In this photo provided by Spin Master, a Spin Master Hatchimal is demonstrated. Searching for the seasons hot holiday toys doesnt have to end in disappointment. With the help of technology, some phone calls and shoe leather, hard-to-find holiday toys such as Hatchimals and NES Classic dont have to remain elusive. (Spin Master via AP) ORG XMIT: NYBZ347
Ultimately, holiday shoppers will have more than 1,000 new toys from which to choose. "This list is just beginning,'' says Kehoe. "It doesn't stop until the doors close on Christmas Eve.''
» $7,000 worth of Legos stolen
A few of Walmart's choices were in line with the predictions of Amazon, which for the first time released its own top 25 holiday toy picks last week. Both retailers included the "Cars 3" Ultimate Florida Speedway and Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower.
Hatchimals became hard to find last year by mid-December. Walmart says details on the new version are due Oct. 6.
Star Wars, with a raft of toys based on the release of new films in the franchise over the past two years, will once again be on prominent display with a line of licensed toys crowding store shelves in connection with "The Last Jedi" debuting later this year.
Walmart, locked in a battle with Amazon, says about a quarter of its top toys will be exclusives. They include a sleigh, based on the animated feature "Frozen," and the Adventure Force blaster which propel darts as far as 80 feet.
» Officer finds girl's stolen toy, takes it on adventure before returning it
Walmart will again offer a holiday layaway program, which started Friday. Gift givers will need to put down $10 or 10 percent of their items' overall price, compile a basket worth at least $50 and have until Dec. 11 to pay off their account.
"We know many of our customers use it for a number of reasons whether it's to stay on a budget or to buy now and avoid the holiday rush,'' Kehoe says.
For an industry that has been rocked by shrinking foot traffic as customers increasingly shop online, a lot is riding on the trove of games and gadgets that are starting to hit store shelves. The weeks leading into the winter holidays are typically the most lucrative part of the year for retailers, with many reaping as much as half of their annual revenue during those crucial months.
E-commerce giant Amazon and Walmart have sought to one-up each other with cheaper, faster delivery options, and Walmart has scooped up niche e-commerce sites, while leveraging its extensive fleet of storefronts.
Despite many major retailers closing stores amid faltering sales, the industry saw its best holiday sales period in four years in 2016. Shoppers spent $270.1 billion — a 3.4 percent uptick — on purchases pegged to Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas, according to retail research firm GlobalData.
That upward trend is expected to continue, with GlobalData preliminarily forecasting a 2.3 percent uptick in spending this holiday season to $279.1 billion.
» Kids find comfort with stuffed animals, books before surgery
Walmart's Top 25 Picks
Hatchimals Surprise (*Coming soon, details to be released on Oct. 6)
littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
Num Noms Nail Polish Maker
FurReal Friends Roarin' Tyler The Playful Tiger
Barbie DreamHorse and Doll
Fisher-Price Zoom 'n Crawl Monster
L.O.L. Surprise Fizz Factory
Soggy Doggy Board Game
Mayka Toy Block Tape
Frozen Sleigh (*Walmart exclusive)
Adventure Force Light Command Light-Up Motorized Blaster (*Walmart exclusive)
Monster Jam Grave Digger (*Walmart exclusive)
Huffy Electric Green Machine Trike
Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K
RECOIL Starter Set
New Bright Radio Control Tumblebee
VTech Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball Pit (*Walmart exclusive)
Radio Control DashCam (*Walmart exclusive)
Dusty the Super Duper Garbage Truck
Imaginext DC Super Friends Batman Batbot Xtreme
Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower
Disney/Pixar "Cars 3" Ultimate Florida Speedway
Mickey and the Roadster Racers Transforming Hot Rod Mickey
Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Baby All in One Nursery