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Target releases list of top toys for holidays

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Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is including specialty toy brands as well as traditional toy brands in its annual list of top toys for the holidays, the Star Tribune reports.

The retailer released its list of top toy recommendations Tuesday. In addition to recommending offerings from Lego, Fisher Price and Mattel, the retailer's website is featuring specialty toys that can be purchased in stores or online.

Among the offerings are Wonderology's Shake & Quake Volcano, Hape's Wooden Instrument Bench, Wacky-tivities' Kinetic Sand Fun Island Playset and WowWee's MiP Robot.

In a press release, Target says the boutique brand toys "focus on play patterns such as discovery, exploration and imagination that promote child development."

Introduced in Target stores last month, the company says its boutique assortment "boasts high quality construction and includes animal figures and play sets, wooden toys, arts [and] crafts, science kits and more."

“One of this year’s top toy trends is to focus on how creative play helps children advance cognitive development, increase exploration and recognize their abilities to function in the world,” Toy Industry Association Vice President, Strategic Communications Ken Seiter says in the Target announcement. “We are excited to see Target emphasizing the importance of creative play by offering this new and expanded assortment.”

Nearly 50 items are recommended on this year's list. Also among the top recommendations are Lego's Friends Jungle Tree Sanctuary, Mattel's Barbie Fashion Design Makeover and Fisher-Price's Little People City Skyway Playset.

Capitalizing on the continuing "Frozen" craze, Target is offering exclusive My-Size dolls of the movie's two main characters, Anna and Elsa.

Target's list of top holiday toys comes just a few days after Walmart released its annual list.

Bloomberg Businessweek says the world's largest retailer turned to a 1,000-kid focus group to help determine this year's list, based on 80 toys for kids ages 18 months to 10 years.

Narrowed down to 20 items, the Wal-Mart lists include a glowing Elsa "Frozen" doll from Jakks Pacific and Fisher Price's Little Musical Preschool. All of Wal-Mart's holiday recommendations will carry a "Chosen by Kids" label in stores and online.

Nationwide toy retailer Toys R' Us released its annual list of Hot Holiday Toys Tuesday.

The company recommended 36 different items in a press release, and specifically cited its "Fabulous 15," including LeapTV from LeapFrog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch 'N' Shout Leonardo from Playmates Toys, and the FurReal Friends Get Up and Go Go My Walkin' Pup from Hasbro.

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