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Justin Bieber Rockin’ Tour Bus May Top Holiday Toy Sales
The Justin Bieber Rockin’ Tour Bus, which lets teenage girls relive the pop star’s concert experience for $79.99, and an iPad-like $99.99 LeapPad tablet may be among the top-selling holiday gifts this year.
Hasbro Inc. (HAS)’s $17.99 Nerf Vortex Proton Blaster, which comes with three long-distance discs, and Screenlife’s Scene It? Harry Potter: The Complete Cinematic Journey, a $29.99 board game, are also among the toys on the “Hot 20” list compiled by Toy Insider, a shopping guide released today.
“Last year we worked really hard to keep our prices under $50,” said Laurie Schacht, the Toy Insider’s co-publisher, in a telephone interview. “We allowed ourselves to price it a little higher but the economy is still tight.”
Consumer spending remains restrained amid 9.1 percent unemployment and fears of a double-dip recession. Toymakers typically generate at least a third of annual revenue from fourth-quarter holiday sales.
The sixth annual Toy Insider, featuring 110 toy recommendations divided by age group, will be published in the Nov. 17 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. Other items will be listed on the group’s website.
Toy sales this year will be flat compared with last year, said Gerrick Johnson, a toy industry analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York.
“Retailers are being really cautious,” Johnson said in a Sept. 23 phone interview. “They are not bringing a lot of product in for the holiday season.” Last year, many retailers were stuck with excessive inventory, he said.
U.S. toy sales rose to $21.7 billion last year, compared with $21.5 billion in 2009, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, New York-based researcher.
Consumer demand will remain similar to last year’s, with people buying fewer items because prices have gone up about 5 percent to 6 percent this year, Johnson said.
The Toy Insider’s “Hot 20” Toys for the 2011 Holiday Season
0-2 Years: Elefun Busy Ball Popper - Playskool Let’s Rock Elmo - Hasbro Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo – Fisher-Price Pocoyo Swiggletraks - Bandai
3-5 Years: Chuggington Interactive Railway – Learning Curve Lazer Stunt Chaser – Thinkway Toys Mini Lalaloopsy Treehouse – MGA Entertainment LeapPad LeapFrog Lite Sprites - WowWee PlasmaBike - PlaSmart
6-8 Years: Angry Birds Plush – Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co. Justin Bieber Rockin’ Tour Bus and Concert Stage – The Bridge Direct Nerf Vortex Proton Blaster - Hasbro Radica Fijit Friends - Mattel Redakai Championship Tin – Spin Master Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure - Activision
9+ Years: Alien Conquest: Alien Mothership – Lego Systems Paper Jamz Pro Series Microphone - WowWee Scene It? Harry Potter: The Complete Cinematic Journey – Screenlife uDraw Game Tablet - THQ
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