Retail

This Website Allows Walmart to Test Toy Popularity for Christmas

In past years, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has assembled a panel of experts to try out new toys to choose which ones will make it on their wish lists for Christmas. The experts, ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years, couldn’t get together this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, Walmart sent the toys to several dozen kids for testing at home. The work has now been completed and the company has compiled its list of the top-rated toys for this year’s Christmas season. This year’s list is broken down into three age groups: two to four, five to seven and eight to 12. They are also divided by gender.

Walmart has added a virtual toy shop called the Walmart Wonder Lab that allows kids to unbox, test and play with this year’s hottest toys without leaving home. Wonder Lab was created in conjunction with Eko Studios.

This year’s list of top toys “reflects the shift we’ve seen in toy trends and behaviors” in 2020, according to Steve Ronchetto, Walmart’s vice president for toys. Kid influencer-created toys, interactive and educational toys, screen-free indoor entertainment and toys for outdoor play all got top marks.

Among this year’s top toys is a Magic in Motion Elsa Doll ($59.00) based on a character from the popular Disney movie, “Frozen 2.” Two other top picks are a Lego Death Star Final Duel kit ($89.00) and a Star Wars Dark Saber ($29.84) linked to the ever-popular Star Wars movies, also from Disney.

Popular high-tech gadgets include the Sensory FX ASMR Mega Bar ($19.88), which lets kids record and play back their own autonomic sensory meridian response (AMSR) sounds. The VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam ($59.00) digital camera (recommended for kids aged 5 to 10) lets kids create custom videos with a high-definition camera, easy-to-use editing and creativity tools, and a tabletop tripod/selfie stick.

For some energy-burning outdoor play, the Jetson Mars Kick Scooter ($34.94) features bright LED stem and deck lights along with LED light-up wheels. This scooter is recommended for ages five and up.

And to give kids an indoor activity that doesn’t require sitting in front of a screen, there’s the Spark Puppy Piano ($19.82), recommended for ages two and up. The keyboard includes 22 demo songs and records and plays back a child’s own compositions. A sing-along microphone adds to the fun.