Walmart’s annual hottest toys list is out and it’s an indication of how the pandemic has upended so many retail traditions.
The list features the hottest toys for the 2020 holiday season – as tested and selected by kids. To come up with the list, Walmart mailed toys to its toy-testing group of kids at their homes. (In past years, the chain brought hundreds of kids to a center near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters to try out and play with hundreds of toys.) After “much expert kid testing and playing,” 36 toys made it to the Walmart list, with the picks ranging from high-tech gadgets to scooters. Fifteen items are exclusive to Walmart.
To help promote the list and toys is general, Walmart has launched an online tool, called Walmart Wonder Lab, that allows kids to unbox and play with more than 100 toys – without leaving home. The Wonder Lab is an enhanced version of a tool that Walmart introduced two years ago, called Walmart Toy Box. Both versions were created in partnership with interactive entertainment company Eko.
“This year’s Top-Rated by Kids Toy List reflects the shift we’ve seen in toy trends and behaviors this year,” Steve Ronchetto, VP of Toys at Walmart, said. “Toys play a critical role in families’ lives as they spend more time at home and parents seek ways to keep kids engaged with learning-based play. More than any year before, we’re seeing strong interest across toys that stem from digital platforms, like kid influencer-created toys, interactive and educational toys, screen-free indoor entertainment and toys for active outdoor play.”