It’s September, so that means it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and holiday shopping. And Walmart has unwrapped its annual list of the toys kids say they want most.
The retailer released its “Top Rated by Kids Toy List” with “36 of the hottest toys for the 2020 holiday season” tested and selected by kids.
In past years, hot toy lists have been accurate in predicting toys children put on their wish lists, with many selling out weeks ahead of Christmas. Walmart, Target and Best Buy have said they will start offering deals for the holiday season earlier than ever to reduce crowds and spread out demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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“Toys have really played a critical role in families over the last few months, especially with everyone being at home a lot more,” said Erin Fish, Walmart’s merchandising director for girls fashion dolls, in an interview with USA TODAY, noting how bikes, puzzles and pools have been popular over the past several months.
While some of the toy brands and popular characters have returned – think Paw Patrol, Barbie and L.O.L. Surprise – Walmart’s 2020 list reflects shifts in toy trends seen during the pandemic, Fish said.
The trends on this year’s list include interactive play, educational toys, screen-free indoor entertainment and energy-burning outdoor activities.
Kids can play and test out the toys virtually with the Walmart Wonder Lab at www.walmartwonderlab.com, a new site created in partnership with Eko, a developer of interactive video technology.
Several of the toys on the list are exclusives that will only be sold only at Walmart stores and on its website. Some are available for pre-order now.
Experts suggest people start shopping early this holiday season because of possible delays and an expected increase in online sales.
“You’ll see dramatic spikes in e-commerce sales, so shoppers should expect longer shipping times as fulfillment centers run at peak,” said Michael Brown, a partner in the consumer practice at Kearney, a global strategy and management consultant firm. “They’ll also see some inconsistency in delivery times as fulfillment centers may close if a COVID-19 case is discovered.”