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What’s cool for kids this Christmas?

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australian Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=2,876. Base: Australian children 6-13.

True, it’s only mid-November, but already the festive season is shaping up to be huge: according to the 2016 pre-Christmas spending predictions just released by Roy Morgan Research and the Australian Retailers’ Association, Aussies will shell out more than $48 billion in the lead-up to December 25! So what kind of gifts will our kids be hoping for this year? As always, the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey remind us that what children think is cool one year may be old news by the next…

Take the iPod Touch. Back in 2012, the iPod Touch was Roy Morgan’s top Christmas pick for kids, considered ‘really cool’ by no less than 67% of Australian children aged 6-13. Fast forward to 2016, and it doesn’t even crack the Top 10 of the Kids’ Cool List, having plunged to sixteenth position (32%). The standard iPod suffered a similar fate, slipping from 63% in 2012 to 34% in 2016.

But while the coolest product has changed, the coolest brand remains the same: Apple is still number one (and two) in kids’ hearts: 69% think the iPad is ‘really cool’, followed by 54% who feel the same way about the iPhone. In both cases, girls are more likely than boys to covet these items: 71% vs 68% in the case of the former, and 59% vs 50% for the latter.

The Cool List: what Australian kids think is really cool now


Source: Roy Morgan Young Australian Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=2,876. Base: Australian children 6-13.

And the techie trend doesn’t stop there, with computers in general (including laptops and tablets) currently considered really cool by 52% of kids (53% of boys, 51% of girls), putting them in third spot.

A ‘non-device’ is in fourth place: Lego/Lego games, really cool in the eyes of 43% of Australian children. Of course, even this timeless kids’ toy has adapted to the digital age, and now offers a range of web-based games in addition to their physical building blocks. Lego’s popularity is due primarily to its cachet with boys (54%) rather than girls (32%).

In fact, among the 10 things currently considered coolest by Australian kids, eight owe their high standing to their popularity with boys. For example, while 55% of boys would no doubt be thrilled to find a Nerf Gun under the Christmas tree, only 24% of girls would share this delight! Similarly, a PlayStation 4 would be a far bigger Christmas hit with boys (53% of whom think they’re cool) than girls (22%), as would anything Star Wars-related (50% boys/21% girls).

So besides Apple products, what’s likely to score points with girls this Christmas? The Young Australians Survey suggests that you could do a lot worse than give presents related to Disney, the Smurfs, Lion King and Roxy…

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As another festive season rolls around, parents and marketers alike will once again be asking themselves: what kind of Christmas presents have kids got their hearts set on this year? Not surprisingly, digital devices would be well received, but where the iPod Touch and standard iPod topped the cool list just a few years ago, technology has since moved on, with iPhones being the music player of choice these days.

“Other victims of technology’s vertiginous evolution are the Xbox 360, which has seen its cool factor plummet since 2012 in the wake of Xbox One’s release; and Nintendo 3DS. Given its virtual reality capabilities, PlayStation 4’s growing popularity with kids is no surprise: it’s not just grown-ups that get a kick out of VR!

“Of course, it’s good to see that some of the old favourites are still cool, with Lego in particular trending steadily upwards over the last few years, peaking at a 76% approval rate among boys aged 6-7. Sportswear brand Nike has also surged in popularity since 2012, especially among older children: 68% of girls and 62% of boys aged 12-13 would be excited to spy the unmistakeable Nike ‘Swoosh’ among their festive-season swag.

“With around 3,000 young respondents per year, Roy Morgan’s Young Australian Survey has been measuring the changing tastes, opinions and activities of Aussie kids for many years, and is an invaluable resource for retailers keen to ensure they’ve got what young consumers want this Christmas, not last Christmas or the one before that…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%