Five Gift Giving Themes Have Already Emerged For This Holiday Season

WAYNE, NJ (November 8, 2005) – Toys “R” Us has identified five toy categories that have already caught shoppers’ attention even before the 2005 holiday season is in full swing. Shoppers, eager to get an early start on their holiday shopping, have gravitated towards some distinct product categories and several trends have emerged, including: entertainment-on-the-go, electronic learning aids, return of the classics, get up and play and music “accessories.”

“This holiday season, there’s some great innovation and exciting new product introductions that are striking a chord with customers,” said John Barbour, president, Toys “R” Us, U.S. “We continue to see an evolution of toys designed for today’s tech-savvy kids and the customer response to these items has been fantastic,” continued Barbour. “At the same time, many parents remember their own magical experiences with toys and are hoping to introduce their children to some of the true classics.”

Below are the five key toy trends that Toys “R” Us has identified for Holiday 2005 along with some of the best product examples within each trend:

Trend #1: Entertainment On-The-Go
The popularity of portable entertainment products is on the rise with kids of all ages. While this category has been evolving over the past few years, it has never been more exciting than this holiday season. One of the most innovative items in this category is Pixel Chix™ from Mattel, which combines LCD screen technology with the excitement of 3-D video play. In the Pixel Chix world, a virtual girlfriend lives inside a small 3-D house where kids can interact with her and build relationships. In addition, an electronic version of the addictive Japanese puzzle game, Sudoku is creating a lot of excitement among game-enthusiasts. The new Handheld Sodoku from Techno Source, perfect while traveling or during dedicated game time, features an LCD touch-screen that allows players to easily place and replace numbers as they zero in on the right combinations. In the growing segment of handheld video gaming units, Game Boy Advance (GBA) Micro from Nintendo helps keep kids occupied on long road trips with the smallest screen yet while utilizing the entire GBA library of more than 700 games. And, Hasbro has introduced VCamNow™, a pocket-size digital video camera that lets budding film makers or photographers capture memorable moments by recording a movie or taking still pictures.

Trend #2: Electronic Learning Aids
Parents continue to seek the newest interactive toys that can provide educational value for their children. As technology improves, so does the opportunity to make learning fun. Heading up the list of teaching toys for the young school-age set are the new V.Smile™ Pocket Learning System from V-Tech and Leapster L-Max™ Learning Game System by LeapFrog. For tweens and early teens, LeapFrog has introduced the FLY™ Pentop Computer which acts as a pocket-sized tutor by helping students solve math homework problems, practice spelling lists and translate words from English to Spanish. In addition, Leapfrog, in partnership with Enfora, has introduced TicTalk™, the first parent-controlled cell phone with parents and educators in mind. This special cell phone for elementary school-aged children comes loaded with fun learning games that teach over 400 school skills.

Trend #3: Return Of The Classics
Several beloved toys are returning this holiday season, ready to delight a whole new generation of kids – and kids at heart. Off store shelves since the 1970’s, Classic Mystery Date™ from Hasbro Games is back challenging players to dress appropriately for their prom, snowboarding or “popular guy” date. The Magic Glow™ Doodle Bear™ from Play Along is an updated version of the loveable plush toy that combines cuddling and drawing in one. Kids can write messages on the bear with their magic glow light pen and see them glow in the dark. Cabbage Patch Kids® Baby Twins from Play Along are new versions of the beloved Cabbage Patch Kids from the 1980’s. And now, for the first time ever, the patient speaks (his mind) in the classic game of Operation® from Hasbro Games. Homer Simpson is the patient in this updated version of the game, and players will hear some of Homer’s famous phrases as they are challenged to cure his many ailments from a “chip on shoulder” to a “pea brain.”

Trend #4: Get Up and Play
A whole new crop of toys are being introduced that inspire children to get up off the couch and play. Among the items designed to promote active play is JoJo’s Dance Mat from Pop Rocket, an interactive playmat that encourages pre-schoolers to march, spin and jump. The Bella Dancerella™ Cinderella Dance Studio from Spin Master lets young princesses-in-training learn the steps to ten classic dances, with fun excerpts from the Disney classic, Cinderella. Also, kids can become karate masters with the Black Belts™ Karate Studio from Spin Master. This item includes a step-by step training video and inflatable heavy bag that allows children to safely learn karate moves, punches, blocks, stances and kicks. And, for hours of outdoor play, the Nerf™ Big Bad Bow from Hasbro helps kids take their archery skills to a whole new level.

Trend #5: Music “Accessories”
In this MP3 player generation, it was only a matter of time before toy manufacturers found a way to marry today’s hottest musical “must have” item with some cool new toys. I-Dog™ from Hasbro is a palm-sized robot dog that plugs into any music system and plays tunes through a built-in speaker. This loveable pooch loves to listen to music and will wiggle its ears and sway its head along to every beat. iZ™ from Zizzle celebrates the fusion of music and toy by allowing owners to plug into any music source and listen to their favorite songs. Plus, music fans can twist iZ’s ears to create new rhythms or press his belly to change the beat. For the car lover and music enthusiast, the new Lincoln Navigator (1:6 Scale RC) with MP3 Player Sound System from Fast Lane is a full function radio control car with detailed street styled interior. It features a real MP3 player built into the vehicle that allows kids to download 30 minutes of their favorite tunes into the car’s sound system.

About Toys “R” Us
Toys “R” Us, Inc. is one of the leading specialty toy retailers in the world. It currently sells merchandise through more than 1,500 stores, including 674 toy stores in the U.S. and 633 international toy stores, including licensed and franchise stores as well as through its Internet sites at, and Babies “R” Us, a division of Toys “R” Us, Inc., is the largest baby product specialty store chain in the world and a leader in the juvenile industry, and sells merchandise through 223 stores in the U.S. as well as on the Internet at

For more information please contact:

Kelly Cullen
Phone: 646-366-8822

Kathleen Waugh
Phone: 646-366-8823