Walmart is racing big box retailers to the tinsel-covered finish line by trying to dazzle holiday shoppers just moments after the back-to-school bell has rung. But, summer’s not even over yet, so why the rush? While the store’s aisles have already been nauseatingly lined with Thanksgiving-themed décor for the last month, now Walmart crams holiday shopping down our throats too early with their top toy list predictions, Chosen by Kids.
Walmart’s Chosen by Kids hot toys 2014 is the first to the holiday shopping war. The announcement falls in line with the retailer’s revival of their holiday layaway program. Walmart plans to add these top toys to their Savings Catcher app, saving you from having to hunt around for the best holiday deals. Here are the top picks for this Christmas season, just in case you’re already stashing toys in your closet:
At last, kids are reaching for toys that spark creativity. These crafty toys made the number one spot on Walmart’s 2014 Chosen by Kids Top 20 Toys List, like the Spin Master Sew Cool Sewing Machine (Walmart, $35) and the Maya Group Make Your Case Cell Phone Cover Kit (Walmart, $25). Anything that involves crafts is a win in our household, especially when it distracts kids from wanting to play video games.
Following closely in the number two spot, toys in the licensed and entertainment category will likely make your holiday shopping list. True to Disney’s Frozen craze, Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll (Walmart, $40) and Disney Princess Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin (Walmart, $60) are no-brainers for girls, especially in my household.
Any trends in electronics that involve kids taking even a slightly more active role in play make my heart go pitter-patter. But I’m a little disappointed, but not surprised, that taking up a third of Walmart’s top toy list are electronic toys like the LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Gaming System (Walmart, $150). Although the Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy, Rainbow (Walmart, $40) got a ton of votes, this doll didn’t last more than five minutes out of the package at my house.
As technology marches on, the toy brands we knew as kids still resonate with the new generation, encouraging parents to get in on the fun. In the fourth spot on the hot toys 2014 prediction list, the classic brands get lots of love, too, with updates to their oldies but goodies. Check out the Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster (Walmart, $32) and the Barbie Sisters Camper (Walmart, $84), which will both probably be seen under our tree this holiday, but, shhh…don’t tell our kids.
Despite the electronic game craze, active toys like ride-ons and scooters are surprisingly still making the top five cut with Christmas shopping projections, such as the Razor Crazy Cart Spinning Go Kart (Walmart, $349). Now it doesn’t surprise me that kids would be dazzled by such an expensive toy, but something that requires a little more kid power and not $100 worth of 12-volt batteries will probably appeal to parents’ pocketbooks a little more.
Christmas shopping is still weeks — and months — away for most of us parents, but chances are as retailers cram holiday shopping down our throats too early, there will still be plenty of parents willing to take the bait. I think I’ll wait.
Read more holiday tips
7 Ways to sneak in couples’ time during the holidays
New mom’s guide to surviving the holidays with a newborn
Unconventional holiday shopping tips for parents on a budget