I can’t lie: When the holidays are approaching, I get excited about toys. Thankfully, I still have kids young enough to want toys for Christmas so I don’t creep anyone out while perusing the toy section. And while I can’t say there are any toys on my own wish list, I really get a kick out of seeing what’s popular for the season, and even more so, what games and toys from my own childhood are currently popular. So when Walmart sent me an early copy of this year’s toy catalog, I snuck a long peek before I ever handed it over to my daughter.
When I did hand it over to her though, I knew what was coming. Page after page of dog-eared edges and circled pictures. Things she “wants.” (Read: Every doggone thing).
She didn’t disappoint. She “wanted” something from nearly every page of the catalog, but I remember being the same way when I was a kid. Eventually, we narrowed the list down to a few things that she could conveniently write on the wish list form in the front of the catalog, for things she “really, really wants.”
There are sections for one “big gift”, for stocking stuffers and the other random items she’s coveting. She was all too willing to share her desires, but there are always a couple of things I get even when she hasn’t asked.
My daughter and I love playing with Barbies together, because I loved them when I was a girl, even in all their plastic glory with their completely unrealistic figures. (Sidenote: Every time I see a Barbie doll with curly hair and brown skin, I jump for joy). Every year, I add at least one small Barbie item to her collection, whether it’s a new outfit set, a new doll or a new piece of furniture to add to her fold-out dollhouse. It’s usually small enough to fit in her stocking, but sometimes, it’s a major addition. So I’m really excited to learn that Walmart will be releasing a ton of new Barbie dolls and accessories on Dec. 1, including sister packs that include 2 dolls, a doll on a “twirly ride” that you might find at a fair, and fashion design plates. You’ll be able to see all the new items here. I’ve gone through the available items more times than I can count trying to find something that would be a good addition, so I’m happy that I’ll have a little more variety.
Barbie is a green compromise I’m happy to make, because when the dolls and their accoutrements are well taken care of (and they are), they can last forever, to be enjoyed for years or passed down to other little girls. It’s also not hard to find used Barbie items at thrift and consignment stores.
In addition to the new Barbie items, here are the top 16 toys this year:
- Barbie Cruise Ship: Comes apart to reveal several compartments, 2 beds and a pool with 2 slides for racing
- Monster High High School: Fold-up set opens to reveal 6 play areas
- Novi Stars Dolls: Their alien bodies are made of glitter & water
- Lalaloopsy Harmony B. Sharp Interactive Doll: Interactive
- Baby Alive Baby Wanna Walk: Walks and speaks like a real toddler
- Furby: Interactive with a personality that develops as you play
- Beyblade Destroyer Dome: Allows multi-player battle
- Nerf Elite Hailfire: Holds more missiles and shoots 75 feet
- Hot Wheels Terrain Twister: Operates on any terrain, including water, snow & land
- Air Hogs Hover Assault Bonus Missiles: Flies and drives
- Playskool Rocktivity Walk ‘n Rider: Transitions from walking to riding and plays music
- Fisher Price Imaginex Eagle Talon Castle: Electronic & interacts with separate accessories
- Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace: Plays favorite Disney songs & Walmart customers get 3 free song downloads at Walmart.com
- LeapFrog LeapPad 2.0: Educational with hundreds of games and apps (sold separately)
- iTikes Map: Eucational & interacts with other iProducts
- Monopoly Millionaire: Get much more bling than before!
I’m always hopeful that I’ll see greener options like wooden toys or even recycled plastic options from popular companies like Green Toys, but I guess we’re not quite there yet. Still, I believe that buying a toy â€” or any gift â€” just because it’s green, is a mistake if the recipient won’t love and use it. You’d be better off giving a gift the recipient will love and keep around, regardless of whether it’s green. Just my opinion 🙂
You can learn about the top toys and lots of others at Walmart.
Of course with the runup to Christmas, lots of awesome toys will be on sale. Well this year, Walmart is letting their Facebook fans get in on the action. Every Tuesday from Nov. 27 through Christmas, also known as Toyland Tuesday, they will announcing new Rollbacks in Toys. As we get closer to Christmas, Facebook fans can visit the Toyland Tuesday photo album and vote on the rollbacks the want to see by Liking the corresponding photos. Fans will get a list of 4-6 items each week, and the top 2 or 3 items with the most likes will get rolled back the following week. This is a great opportunity to tell Walmart what you want to see on sale!
I already have my shopping lists set up for my kids and the other kids for whom I’m shopping, but seeing all these new options is making it really difficult for me to stick to them. What can I say. I like seeing the kids happy on Christmas morning. Of course, the gifts will be tempered by lessons on giving to those who are less fortunate and other gifts that can’t be bought at a store (like family time and handmade presents), but forgive this mama for just a moment as I let my inner child come out to play 🙂
DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for sharing their toy offerings with you. Participation is voluntary and, as usual, all opinions are my own.