Interactive toys with an innovative twist, including some YouTube discoveries, will be hot this holiday season, says Lisa Harnisch, vice president and general merchandise manager of core toy and seasonal for Toys R Us, which unveiled its hot holiday toy list late Monday.

The list reflects the culmination of nearly a year's work. In January, Toys R Us met with key toy manufacturers in Hong Kong, inventors, as well as its local buying teams in the country to decipher emerging toy trends.

"We came back with thousands of products and concepts," Harnisch tells DailyFinance.

The retailer then took in the trends at toy fairs in Germany and New York, and during the first and second quarters of the year. Then, it was time to consult the experts: Kids.

"We hold focus groups with kids who test the products and give their input to determine which [toys] have appeal," she says.

After that, Toys R Us whittles the list down to items it believes will most thrill kids.

The overarching theme this year is "innovation -- we already know that kids want newness...and taking that to the next level," Harnisch says.

YouTube turned out to be a source for some fresh finds for Toys R Us' buyers, who found My Keepon, for example, on the site.

This robot with yellow, textured skin, a Toys R Us exclusive, reacts to touch, can listen to music, decipher a beat and dance in rhythm. "It's very interactive," she says.

Air Swimmers eXtreme is another YouTube discovery. With these battery operated, fish-shaped metallic balloons that "swim" through the air via radio control, kids can make believe their home is an indoor aquarium.

The list also includes products that mirror what's trending in movies and TV, such as the Monster High Fearleading 3-Pack from Mattel, which builds on the ghoulish success of shows like Twilight and True Blood, Harnisch says.

These three fashion dolls, Draculaura, Cleo De Nile and Ghoulia, which attend "Monster High," are the teenage students of legendary monsters.

Some toys are already in stores, while others will start to trickle on to the retailers' shelves later this month.

Despite the tepid economy, Toys R Us expects a robust business this holiday season, having generated comp-store sales gains during the last two fourth quarters, she says.

Still, Toys R Us' holiday assortment marks a nod to shoppers in bargain mode, with items priced from $5 to $279, Harnisch says. "We know that hot toys will always sell, and that people can find something within their budgets."

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Ethan Hunt

heyy..visit wonderful toys and good quality price too.Now they are managing a special price for each visit in their website

March 20 2012 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Queenie Le Fright

So does this mean there is monster high dolls in the toys r us hong kong? :D i wud be so happy!

February 14 2012 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

New toys come and go. Do you ever wonder what happened to the toys that you had as a child... Check out and you might see them in the video or even at the next Toy Show in St.Louis, MO.

September 23 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And the distracting Roman Circus plays on with ads for expensive toys, electronics, sneakers, jeans, cars, medicines, etc. that most, if not the majority, of U.S. citizens who haven't maxed out their credit cards can afford for themselves and their children if they need food and shelter. The ads would probably draw more real dollar spending in Dubai than in post-Bush Third-World-America. Meanwhile the "American Dream" is merely an illusion for 99% of us. (Of course, the American Dream of home ownership has always been an illusion. Owners merely rent their homes from the government. Just try not paying your taxes and see how long that dream lasts.)

September 20 2011 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Toys R Us is also planning to add a 2nd cashier in some of its stores.....for the holidays.

September 20 2011 at 7:39 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to psys06's comment

Best comment I've read all day. Kudos.

September 20 2011 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"ADVERTISEMENT" should also go on the daily Dancing With the Stars and American Idol updates. You don't think there's any NEWS factor in that......

September 20 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This article should have "ADVERTISEMENT" at the top.

September 20 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Wow, that will be a real explosion for kids! I often think that if I had such toys in my childhood I would have been the happiest child in the world! :) Hope to take my kids to this store.. Christmas time is coming :))))) Seems like Toys R US is one of the best toy stores)
BTW, what kid's stores ( do you usually go?

September 20 2011 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is obvious that whatever company gave the best deals/concessions to Toys-r-Us made the list. They should be ashamed, they should be promoting learning, instead they are trying to sell you some cheap made in China toys at super high margins. I bet you the toys on the list are high profit margin items. And that is the #1 and only reason they are on the list.

September 20 2011 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Just a thought. How about taking the money you would spend on those cheap Chinese made toys and starting a college fund for your kids ?

September 20 2011 at 6:47 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply