Make us your home page
Instagram

Wal-Mart lets kids decide which toys are hot for the holidays

A young toy tester takes part in a Walmart weekend event in Dallas last month. About 1,000 boys and girls ages 18 months to 10 years played with more than 50 toys and picked their favorites. The result: a top 20 list of kid-approved toys.

Associated Press

A young toy tester takes part in a Walmart weekend event in Dallas last month. About 1,000 boys and girls ages 18 months to 10 years played with more than 50 toys and picked their favorites. The result: a top 20 list of kid-approved toys.

NEW YORK — Lots of retailers come out with "hot toy" lists every holiday season, but this year Wal-Mart Stores decided to try something different: Let kids rate their favorite toys.

In a first, about 1,000 boys and girls ages 18 months to 10 years spent time over a three-day weekend in August in Dallas playing with 50-plus toys and choosing their favorites. The result is a top 20 list of kid-approved toys, out Thursday, that includes a new robotic pet Furby, a hugging Elmo and a Barbie dream house.

Retailers place their bets early on which toys will be hits and then spend heavily to market them to spur sales during the holiday season. It's a crucial time because holiday sales can make up to 40 percent of a retailers' annual revenue.

During spring planning for the holidays, one toy buyer came up with the idea to let kids be part of the process, said Scott McCall, senior vice president of toys and seasonal at Walmart U.S. Wal-Mart Stores is the world's largest retailer and the biggest seller of toys.

"It validated our assortment and caused us to think differently about this holiday," he said.

Making the list? Lots of new takes on classic toys, McCall said, like a new robotic pet Furby and a new Barbie Dreamhouse playset. TV show-related toys were also popular, including a Sofia the First talking doll, and a Doc McStuffins Get Better Check Up Center, both Disney properties, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset based on the Nickelodeon show.

Cuddly interactive toys are also on the list, including an Elmo doll based on the Sesame Street character that gives hugs and FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey, a monkey that coos and cuddles.

With Christmas still months away, it is too soon to tell which toys will actually become the must-have toys of the season. But Walmart plans to promote the top 20 toys with dedicated shelf space proclaiming the toys "Chosen by Kids" and with prominent positions on its website and in circulars, beginning later this month.

"We're going to make sure to showcase our top toys in a different way," McCall said.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailer is also offering a layaway program with no opening fees for the holidays. A minimum down payment of 10 percent or $10, and a minimum purchase of $15 per item or $50 total, is required.

Wal-Mart lets kids decide which toys are hot for the holidays 09/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 9:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  2. Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to help more kids in Tampa Bay

    Health

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.

    Grace Savage, a 10-year-old girl with a chromosomal disorder made a trek to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last year, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation intends to beef up its presence in the Tampa Bay area after a reorganization. The region is now the responsibility of the foundation's Southern Florida chapter, one of the most active in the country, with more than 11,000 wishes granted so far. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  3. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.

    Medicine

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  4. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  5. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]