It can be hard to tell what toys will be hot until they're already gone from store shelves. But this year, retailers' beefed-up layaway and toy reservation services provided some early indicators.
Wal-Mart, Kmart and Toys R Us say items that are proving popular include the kids' tablet LeapPad2, the new and improved Furby and Power Wheels battery-powered cars. But Barbies and Monster High dolls are high on the list, too.
Mattel's monster-themed dolls are among the biggest names in the doll aisle, and toy retailers are offering exclusive sets to draw in shoppers. The Doc McStuffins Time for Your Check-Up doll by Just Play and the Lalaloopsy by MGA are also selling briskly.
Several top toy lists include the Y Fliker F1 Scooter by Yvolution, a three-wheeled scooter that's self-propelled by the rider's movement.
Low-tech favorites include Fisher Price's Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace Playset, as well as toy train sets, dollhouses and bikes. And, of course, Legos, the Danish construction sets that have kept kids occupied for more than 50 years.