Hot Toys And The Toys ‘R’ Us Comeback Will Keep Santa Busy This Holiday Season

Toys are hot. Everyone is selling toys. However, I recommend that shoppers go to Target or Walmart or visit Amazon to get the largest selection—and probably some of the best prices. The official demise of Toys ‘R’ Us in 2018 caused everybody, including Macy’s, Kohl’s and JCPenney, to expand their toy department and add many more toys to their holiday assortment. Walmart added 25% to their selling space while Target added 10,000 more toys. I shopped for the hottest toys and here’s what I found:

  1. Owleez at Target  
  2. Juno my Baby Elephant at Walmart
  3. Nintendo Switch at Amazon, Target, Walmart
  4. Tic Tac Toy XOXO FRIENDS Multipack at Walmart
  5. Ryan’s World Mystery Chest at Target (exclusive)
  6. Poopsie Slime Surprise at Amazon, Target, Walmart
  7. Barbie at most stores
  8. Lego at most stores
  9. Hot Wheels at most stores
  10. PS4: Masked Age Men at Amazon, Target
  11. Snap Circuits Jr. at Amazon
  12. Jenga Classic Game at Amazon and most stores
  13. Melissa and Doug Suspend Family Game at Amazon and most stores
  14. Gund Baby at Amazon and most stores
  15. Hasbro Connect 4 Game at most stores
  16. Kahootz Spirograph Deluxe Set at Amazon and most stores
  17. Throw Burrito Board Game at Target

There’s even more big toy news: Toys ‘R’ Us is making a comeback. The company went into bankruptcy and closed its doors in 2018. Now, a 6,000-square-foot Toys ‘R’ Us has emerged in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey—just in time for the busy selling season. A second Toys ‘R’ Us store will open on December 7 in the Galleria in Houston.

OK, two stores do not make a chain. And these stores are much smaller than the 40,000 stores that were abandoned. But a company that is now called TRU bought the rights to the name, and the new management plans to expand stores in 2020. TRU is headed by CEO Richard Barry, and includes Yehuda Shmidman as Vice Chairman, Matt Finigan as CFO, and Jean-Daniel Gatignol as SVP.

Some well-known brand names to expect in these new Toys ‘R’ Us stores: Hasbro will be featuring several products, Lego will offer hands-on opportunities for the kids, Nintendo Switch has an anchor shop in the stores, and Spin Master, as reported by Chain Store Age, will showcase many brands including PAW Patrol.

Toys are an important part of the holiday season. While most toy departments do not get much attention during the rest of the year, this is the time for them to shine. It will be an exciting season before Santa comes down the chimney on December 24 for all those young at heart out there. And, it will be interesting to see which retailers have those shining toy departments.

I was the senior retail analyst at Morgan Stanley for 16 years, following a 20 year career at retailers including Macy’s, May Department Stores and Allied Stores. Curren...