There does appear to be a general year-over-year decline in demand for Harry Potter books over the past 3 years.

In 2020, however, we do see demand pick up in March through May, perhaps as millions of American children found themselves picking up the series while remaining socially distant at home.

2021, meanwhile, saw demand lag far behind each of the previous two years, possibly because readers already picked up their books in 2020.

The movies have seen more inconsistent year over year changes. 2019 was consistently ahead of 2020, while last year saw demand up during the first half of the year, but it dropped significantly in September when the Harry Potter movies became available on HBO Max.

With the series finding a new home on that streaming service, it’s unsurprising that 2022 has seen demand remain at an all time low.

Harry Potter costumes, meanwhile, were clearly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The category relies heavily on Halloween, and 2020, which saw many Americans spending the holiday isolating at home, saw demand down by 41% compared to 2019.

2021 saw demand rebound significantly, nearly matching 2019’s pre-pandemic levels.

Another Harry Potter category that was impacted even more heavily by the pandemic?

Puzzles:

Demand for Harry Potter Puzzles exploded in the first months of lockdown. March 2020 saw demand rise by an astounding 216% compared to March of 2019, and April was no different, with demand up by 200% compared to the previous year.

By June demand had settled somewhat, but it remained above 2019 for the rest of the year.

A lesson for brands

From our data, it doesn’t appear that International Harry Potter Day drives massive demand for Harry Potter merchandise, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the holiday and other days to drive big demand for the franchise.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.

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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears
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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears

**Instrument Pricing Changes Tune Amid Record Inflation** Compared to 2022, consumers should expect to pay more for musical instruments, but the rate of inflation shows signs of slowing. **The backstory:** America’s most popular musical instruments saw a notable price increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but the rate of inflation eased in Q4 ’22. **Why it matters:** Slowing inflation within this product category could indicate economic pressures like increased demand, rising labor costs, and supply chain disruptions are easing across the consumer landscape. **What we’re seeing:** The average cost of musical instruments increased 7.5% from 2021 – 2022; however, when analyzing individual increases year over year, some instruments saw price increases as high as 21%. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-02Lwk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/02Lwk/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones experienced a 21.73% increase compared to 2021 * Trumpets +20.08% * Flutes +18.6% * Recorders +16.13% * Saxophones +13.63% * Clarinets +10.55% * Drums +5.41% * Ukuleles +5.17% **However:** Inflation among these same instruments was significantly less in Q4 ’22 compared to Q4 ’21. In some cases, prices decreased from Q4 ’21 – Q4 ‘22: <iframe title="Price Change for Instruments — Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-6X6GZ" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6X6GZ/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="379" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * Trombones +11.23% * Flutes +10.41% * Saxophones +5.94% * Clarinets +5.59% * Trumpets +3.10% * Recorders +2.85% * Drums -2.59% * Ukuleles -8.46% **Moreover:** Certain instruments saw inflation reverse in 2022. On average, prices for melodicas, guitars, and violas saw their prices decrease by 4.41%, 3.19%, and 0.97%, respectively. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Instruments — 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0Tefk" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0Tefk/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="259" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Diving Deeper:** Inflation was more significant when comparing Q4 ’21 to Q4 ’20 than when comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, indicating a slowing down of price increases for consumers. <iframe title="YOY Q4 Price Change for Instruments — 2020 – 2022" aria-label="Stacked Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-p6iqt" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/p6iqt/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="206" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * In Q4 ’21, average prices for all instruments were up 8.89% compared to Q4 ’20. * When comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, the average price for all instruments only increased by 2.65%. **The takeaway:** While consumers should expect to pay higher prices for instruments this year, overall inflation impact within this product category appears to be slowing down. With National Ukulele Day coming up on February 2, now is a great time for ecommerce brands to take advantage of slowing economic worries and reach new consumers. * Want Pattern’s data science team to power your brand with consumer insights like these? Contact us to [request more information](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) today.

Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us
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Slowing Inflation? What Musical Instrument Pricing Tells Us

It’s safe to say consumers and brands alike are eager for a change to the pattern of rising inflation, steadily increasing in many ecommerce categories . Pattern’s internal team’s data scientists analysis of instrument pricing shows a glimmer of hope that inflation may be slowing, which would be great news for brands selling online.

At Pattern, we’re interested in and monitoring trends and news related to pricing since price is a key factor in a brand’s profitability (as explained in the Ecommerce Equation). When brands are able to optimize their price, conversions, and traffic, they can optimize their profitability. And profitability leads to better allocation of resources, better brand control, and gives leaders the ability to expand their presence to new markets worldwide.

YoY Instrument Pricing Increased at a Slower Pace

When analyzing the pricing changes of instruments from 2021 to 2022, our teams found that prices increased, but at a slower rate than from 2020 to 2021.

As shown below, the year over year Q4 changes show quite a lower rate of increase.

Inflation Improvements Raise Profitability

Because inflation impacts online shopping behaviors, lower inflation can lead to better overall profitability for brands. This idea, of course, is nuanced, but Pattern’s Ecommerce Equation can help illustrate the general principle.

When inflation rises, consumers change their spending habits. Shoppers spend more time researching products, forego premium, higher-priced brands, and buy more in bulk. Brands tend to see a loss of loyalty as they’re forced to raise prices.

Price is a key variable in the Ecommerce Equation: price x conversion x traffic = profitability. As inflation lowers, brands can expect better performance in all of these areas—more traffic as spending habits return to normal, higher conversion from returning customers, and price that better fits consumer demand. As inflation lowers and these variables stabilize, brands will see profitability increase.

Raise Your Profitability with Pattern

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern is obsessed with gathering data that helps our brand partners succeed. We’ve created best-in-class technology, models, and analytics to understand changes on the horizon and inform our decisions. With an incredible team of data obsessed Pattern employees, we see what makes the difference in truly great ecommerce performance and apply those learnings for brand partners. 

Ready to improve your profitability? Contact us here.

Inflation hits LEGO, but lighter than you’d suspect
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Inflation hits LEGO, but lighter than you’d suspect

**Some sets get more expensive, while others become cheaper** In June 2022, LEGO announced it would be increasing the prices of their sets. Ever since, consumers anticipated their favorite plastic construction toy prices to increase [by as much as 25%](https://9to5toys.com/2022/06/02/lego-officially-confirms-price-increases-coming-to-most-sets-later-this-fall/). **Why it matters:** Consumers are feeling the sting of inflation in all areas of their lives, from groceries and gas to entertainment. With LEGO Day right around the corner (January 28th), fans may wonder whether it’s a good time to purchase a set. **What we’re seeing:** While inflation continues to ravage the economy, consumers are seeing a small reprieve when it comes to the pricing of LEGO sets. Despite the anticipated 25% price increase, average prices among the top LEGO sets only increased by 4.7% year over year when comparing Q4 2022 to Q4 2021. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for All LEGO Sets – 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-3gn9L" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3gn9L/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="393" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> * During this same period, annual prices for some of the most popular LEGO sets were up as much as 23%. <iframe title="U.S. Price Change for LEGO Sets – Q4 22 vs. Q4 21" aria-label="Split Bars" id="datawrapper-chart-vh7B2" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/vh7B2/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="708" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **Yes, but:** Prices of other popular sets were down by as much as -12% during this same period. Depending on the kit, consumers might actually find some popular LEGO sets have gotten less expensive since 2021: * LEGO Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid was down -6% in Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021 * LEGO Creator Tuk Tuk was down -7% * LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon was down -10% * LEGO Ideas Tree House Business Kit was down -12% **However:** Even for the sets that experienced a price decrease, the decrease was less significant in Q4 2022 as set prices increased across the board following the June 2022 announcement. <iframe title="YOY Price Change for Individual LEGO Sets – 2022 vs. 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-KjSXz" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KjSXz/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400" data-external="1"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **The takeaway:** While prices didn’t increase as much as consumers anticipated, inflation still had an effect on the cost of LEGO sets. As ecommerce brands prepare for increased demand ahead of LEGO Day, they could increase customer interest in all sets by promoting the sets that have seen a price decrease. * Pattern’s data science team analyzes consumer demand on Amazon to understand how economic forces impact pricing and shopping behavior. If you’re interested in using insights like these to propel your ecommerce strategy forward, [contact our team today. ](https://pattern.com/contact-us/)