Tablets for tots, retro brands make up Toys R Us 'hot toy' list in 2012

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NEW YORK — It’s still technically summer, but for some it’s not too soon to think about what children will want for the holidays.

One Direction collector dolls by Hasbro are on the Toys R Us hot toy list.   ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
One Direction collector dolls by Hasbro are on the Toys R Us hot toy list.

Toys R Us has come out with its annual “hot toy” list that includes tablets for kids, fashion dolls in the likeness of boy-band sensation One Direction, and even retro hits Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Furby.

Knowing early what will be popular during the holiday shopping season is crucial to retailers seeking to have the right mix of toys at the right prices. The holiday season can account for about 40 percent of a toy seller’s annual profit.

Last year, U.S. retail sales of toys fell 2 percent to $21.18 billion, according to research firm NPD Group.

This year, Toys R Us, is introducing a “hot toy” reservation program. Starting on Wednesday, the Wayne, N.J.-based retailer will let customers reserve the 50 toys on its list. The reservation system will run through the end of October. Toys must be reserved in stores and customers have to put down 20 percent of the toys’ cost.

The Toys R Us hot toy list has a mix of items that it carries exclusively, and toys available everywhere. Toys on the list come from both established companies and from some lesser-known toy makers in the U.K. and Australia.

There’s no indication yet of a runaway success such as 2009’s Zhu Zhu Pets stuffed hamsters and last year’s Leapfrog LeapPad tablet. But Toys R Us executives are betting that if there is, it is on their list.

“We have an incredibly skilled team of merchants here that track new products and identify toys,” said Lisa Harnisch, the company’s general merchandising manager.

TOYS R US’ TOP 10

Here are the top 10 toys on Toys R Us’ list.

• Doc McStuffins Time for Your Check Up doll by Just Play, $39.99: Doctor doll based on Disney Jr. show character.

• Furby by Hasbro, $59.99: Update on hit 1998 furry interactive toy robot.

• Gelarti Designer Studio by Moose Toys, $24.99: Sticker set that lets children paint and customize reusable stickers.

• Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister by Mattel, $99.99: Radio-controlled car that takes on all terrains.

• Jake and the Never Land Pirates Jake’s Musical Pirate Ship Bucky by Mattel’s Fisher-Price, $44.99: Ship from Disney Jr. animated series.

• Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Stars Harmony B. Sharp by MGA Entertainment, $69.99: Version of popular button-eyed dolls that talks and sings.

• LeapPad2 Explorer by LeapFrog, $99.99: Latest iteration of LeapFrog’s kids tablet with faster processor and more memory.

• Micro Chargers TimeTrack by Moose Toys, $34.99: Miniature car racing track set.

• Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset by Playmates, $119.99: 42-inch playset that recreates TMNT’s lair.

• Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle by Lego Systems Inc., $139.99: Ninja-themed Lego board game.


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