Walmart (WMT) is betting on classic names like Star Wars, Doc McStuffins, and Barbie to win the holiday season toy wars.
The largest U.S. retailer overall is also the biggest single seller of toys, and Walmart has always been aggressive about one of the top holiday season categories to fight Toys ‘R Us, Target (TGT), and Amazon.com. (AMZN) for customers in the busiest shopping period of the year.
Walmart U.S. vice president of toys Anne Marie Kehoe said on a conference call Wednesday that the retailer expects the hottest holiday season toys also to include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mega Lair Playset, a Disney (DIS) Princess Carriage, and a Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck.
Six of the top 25 toys will be exclusive to Walmart, something key to giving shoppers a reason to go there instead of the competition. WalMart will have more than 400 toys exclusively available at its stores, including Star Wars Black Series collector figures and the Barbie Camping Collection, Kehoe said.
The push comes as analysts expect a strong year for toys: NPD Group estimates that in the first half of 2016, industry revenues rose 7.5%. That continued the strong momentum of 2015, when U.S. toy sales jumped 6.7% to $19.4 billion, topping forecasts.
Last year, the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a boon for toy sales, and Kehoe is expecting good sales from items connect to the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming out in December. Toys inspired by movies have outperformed the market, soaring by 9.4%, according to NPD.
Walmart says it chooses the toys on its Top 25 list in part in consultation with children from 1.5 years to 12 years old, helping the retailer discover hit toys adults might have overlooked.
“Whatever your child is interested in, there’s a great toy this year in that category, and I think that’s what’s driving the health of the business,’’ Kehoe said.
Here is Walmart’s top 25 list:
- My Life As Food Truck
- Num Noms Lipgloss Truck
- Pom Pom Wow Decoration Station
- Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart
- FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon
- Little Live Pets Puppy
- Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batcave
- Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset
- Fisher Price Imaginext Bat Flight City
- Fisher Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway
- My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mega Lair Playset
- Pie Face Showdown! Game
- Razor PowerCore E100 Electric Scooter
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Remote Control Skateboarding Mikey
- Hot Wheels AI Racing Playset
- Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster
- Tyco Terra Climber Remote Control Vehicle
- Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure
- Disney Princess Carriage– Walmart exclusive
- Paw Patrol Zooming Marshal
- Sky Viper Streaming Drone
- Star Wars Electronic R2D2