#TBT- Throwback Brands and Toys: Nostalgia Among Generations



From the sneaker industry going “retro” to Hollywood bringing back old movie titles like It and the recently announced Dumbo remake, creating nostalgia is big business. To understand which could be next for a refresh, we used E-Score Brand to analyze which brands are most Nostalgic for a group with growing buying power and influence, 25-34 year olds.


Bring Back the Entertainment

For 25-34 year olds, nostalgia is wrapped-up in the entertainment brands of their youth, as the top 10 most Nostalgic brands are all entertainment brands. Entertainment is a great benchmark for significant times in our lives. As we age, movies, shows, or games can send us on a nostalgic trip to a specific time, place, and/or feeling. Understanding which entertainment brands generate feelings of nostalgia in specific demographic groups is important when looking to capitalize on the trend of refreshing brands.

The movie industry is ahead of the game with creating nostalgia for this age group. The last year has seen titles like The Jungle Book and Ghostbusters in theaters, while Tomb Raider and Jumanji are on their way. E-Score data suggests the next title up for refresh, Beauty and the Beast, should do well with this group as it is the entertainment brand most Recommended to Family and Friends, and tops this list for One of My Favorites. Capitalizing on nostalgia for a group that is in their child raising years puts the brand in position to be passed on to a new generation.

The most interesting brand to make the top 10 is Mortal Kombat. The cutting-edge video game from the 90s is tied for the highest score for the Cool attribute on this list. Nostalgia and the cool factor, coupled with the fact it is the brand people Would Try New Products from most, are reasons the video game franchise has endured and been rumored for a movie reboot for years.

Kings of Nostalgia

The most Nostalgic brand among 25-34 year olds is Hanna-Barbera. The entertainment company provided many of the cartoons and characters that enriched the childhoods of this group. For this reason, not only is Hanna-Barbera the most Nostalgic brand, but it is also the most Classic, with iconic intellectual property like The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, and The Smurfs.

We looked at E-Score Character to understand what about these characters helped Hanna-Barbera captivate this group. When we looked at some notable HB characters in E-Score Character we found that three characters could be primed for reboots.


Scooby-Doo is the most popular HB character. Topping all HB characters for Appeal and the Funny attribute, Scooby has been a mainstay of entertainment for decades, across multiple generations.

On the opposite end, The Jetsons characters have been dormant for quite some time. However, they may represent the best opportunity for a refresh as 25-34 year olds indicate The Jetsons are at the top of the list of HB characters they Would Like to See More. Jetsons movie anyone?

Similarly, Tom and Jerry may be ready for a screen refresh; the small screen that is. The iconic duo should be on cartoon buyer’s radar as people 25-34 years old indicated they are Very Interested in a TV Show from them.

If you are aiming to take advantage of the nostalgia sweeping entertainment, Hanna-Barbera and its characters are a good place to look.

Never Too Old for Toys

While entertainment brands create feelings of nostalgia within 25-34 year olds, toys do it for 35-54 year olds. For this group the classic toys they played with as kids generated some of their fondest memories. As this group ages, they will look to familiar brands from their youth to gift memories to younger generations where possible.


One of the most enduring toys of our time is Barbie. It is the most Nostalgic and Classic toy brand for 35-54 year olds. The brand evokes strong sentiments within this group as one consumer said it brings back, “Fond memories of my childhood.” The enduring nature of the brand is evident as another person said Barbie is, “a doll that I played with as a child and now my daughter plays with.”

Quality is of primary importance to this age group. This emphasis on quality for over 100 years is a reason Gund, the leader on this list for the High-Quality attribute, ranks highest on this list for One of My Favorites and second for Brand Loyalty. Gund’s quality has endured in the minds of 25-54 year olds, helping it become the second most Nostalgic toy brand among the group.

Another enduring brand is Lego. However, this brand has not endured because of childhood sentiments or quality. Lego is Nostalgic because the brand is fun at its core. In fact, the brand ranks highest for Fun and Entertaining among toy brands. It is also the brand 35-54 year olds Would Recommend and Would Try New Products from most.


Looking to the past can be a great window into what will work in the future. Nostalgia is a powerful sentiment and understanding which brands are creating Nostalgic feelings within specific demographics is important. E-Score Brand is the only tool able to asses Nostalgic and 38 other attributes across customizable demographics, in an effort to help you understand what brands will and will not work if rebooted or refreshed.


  • Data for nostalgic brands was found using E-Score Brand. Sample was taken among respondents 25-34.
  • Hanna-Barbera character data was found using E-Score Character sorted by respondents 25-34. We selected only the Animated, Broadcast TV, and Cable/ Satellite TV categories. We then manually scrub any non-Hanna-Barbera characters from the list.
  • Data for nostalgic toys comes from E-Score Brand sorted filtered for ages 35-54. We then selected the Toys and Toy Manufacturers categories.


Feel free to utilize these infographics in your social shares or other uses. To download, simply click the images and right-click, or pull the full sized images.

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One comment

  1. […] Examining the brands that successfully tap into nostalgic feelings gives us good insights into what has worked in the past, and apply those findings to our own upcoming marketing campaigns. With the goal of trying to understand this trend in more detail, E-Poll recently conducted as analysis of nostalgic brands #TBT- Throwback Brands and Toys: Nostalgia Among Generations. […]

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