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Toys & Games

Retailer’s Top Toys of the 2017 Holiday Season

By Karina Masolova,

The top toy lists from Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Kohl’s are out! Just over one-third of the top toys of the holiday season are licensed offerings. This year, we’ve identified which toys are licensed, their respective manufacturer, and which are exclusive to the retailer. See the complete list below.

In 2016, retail sales of licensed toys/games grew 7.0% in 2016 to surpass $8.0 billion for the U.S./Canada, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey. Last year, one of the brightest pockets of growth was  collectibles and blind packs (which make up only a fraction of overall sales, around 5-10%). Increased interest in traditional toys/games like classic board games softened growth.

Amazon and Kohl’s count the smallest number of licensed toys and games on their list at just over 30% of offerings, while Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, and Walmart rack up approximately 40% each. Compared to last year, the showing isn’t all that impressive—we estimated that almost half of the top toys for the 2016 holidays were licensed.

The most oft-mentioned licensed brands are Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 and Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol (each mentioned 4 times). With three mentions each are Hatchimals, Barbie, Star Wars, and Doc McStuffins. Lastly, DC Super Friends and Disney Princess featured twice across the lists.

The most popular toy, featured on four lists, is WowWee’s Fingerlings. Among non-licensed offerings, top performers include Hasbro brands (Furreal Roarin’ Tigers, Nerf, and Play Doh). Fisher-Price nabbed a spot on every list, sometimes appearing multiple times on the same list. LEGO’s strength lies in its Star Wars and Boost Creative sets, but just two retailers included the company’s toys on their lists. MGA’s Project Mc2, Num Noms, and L.O.L. Surprise brands also had a strong performance.

The Nintendo Switch was the only console to make the lists this year, but Kohl’s featured multiple tablets and the retailers tended to include at least some toys with electronic components on their lists.

What is interesting to see this year is the proliferation of larger-than-life play sets and interactive robot toys. These command the highest price tags, usually between $100–200. In juxtoposition, small collectibles featured just as frequently and prominently.

Although Walmart’s release did not specificy which, if any, of its toys were exclusive to the retailer, Toys ‘R’ Us seems to have the highest share of exclusive offerings padding its top list (approximately 45%). Just two of Target’s top toys were exclusives, and four of Amazon’s.

Overall, Walmart has promised more than 1,000 new toys, which includes more than 300 exclusives. The big box retailer said that about 25% of its toy stock will be exclusive. In comparison, Target will sell over 1,400 new and exclusive toys. Last year, Target introduced 1,800 new and exclusive toys in 2016, or up 15% more than in 2015, and the most it had ever sold.

Last year, most brick-and-mortar retails reported disappointing results, blaming the rise of ecommerce and the price-gouging of big-box retailers.

Top Toys of the 2017 Holiday Season
*Licensed product. ‡Retailer exclusive.
Toys 'R' Us
(Geoffrey’s Top 20)
(Top 25)
Baby So Sweet 16-Inch Nursery Doll‡Barbie Dream Camper (Mattel)*Automoblox Mini SC1 Chaos & HR5 ScorchAdventure Force Light Command Light-Up Motorized Blaster‡Barbie Glam Boat & Doll Set (Mattel)*
Coco Interactive Guitar (Mattel)*Beat Bugs Musical Submarine*‡Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby (Brunette)Barbie Dream Horse and Doll (Mattel)*Black & Decker Junior Play Workbench*
Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery (Just Play)*BONK Board GameCars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway Playset (Mattel)*Disney/Pixar Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway (Mattel)*Camelio Android Family 7" Tablet
Furreal Roarin’ Ivory, the Playful Tiger (Hasbro)‡Disney/Pixar Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway (Mattel)*CozmoDoc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery (Just Play)*Doc McStuffins Doctor Bag & Doll Set*
Glimmies Glimtern (Just Play)‡Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn First Words Smart PuppyDisney Princess Dance Code Belle (Hasbro)*‡Dusty the Super Duper Garbage TruckDollie & Me 18" Doll
Hatchimals Surprise (Spin Master)*Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag MoviDropMix Music Gaming SystemFisher-Price Zoom ‘n Crawl MonsterFisher-Price Imaginext Batcave
Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme (Fisher-Price)*Hatchimals Surprise*Enchantimals Panda Tree House Playset (Mattel)*Frozen Sleigh*‡Fisher-Price Imaginext Pirate Ship
L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise (MGA)Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage Playset*Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle Toy‡FurReal Friends Roarin’ Tyler The Playful Tiger (Hasbro)Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Baby Grand Piano
Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports ZoneJetson Beam Light-Up Electric ScooterFurReal Makers Proto Max‡Hatchimals Surprise (Spin Master)*Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Clippity Clop Castle*‡
NERF Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K Blaster (Hasbro)Jetson Jupiter Light-Up Kick ScooterFurReal Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger (Hasbro)Huffy Electric Green Machine TrikeFisher-Price Thomas & Friends Quest for the Crown Trackmaster Set*
Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-ConL.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise (MGA)Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out XylophoneImaginext DC Super Friends Batman Batbot Xtreme*Furby Boom!‡
Of Dragons, Fairies, and Wizards Magical Fairy Wand Fairy Princess Fern (Cepia LLC)Laser X Two Player Laser Gaming SetLEGO Boost Creative ToolboxL.O.L. Surprise Fizz Factory (MGA)Hello Kitty Airlines Playset*
Oonies Mega Starter Pack (Moose Toys)‡LEGO Friends Sunshine CatamaranLEGO Ninjago Destiny’s Bounty*littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit*Jake & the Neverland Pirates Island Tiki Hideout Gift Set*‡
PAW Patrol Sea Patroller (Spin Master)*LEGO Star Wars BB-8 Build to Display*Melissa & Doug Star Diner RestaurantMayka Toy Block TapeKaotiks Whiplash Run Playset
Pikmi Pops Surprise! Jumbo Plush (Moose Toys)‡Little Live Pets Smooch My Dream KittenNerf Nitro FlashFury Chaos (Hasbro)Mickey and the Roadster Racers Transforming Hot Rod Mickey (Fisher-Price)*Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Hoop Set
Power Rangers Ninja Steel Lion Fire Fortress Zord (Bandai)*‡Luvabella Interactive Baby DollOsmo Genius KitMonster Jam Grave Digger*MEEP! X2 Tablet Gift Set‡
Power Wheels Boomerang (Fisher-Price)‡MARVEL Spider-Man Homecoming Super Sense Spider-Man*‡Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower (Spin Master)*Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K (Hasbro)Mega Bloks First Builders Tub
Project Mc2 Smart Pixel Purse (MGA)*Meccano Erector M.A.X. Robotic Interactive Toy with Artificial IntelligencePJ Masks Headquarters Playset (Just Play)*New Bright Radio Control TumblebeeMonster High Jewelry Box Coffin & Doll Gift Set (Mattel)*
Shimmer and Shine Magical Light-Up Genie Palace (Fisher-Price)‡Melissa & Doug Deluxe Star Diner RestaurantPlay-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio (Hasbro)Num Noms Nail Polish Maker (MGA)Mr. Potato Head Super Spud (Playskool)
WowWee Fingerlings (Unicorn Gigi‡)Moonlite – Bedtime Story Projector for Your PhoneRoller Coaster Challenge Logic & Building GamePAW Patrol My Size Lookout Tower (Spin Master)*Nerf Elite Stryfe Mission Kit
My Little Pony: The Movie My Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle*Seedling Littles Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape KitRadio Control DashCamPlaymobil Knights or Princess Castle Set
NERF Rival Phantom Corps Hera MXVII-1200Soggy Doggy Board GameRECOIL Starter SetSophia the First 10" Doll*
Nintendo SwitchSphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen Vehicle*Soggy Doggy Board GameVTech Innotab 3S Tablet Gift Set
Operation: Escape Room Board GameTegu Travel Pals Building-and-Stacking-ToysVTech Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball PitVTech Kidijamz Music Studio
Our Generation Healthy Paws Vet ClinicWowWee Fingerlings Glitter with Blanket (Interactive Baby Monkey Rose‡)WowWee FingerlingsZoomer Robotic Dog Gift Set‡
PAW Patrol Sea Patroller*
Playskool Friends Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo*
Shopkins Shoppies Super Mall*
Star Wars Force Link BB-8 Mega Playset*


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