The summer isn’t yet over, but the nation’s largest toy retailers are already prepping for the upcoming holiday season.
On Wednesday, Toys ‘R’ Us—the world’s largest toy-focused retailer—unveiled the company’s “Holiday Hot Toy List,” which highlights some top industry trends, including great interest in coding toys, drones, collectibles, and entertainment properties. The retailer’s merchants and executives combed through thousands of options to compile the top 40 list. Within that list of 40, there is also a list of 15 toys that are expected to be some of the year’s hottest sellers. Six of those top 15 are exclusives to Toys ‘R’ Us.
The list from Toys ‘R’ Us comes shortly after top rival Walmart (WMT) disclosed its own hot toy list. The toy sector is benefiting from strong sales in the first several months of 2016, building on industrywide increases in 2015 and 2014 due to strong demand for licensed toys, in particular because of the wildly popular Star Wars and Frozen brands, which are both owned by Walt Disney (DIS).
“We feel very positive about the content and the innovation this year,” Global Chief Merchandising Officer Richard Barry told Fortune. But he cautioned a strong first-half of the year isn’t always an indicator how well toy retailers will fare in the holiday season.
Barry ultimately argues that success as a toy retailer can be most accurately judged by execution. And its been a tough business for the retailers, as competition is fierce between Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart, Target (TGT), Amazon.com (AMZN) and many others that stock toys. Because that pocket of retail has been a stronger performer than say, apparel, there’s greater interest to “win” business from parents this upcoming holiday season.
Tech remains a top trend within toys, as noted by Toys ‘R’ Us call outs for drones and coding. Films and TV will also continue to propel the industry. Potential blockbusters are still on the horizon late this year with the release of “Trolls” in November and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in December.
On the “Fab 15” list, heavy hitters Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro (HAS) are both represented several times but interestingly, Denmark-based Lego didn’t make the cut. Lego also wasn’t featured on Walmart’s list, despite the fact that the construction toy maker has been a strong seller of late. Also notable: Moose Toys—which is a fast-growing brand that has quickly grown to become one of the industry’s top sellers in the U.S.—secured an impressive three slots on Toys ‘R’ Us’ list this year.
Here’s the list of the top 15 toys on the Toys ‘R’ Us list, with manufacturers listed in italics.
- DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Hug Time Poppy Doll Hasbro
- Hatchimals Spin Master
- Light ‘n Go 3-in-1 Activity Walker Little Tikes
- Little Live Pets Snuggles My Dream Puppy Moose Toys
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Terrascout RC Drone Blaster Hasbro
- Num Noms Lipgloss Truck MGA Entertainment
- PAW Patrol Zoomer Marshall Spin Master
- PJ Masks Headquarter Playset Just Play
- Pokemon Z-Ring TOMY
- Power Wheels Wild Thing Fisher-Price
- SelfieMic Moose Toys
- Shopkins Tall Mall Moose Toys
- Sky Viper Streaming Drone Skyrocket Toys
- Star Wars InteracTech Stormtrooper Figure Hasbro
- Think & Learn Code-a-pillar Fisher-Price