What will kids be asking for this holiday season?
Anything tech-related is predicted to be popular with the school-age set, including kid-oriented tablet computers such as the Leapfrog LeapPad 2 and Toy R Us’s Tabeo.
Look for helicopters and cars that are operated using smartphone apps, and also the return of the Furby -- the furry plaything that spoke gibberish and inspired long lines in the late 1990s -- with some high-tech upgrades.
“There are just some cool things you are seeing like how your smartphones can be used as remote controls,” said Laurie Schacht, co-publisher of toy guide the Toy Insider. “There are some great tablets for families who don’t want to share an iPad or don’t want to spend money on an iPad.”
Aside from digital gadgets, kids are sure to ask for more traditional construction sets, dolls and toys linked to hit movies or TV shows.
Kids are also expected to wish for year-round favorites such as the Monster High dolls, featuring the kids of famous monsters, and Lego playsets. Toys based on popular movies or television shows such as Disney’s Doc Mcstuffins will also be in demand.
With U.S. retail toy sales totaling $21.2 billion last year, toys are big business — especially during the final months of the year, when toy merchants can rake in as much as 40% of their annual sales. Shoppers this year will drop an estimated $586.1 billion during that time, according to the National Retail Federation, with a big chunk of that holiday budget going to toys.
Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi