For Christmas: Kids Want Poop, Pimples, & Something Cute!

“Gross definitely sells in the toy business,” says Jim Silver, the editor in chief of toy review site In one game, called Don’t Step In It, players are blindfolded and have to avoid stepping in soft, clay-like “poop.” A unicorn version of the game features poop in bright colors. Both have been on Amazon’s list of best-selling toys.

Another popular game is Pimple Pete, says Silver. Players pull, wiggle or twist out squishy “zits” from a plastic face. Losers get squirted with water.

It's not all gross. The LOL Surprise brand is a hot seller again so far this year, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks online spending. With LOL Surprise, kids peel each layer of a shrink-wrapped plastic ball to reveal dolls, stickers or other trinkets.

And don't forget the pets...


Old-guard retailers are adding some new features to their shopping apps and websites. 

Using Target’s app, shoppers can scan its physical toy catalog so they can find more details about the items and add them to their shopping cart.

Walmart has been revamping its website over the past year to allow shoppers to easily discover more items. The discounter recently introduced, a new digital playground where shoppers can play with 20 top toys on their computer or tablet. They can also share their favorites on a digital wish list. At the store, Walmart’s app now helps shoppers find the exact location of a particular item.


Amazon and eBay are taking a page from traditional retailers and printing their own toy catalogs. Amazon is shipping its toy book to shoppers’ mailboxes while eBay placed a shortened six-page version inside People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue. Amazon’s will also be available at its physical bookstores, and eBay handed out a longer version at a New York pop-up shop.

One thing missing from Amazon’s toy book: prices. The online retailer tells readers to pick up a phone, open the Amazon app and take a snap of the toy to see how much it costs.

Both companies are trying to make a play for former shoppers of Toys R Us, which sent holiday toy catalogs each year before shutting down this summer.

“Kids love them,” says Silver, noting how they like to circle what they want. “It’s a different experience than sitting at the computer.”

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