Creativity and imagination are the stuff.
Parents, Wal-Mart wants to help you prepare for the Christmas 2014 shopping season (and rake in loads of your cash), so the retailer assembled a test group of "hundreds of kids" (their words) between the ages of 18 months and 12 years, and let them play with the hottest new toys from major toymakers.
Toys 'R' Us and Kmart typically publish similar lists each year, but Wal-Mart has beaten them to the punch this time. (Suck it, losers!)
UPDATE: You can view the Toys 'R' Us list here.
Rather than maintaining loyalty to big brands like Disney, Hot Weels or Barbie (all of which are represented on the list), Wal-Mart's kids appear to have focused on what they had the most fun with. The results were, well, kind of mildly surprising.
Wal-Mart noticed that the biggest trend was that what kids are wanting most this year are toys that give them an outlet for their creativity. Yay to the big win for imagination! Other interests included electronic toys and classic toys that have gotten updated for today's miniature humans. Spin Master was the top brand, with four toys making the cut; Mattel followed with three.
Here's the complete list, along with Walmart's current prices (You can see Target's list here):
• Air Hogs RC Zero Gravity Laser Racer (Spin Master) - $39.99
• Airstorm Firetech Bow (Zing) - $29.97
• Barbie Sisters Glam Camper (Mattel) - $81.58
• Beados Quick Dry Design Station (Moose Toys) - $19.39
• "Boomer" Zoomer Interactive Dino (Spin Master) - $89.96
• Deluxe Flutterbye Light Up Fairy (Spin Master) - $34.67
• Disney "Frozen" Snow Glow Elsa Doll (Jakks) - $39.97
• FurReal Friends Get Up and GoGo My Walkin' Pup Pet (Hasbro) - $59.96
• Disney Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin (Disney) - $59.97
• Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Clinic (Just Play) - $49.97
• Go! Go! Smart Wheels Smart Ultimate Amazement Park Playset (Vtech) - $59.96
• Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote Control Flying Car (Mattel) - $54.86
• Hot Wheels Track Builder Total Turbo Takeover Track Set (Mattel) - $39.97
• Kidizoom Smartwatch (Vtech) - $59.96
• LeapTV (Leapfrog) - $149.97
• Little People Musical Preschool (Fisher Price) - $34.97
• Make Your Case Cell Phone Cover Kit (Maya Group) - $24.99
• N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster (Nerf) - $39.99
• Razor Crazy Cart Spinning Go Kart (Razor) - $347.00
• Sew Cool Sewing Machine (Spin Master) - $34.97
Surprisingly, there are only a few products on this list that are branded around popular movies or TV shows. Tie-in products have always been huge business in the toy world, but Wal-Mart's kids panel must have found those toys lacking.
The one that has us scratching our heads is that there's nothing on the list from Lego, the newly crowned biggest toy company in the world. In a year when creativity and imagination are so heavily favored, not to mention the overall happy-happy-joy-joy year Lego has enjoyed thanks to "The LEGO Movie," you'd think the brick maker would have been kind of a big deal.
It's entirely possible that Lego just didn't or couldn't make their holiday selection available this early for Wal-Mart's panel. So maybe there were no Lego sets on hand for these kids to play with.
Visit Wal-Mart's special "Chosen by Kids" webpage to lay your money upon the Wal-Mart altar shop for these 20 hot toys.