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Walmart fires opening salvo of 2015 holiday season


The holiday force has awakened earlier than ever at Walmart with the Aug. 28 launch of a major initiative called Toy Week.

Walmart has released its top toy list of 25 products and announced details of a layaway program that is less restrictive than prior years. The program begins Aug. 28, two weeks earlier than last years, and those participating will find the price point of eligible items has been reduced to $10 with a minimum basket size of $50, there is no account opening fee and only a 10% down payment is required.

The moves come in advance of a major licensed merchandising effort tied in with the release of the latest Star Wars movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t hit theaters until December 18, but Walmart and other retailers are launching large assortments of Star Wars themed products on Sept. 4. Walmart plans to offer more than 500 Star Wars products in categories such as toys, groceries, apparel, health and wellness

“Outside of the holiday season, we could be looking at the biggest week of 2015 for toys and we’re giving customers every reason to choose Walmart,” said Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys at Walmart. “We’ve made a tradition out of letting kids tell us which toys will be most popular during the holidays. Between their selections this year and the excitement around Star Wars, parents know exactly what will top kids’ wish lists, and they can count on us for great prices.”

Select Star Wars products are already available for pre-order at, but the action really begins at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4 in 2,900 of the retailer’s stores which are hosting Force Friday events. At Force Friday events, Walmart will hand out a free limited edition two pack of discs that are sought after by Star Wars fans, including a rare star field disc that is only available in packs given away on Force Friday. If customers find one of four special redemption discs inside Galactic Connexxions game sold in stores, on or during the events, they can be redeemed for an ultra-rare 14 karat gold disc and a Star Wars room makeover.

Those who aren’t into Star Wars, will find plenty of other toys on Walmart’s Chosen by Kids list. The retailer has kids ages 18 months to 12 years play with toys to winnow down the list of featured items. This year products are grouped into four themed categories including:

Future Foodies Toys that inspire kids to get creative in the kitchen and play with their food … in a good way:

• Hasbro Pie Face

• Skyrocket Toys Chocolate Pen

• Wicked Cool Girl Scout Cookie Oven

• Moose Shopkins Scoop Ice Cream Truck Playset

Veterinarians in Training Kid-approved picks for lovers of animals, real and imaginary, and future veterinarians:

• Fisher Price Little People Zoo

• Fisher Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex

• Spin Master Paw Patrol Mission Chase

• Just Play Doc McStuffins Vets N Pets Care Center

• Moose Little Live Pet Clever Keet

• Hasbro Furreal Unicorn

Adventure-Seekers in the Making Action-packed toys for kids who love dancing and moving – and all things fast and flying:

• Vtech Ultimate Raceway

• MGA MC2 Deluxe Lab Kit

• Mattel Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage

• Fisher Price Thomas Shipwreck Rails Playset

• Jakks RC Hulk Smash Vehicle

• Mattel Hot Wheels Terrain Twister

• Jakks Max Tow Truck

• New Bright RC Pro Reaper

• Fisher Price Beatbo

• Hasbro Nerf Rotofury

• Blip Hovertech Battle FX

• Alpha Voice Command Helicopter

Dreaming Design Stars Play sets that give kids the chance to create outfits and decorate houses and castles:

• Mattel Frozen Ice Castle

• Hasbro My Little Pony Canterlot Castle

• Mattel Barbie Dream House

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