WAYNE, N.J., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As children begin to write their letters to Santa with care and parents start to devise their holiday shopping strategies, Toys"R"Us® today announced four emerging trends it expects to impact toy-buying decisions this holiday season. Representative of these top trends are toys based on tiny tots' favorite characters, kid-friendly tablets, "rad" playthings from the '80s that are making a comeback and items that offer fun light-up features. This year's toy trends also undoubtedly reflect some of this season's hottest toy properties and products.
"It's no secret that technology has had a growing influence in toy innovation, but this year we're also seeing a strong statement of traditional toys that inspire imaginative play and curiosity among kids and nostalgia among parents," said Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Toys"R"Us, U.S. "After reviewing the thousands of new toy introductions in our stores worldwide and analyzing data gathered by our team of merchants, we're pleased to share our unique insights into the toy themes that will excite and delight kids this holiday season."
As the destination for all the trending toys of the season and for unique services like Hot Toy Reservation, Free Layaway and Price Match Guarantee, customers are sure to find the perfect gift to fit any budget when shopping with Toys"R"Us. Following are the four toy-buying trends identified by Toys"R"Us for the 2012 holiday season, along with select toys that epitomize each trend. All items can be found in Toys"R"Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com.
To download high-res images of toys that exemplify each of the top trends identified by Toys"R"Us, click on the following link: https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d/se33b5e9d54c40b99.
Precious Preschool Pals
Often times, a young child's first friend is one imagined – from a stuffed plush to a favorite character in a book – allowing them to explore new worlds and fantasize about magical adventures. This year, little ones are clamoring for their lovable, take-everywhere preschool pals. From new friends like Doc McStuffins to timeless playmates like Tigger, kids can enjoy these beloved companions at home or on-the-go with toys ranging from dolls to tiny playhouses:
- Doc McStuffins "Time For Your Check Up" doll from Just Play™: Future physicians can bring home this dolled-up version of their favorite play doctor based on the Disney Jr. show Doc McStuffins. Kids will love pressing Doc's stethoscope to hear the "checkup" song and more than 10 phrases from the hit show, while nurturing Lambie and their own toys back to health. 7 "AG13" button cell batteries required (included). Ages 3 years and up.
- Minnie Mouse Bow-tique: Minnie's Fashion On-the-Go from Fisher-Price®: Now kids can take Minnie Mouse and her fashion set on-the-go. What appears to be a simply pink-tastic rolling suitcase opens to reveal a portable dressing room. With an included Minnie figurine, little ladies can create outfits and select bows and shoes for her to wear. Plus, music and Minnie phrases can be heard with the push of a heart-shaped button. 2 "AA" batteries required (included). Ages 2 years and up.
- Peppa Pig™ Peek 'n Surprise Playhouse from Fisher-Price®: Based on Peppa's house from the hit Nick Jr. show, this 15-piece playset comes with a handle for easy portability and opens to reveal four rooms of play. The set features transforming furniture, including a sink that switches from messy to clean and a kitchen table that can get ready for dinnertime. Peppa and George figures are included, too. No batteries required. Ages 3 years and up.
- Bounce Bounce Tigger from Just Play™: "The wonderful thing about Tiggers" is that they bounce! Kids will love hopping along with this animatronic version of the classic Winnie the Pooh character as he uses his tail like a spring, while singing "Bounce Bounce." Playtime with Tigger continues as he giggles when his foot is touched, sways in sync to music and "wiggity-wiggity-wiggles" to his own silly tune. 4 "AA" batteries required (included). Ages 3 years and up.
- Olivia "Ready for Bedtime" 8-Inch Plush from Spin Master™: Now, kids can get ready for bedtime alongside their favorite oinking friend from the famous book series and hit Nick Jr. show Olivia. Dressed snugly in one of her darling outfits, a cozy, light blue robe, Olivia comes prepared for bedtime stories, snuggling and snoozing. Complete with intricate details and bendable ears, this Olivia plush pal is the perfect everyday carry-along friend for any child. No batteries required. Ages 3 to 5 years.
Kid-Friendly Tablets and App-Enabled Fun
Moms and dads no longer need to share their pricey gadgets with their sticky- and slippery-fingered kids! This year, children – and gift-givers – have more options than ever when it comes to selecting holiday presents that offer tech-tastic fun and long-lasting value. With new tablets and accessories designed with the younger set in mind, a plethora of age-appropriate games, music and – of course – learning are right at kids' finger tips:
- tabeo™ from Toys"R"Us®: This unique 7-inch touch-screen tablet, created especially for kids, offers enhanced safety features desired by parents. Designed and developed by Toys"R"Us, parents can customize different levels of Internet access for up to 8 users. Additionally, tabeo comes preloaded with 50 apps, including popular games for kids. One rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery required (included). Ages 5 years and up. This item will become available in late October.
- Kurio7 from Techno Source: This multi-touch Wi-Fi-enabled tablet, which runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), is perfect for mom and dad to use and also hand over to their kids with peace of mind. While children can surf the Internet, parents have web access controls, app management capabilities and a comprehensive filtering system. Preloaded with kids' content from top games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, to over 20 Meegenius eBooks, to educational games from award-winning educator Mr. Nussbaum, the tablet comes complete with a durable drop-safe silicone bumper to protect it even in small hands. No batteries required (charges). Ages 3 years and up.
- MEEP!™ from Oregon Scientific: Users will enjoy the hottest games, e-books and apps that come pre-loaded on this Wi-Fi-enabled tablet, which features a 7-inch screen with zForce® touch technology. Kids can choose from additional downloads in the MEEP! app store for further engagement and individualized learning experiences. 1 Lithium Ion battery required (included). Ages 6 to 9 years.
- Apptivity™ Angry Birds King Pig, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja from Mattel®: Kids can get immersed in their favorite digital games in a whole new way using Apptivity figures that fit in the palm of their hands. Whether they prefer Angry Birds, Cut the Rope or Fruit Ninja, kids can select from the King Pig, Om Nom™ or Sensei figures – each sold separately – which feature touch-screen conductive bases that interact with the respective games and unlock unique content. For example, kids can place the Angry Birds King Pig figure on the face of their touch-screen device while logged into the HD app to hear new sounds, interface with new characters and see new backdrops. No batteries required. Ages 4 years and up.
- APPFINITY AppBlaster, AppFishing, AppDrive and AppCopter Heli from SpinMaster®: While these items look like traditional playthings at first glance, when connected to an iPhone or iPad, kids can experience their apps in a digital-meets-real-world way. With the AppBlaster, which looks like a typical handheld blaster and comes in orange or green, users can lock 'n' load their iPhone or iPod Touch into the designated slot before engaging in a digital blasting battle that they can view on their device. Likewise, kids can cast a reel when AppFishing and can put the pedal to the metal when using AppDrive's standalone steering wheel set. Plus, children can control a helicopter and get immersed in the thrill of flying with AppCopter. No batteries required. Ages 8 years and up.
"Rad" Return from the '80s
Kids and parents alike are getting amped for the toy stars of the '80s with an abundance of nostalgic playthings making a return to store shelves this season. Gift-givers can prepare to see old favorites topping kids' wish lists, from timeless properties like Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to classic games like Rubik's cube – many of which have been updated to make them totally tubular for today's child. Plus, parents will enjoy taking a trip down memory lane as they watch their little one play with these updated toys from their own childhood:
- ANGRY BIRDS™ STAR WARS® JENGA DEATH STAR Game from Hasbro®:
Angry Birds fan can get ready to unleash the flock to destroy the STAR WARS Death Star and take down Lard Vader in this brand-new take on the classic JENGA game. Played as an individual or two-player game, kids can take turns trying to topple the Empire in an intergalactic battle. And, by pulling back the X-Wing Fighter, they can launch an epic squawk attack with Luke, Han or Chewy birds, knocking the pigs' block off and exploding the Death Star. Players can also unlock ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS content in-app with a special code that comes included in the game pack. No batteries required. Ages 5 years and up. This item will become available in late October.
- Nickelodeon® Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Play Set from Playmates: Kids can bring these nostalgic mutant ninjas back to their home base with this 42-inch-high play set, which recreates the Turtles' Sewer Lair and the streets above. Available exclusively at Toys"R"Us, this play set is packed with more than 20 fun features, including a telescoping periscope, a Shredder dummy and more. No batteries required. Ages 4 years and up.
- Rubik's® Stack & Build Blocks from Tollytots, a division of JAKKS® Pacific: This eye-catching block set allows kids to build towers – and brains! Rendered in Rubik's iconic colors, these 3-D shapes put a modern spin on the classic toy for endless hours of creative play. Made in shapes to specifically promote skill development, they all pack neatly away into the included storage box. No batteries required. Ages 18 months and up.
- Strawberry Shortcake™ Berry Best™ Collection from Toys"R"Us®: These dolls are totally sweet, inside and out! Featuring five adorable mini figures, all with their own outfits, personalities and scents, kids can mix and match the outfits to give each a new style. No batteries required. Ages 4 to 6 years.
- My Little Pony® Favorite Collection™ Featuring Nightmare Moon™ from Hasbro®: Kids and collectors will treasure this special assortment of seven My Little Pony figurines, featuring fan favorites, including Rainbow Dash, DJ Pon-3, Flower Wishes, Trixie Lulamoon, Pixie Pie and Lemony Gem, as well as the rare Nightmare Moon pony. Little ones will enjoy hours of imaginative play as they help the six little ponies work together to make sure they defeat the threat of Nightmare Moon and save the light of day. No batteries required. Ages 3 to 5 years.
Featuring glow-in-the-dark elements and light-up effects, a variety of playthings are set to illuminate kids' rooms brighter than a Christmas tree. Little ones love to play and explore in the dark, but this season's toys are turning up the wattage and raising the bar from a mere flashlight. One thing is for sure, children's faces will be beaming when they open these radiant gifts, ranging from building brick sets to board games:
- Lite Brix™ Lumi-Port™ from Cra-Z-Art: Kids can construct a towering airport or a colorful airplane that lights up the sky with this brand-new take on classic construction. With LED light-up bricks, this set allows kids to form colorful characters and vehicles compatible with all Lite Brix's products. 3 "AA" batteries required (not included). Comes with a battery power pack that attaches to the model. Ages 6 years and up.
- Illumivor R/C Shark from Sky Rocket: Rolling out of the sea, this radio-controlled Toys"R"Us exclusive shark is ready to find prey, whether hunting day or night, thanks to its bright lights. And, with the push of a button, the lights shift to create swimming and chomping animations that simulate a true shark. 1 9V and 6 "AA" batteries required (not included). Ages 6 years and up.
- Digital Light Designer™ from Crayola®: Children can watch as their drawings magically light up on this digital light-up dome. By using the included stylus to draw all over the 3-D dome, kids can create works of art and animations, as well as play games with light-drawing fun. Once kids complete their designs, they can save it for later or wipe the slate clean and start working on another masterpiece. 2 "AAA" and 4 "D" batteries required (not included). Ages 6 to 8 years.
- Pillow Pets® Dream Lites from Ontel Products Corporation®: With the push of a button, these cozy characters can create starry skies in little ones' rooms. These plush pets come in various styles, including a dog, unicorn, penguin, butterfly and giraffe, that illuminate ceilings with stars and glow as a comforting night-light. A 20-minute sleep-timer mode is also included so children can fall asleep under the stars. 3 "AAA" batteries required (not included). Ages 3 years and up.
- Light Up Checkers, Backgammon and Chess from Pavilion®: Fans of traditional checkers, backgammon and chess will love to switch things up by playing with these brand-new sets, now featuring light-up technology. The lighting effects on these classic games help to build the perfect atmosphere for kids to play well into the wee hours of the night. 6 "AA" batteries required (not included). Ages 5 years and up.
For all the latest news about the 2012 Holiday Season at Toys"R"Us, visit "R" Holiday Press Room at http://www.toysrusinc.com/press-room/r-holiday-press-room/.
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 874 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 635 international stores and over 145 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys"R"Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.