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TRU fires latest shot in holiday toy battle

WAYNE, N.J. — Toys"R"Us revealed its 2012 hot toys list Wednesday, but not before Walmart did the same, giving the discounter a head start and the opportunity to poke fun at the toy retailer's earlier announced toy reservation program.

The Toys"R"Us list includes 36 toys available in stores and online at Toysrus.com/HotToys. As earlier announced, customers can reserve any of the 36 toys named to the list, as well as 14 additional Holiday Hot Toy List "contenders," now through Oct. 31.

"At Toys"R"Us, we live and breathe toys 365 days a year, and we've spent the past 12 months scouring the world for the most amazing new toy introductions to offer our customers this Christmas," said Lisa Harnisch, SVP, general merchandising manager, Toys"R"Us, U.S. "Putting together this official guide to holiday toy shopping is never easy, but our track record for identifying the hottest toys of the season year after year is well established.  That's why we're excited also to introduce our first-ever Hot Toy Reservation program, providing gift givers the ability to obtain any of the 50 toys we – as THE toy authority – believe will be among the most sought-after playthings of the season."

Walmart got a jump on Toys"R"Us by unveiling its top toy list on Friday morning. In doing so it took the opportunity to take a shot at Toys"R"Us and its toy reservation program.

Walmart said its layaway program and top toy offering gives parents the confidence to shop now for the toys kids want at every day low prices. And in an obvious dig at Toys"R"Us, the press release for Walmart’s top 20 toys declared, "no reservations required: America’s largest toy seller’s hassle-free layaway program begins this Sunday."

Walmart’s announcement followed a Toy’s "R" Us event held at the retailer’s New York City flagship stores where CEO Gerry Storch sought to position his company as the holiday toy authority and unveiled a new "hot toy" reservation program. Toys "R" Us includes 50 items on what it called its much-anticipated hot toy list that serves as the official guide to Christmas toy buying. The company also said it would begin a new service to ship orders placed online to stores, something Walmart has been doing for years.

 

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