Toys R Us has unfurled its holiday Hot List, which this year includes Sesame Street Let's Rock, Elmo from Hasbro, Air Hogs Hyper Actives from Spin Master, LEGO's Ninjago Lightning Dragon and Lalaloopsy Silly Hair dolls from MGA Entertainment.
The Wayne, N.J.-based toy retailer says it is also working Facebook more prominently into its holiday marketing plans -- using its page as "the ultimate hub of hot toy information for gift-givers," continually showcasing the season's best in toys. In addition to photos and videos, fans can ask toy experts for help picking out the perfect gift, directing users to toys priced at $50 or less or $20 or less.
Besides Elmo (he's got a microphone this time, as well as drum and a tambourine), other featured toys include are Poppin' Park Elefun Busy Ball Poppers from Playskool for babies. For preschoolers, there are Angry Birds 5-Inch Plush toys featuring sounds taken from the game, Cabbage Patch Kids Limited Vintage Edition, and Disney Rock Star Mickey from Fisher-Price. (He plays The Kinks' "You Really Got Me.")
For the four and older crowd, recommendations include Lalaloopsy Silly Hair dolls from MGA Entertainment, Power Rangers Samurai Megazord, Power Wheels Dune Racer from Fisher-Price, and Disney-Pixar "Cars 2" The Real Lightning McQueen Interactive Air Hogs R/C Vehicle from Spin Master.
Last year, total global toy sales reached $83.3 billion in U.S. dollars, according to NPD -- a gain of about 4.7% from the prior year. (The U.S. is the largest consumer of toys.) Earlier this year, the Port Washington, N.Y. market research company forecast continued growth in North American toy sales.
Separately, Toys R Us says it plans to hire 40,000 seasonal employees this holiday season, which it says is in line with the 35,000 to 45,000 workers it has added in seasons past.