Toys'R'Us, Kmart and Amazon are touting hot toys (while Walmart is promoting layaway options) to kick-start holiday sales this year.
As the traditional "hard eight" weeks of pre-Christmas retail selling expands its tentacles into September, the holiday marketing is revving up earlier than ever, aimed at parents looking to secure the hot toys this holiday season.
First, to Amazon, which has expanded on the sub-brands represented by its Quidsi division (Diapers.com, Soap.com, and the pet-centric Wag.com) with the beta launch this week of YoYo.com.
The online store featuring 25,000 toys, books, video games and collectibles is faithful to Quidsi's DNA, emphasizing customer service and fast, free delivery.
In addition to a "Brands We Love" section, a "What's Hot" tab on the homepage lists five hot toys its editors feel will be in-demand this season, including Let's Rock Elmo, Groovy Girls, Beyblade, LEGO Ninjago and Fijit.
Toys "R" Us, meanwhile, today released its 2011 Holiday Hot Toy List featuring 36 new items available in-store and online.
The retailer's "Fabulous 15" includes Laloopsy dolls for girls, Mattel's Monster High for older girls, Air Swimmers and Moshi Monsters.
Kmart's Fab 15 Toy List, meanwhile, features:
1. Let's Rock Elmo
3. I am T-Pain Microphone
4. Barbie Designable Hair Extensions and Doll
5. Lite Sprites Lite Wand, Prisma and Pod
6. Redakai Championship Battle Tin
7. FurReal Friends Cookie My Playful Pup
8. Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster
9. Mini Lalaloopsy Treehouse Playset
10. WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena
11. Transformers Mechtech Ultimate Optimus Prime
12. LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet
13. Lazer Stunt Chaser R/C Vehicle
14. Simon Flash
15. Dora Fiesta Favorites Kitchen
Let's Rock Elmo, by the way, is being pushed in a big way by playskool:
Walmart, meanwhile, is promoting the return of layaway options for cash-conscious parents this holiday season. Let the toy wars begin!