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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, December 29, 2018 1:00 am

Will unicorns remain hot trend, or will 2019 usher in next big obsession?

JESSICA GARVIN | The Journal Gazette

Looking back on this holiday shopping season, one thing has struck me clearly - it has been great to be a geek this year.

I have a 6-year-old niece who is obsessed with unicorns, and when I did my Christmas shopping this year I had absolutely no trouble finding unicorns on everything, from clothes to pillows, craft kits and stuffed animals and everything else you could think of.

Even better, there were plenty of unicorn items for adults to please their inner children. It's not weird or childish or silly to have a unicorn wallet or keychain or even lamp or figurine in your home. In fact, you are more likely to get complimented then laughed at.

Llamas were also a huge hit this year, which is great because it was no problem to find gifts for another of my friends who loves llamas. Cutesy sloths have made a comeback, as well as owls, deer, foxes and other woodsy animals. You could find many of these motifs on notecards, journals and wrapping paper. Mermaids even saw a shimmery comeback, bringing a seaside appeal to makeup, jewelry and decor.

That's not to mention the proliferation of superhero gear - with the popularity of Marvel and DC comics movies, you can find just about anything with your favorite heroic character on it. Glenbrook Square stores Box Lunch and Think Geek cater to every geeked-out whim. If it appeared in a movie, board game, video game, or cult classic, you can probably find merchandise for it there.

It will be interesting to see what 2019 brings us. Will unicorns having staying power (I sure hope so) or will they be knocked off their magical throne by the sloth's slow crawl into our hearts, as popular creator website Etsy is predicting? Or will some other crazy wild animal take its new perch on the top of the merchandising pole (eye's on you, flamingo)?

Will we turn to something else entirely, searching for the next nostalgic kick? It may be too early to tell, but whatever the hot trend, I'm sure we'll all be looking for goodies in the next holiday shopping season that make us all feel a little bit lighter, more joyful and perhaps like a kid again.