The holidays can’t come soon enough for Toys ‘R’ Us. After posting a 6.9% drop in sales during its second quarter, the New Jersey-based toy retailer is banking more than ever on the highly competitive holiday months ahead, and in doing so the company has revealed its annual Holiday Hot Toy List.
The debut of the list, a carefully curated selection of what company deems to be the most coveted toys of the year, is timed with Toys ‘R’ Us posting Q2 overall sales of US$2.4 billion, a decrease of US$175 million from last year’s period. Across the 876 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us locations in the US and Puerto Rico, same-store sales were down by 3.5% and by 3.8% globally. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were US$81 million, a large slide from US$148 million in 2012.
Continued weakness in the electronics, videogame hardware and software categories were contributing factors to the losses. The company has initiated a number of US-based programs, including an enhanced Price Match Gaurantee, to try and secure more pre-holiday toy sales.
And, of course, there’s The List. The company began compiling it earlier this year, and the final full lineup, available at Toysrus.com/HotToys, consists of 36 items. This year’s whittled-down Fabulous 15 list, which in years past has included Furby, the Wii U and LeapPad 2, consists of the following (in alphabetical order):
Big Hugs Elmo from Hasbro
Despicable Me 2 Minion Dave, Agnes and Gru Collector’s Edition Figures (Thinkway Toys)
Doc McStuffins Deluxe Get Better Check-Up Center (Just Play)
Sofia the First Royal Talking Vanity (JAKKS Pacific)
Flutterbye Flying Fairy (Spin Master)
FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet (Hasbro)
LeapPad Ultra (LeapFrog)
Skylanders SWAP Force (Activision)
tabeo e2 (Toys ‘R’ Us)
The Ugglys (Moose Toys)
Ever After High Royal & Rebel Dolls (Mattel)
LEGO Legends of ChimaThe Lion CHI Temple (LEGO)
Shimmer ‘N Sparkle Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker (Cra-Z-Art)
Xbox One (Microsoft)
Crazy Cart (Razor)
Naturally, the company is beefing up social media efforts surrounding the toy list, with parents and kids being urged to use the hashtag #TRUHotToyList on Facebook and Twitter, and fans will be offered special deals and online services.