Retailers Share Top Toy Lists

Walmart and Kohl’s among early listers for the must-have kids’ toys and games.

Jane Neal, Content Editor

September 22, 2023

4 Min Read
Spin Masters' four toys on Walmart’s 2023 Top Toys List
Spin Master's four toys on Walmart’s 2023 Top Toys ListSpin Master

Whether it’s Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzaa, if there are kids in your life, they’re probably already thinking about holiday toys … and letting you know what they’re thinking! Retailers are also considering the holiday season and what toys will be hot. In fact, Walmart released its 2023 top toy list at the end of August. Why so early? One reason is that most popular toys can sell out fast, so it’s important to start shopping early.

Here at License Global, we follow toys … a lot. Whether it’s our Global Toy Report, looking at how films play into the toy market or just examining growth trends in the toy market, we’re probably covering it. One reason is that the toy market is monster-big. According to Statista, in 2022, U.S. retail toy sales amounted to more than $29 billion. Another factor is that the toys and games market sales consist of total revenues generated through the sale of licensed action figures, dolls, games and puzzles, plush toys, vehicles and other playthings. So, it’s no surprise to see IP-based toys dominating Walmart’s 2023 Top Toy List.

Make Way for the Movies

This year was big for movies. Whether it’s a blockbuster like “Barbie,” a reboot like, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” or even a much-anticipated film that hasn’t even premiered yet, like “Trolls: Band Together,” there are licensed toys tied to them and kids who want them. Among the film-inspired toys that topped the list are:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Shredders

  • Trolls Band Together Hair Pops

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie 2.5-inch Action Figure with Pull Back

  • Star Wars Droidables

  • LEGO Star Wars Executor Super Star Destroyer

  • 16-inch Spider-man or Disney Frozen Bike

  • Barbie Roller Doll 

  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Movie 2-in-1 Converting Mask

  • Barbie Dreamhouse, 75+ Pieces, Pool Party Doll House with 3-Story Slide

  • Marvel Spider-Man Super Web Slinger Role-Play

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Half Pipe Remote Control Figures

“The holiday season is just around the corner, and Walmart is ready to help our customers plan ahead and save even more for all the kids on their list,” says Brittany Smith, vice president, merchandising, toys, Walmart U.S.

Also on this year’s lists are many of the big brands and franchises consumers crave every Christmas. LEGO, Pokémon, CoComelon, Hot Wheels and Magic Mixies are perennial favorites. Some of the more popular licensed preschool toys this year feature Bluey, Gabby’s Dollhouse and PAW Patrol.

Spin Master, a leading children’s entertainment company, shared that it had four toys land on Walmart’s highly anticipated 2023 Top Toys List. The grouping includes Spin Master’s Bitzee, an interactive digital pet; the Gabby’s Dollhouse Gabby Cat Friend Ship playset; the Monkey See, Monkey Poo kids’ boardgame and the aforementioned Skye 12-inch premium plush that celebrates the heroine of the upcoming “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” feature film.

“Every year, we look forward to finding innovative ways to deliver magical play experiences, and we are honored to have these four toys on Walmart’s Top Toy List, which are sure to be at the top of children’s wish lists this season,” says Chris Beardall, president, toys and chief commercial officer, Spin Master.

Other retailers have also begun to release their top toy lists. Kohl’s is kicking off its 2023 holiday season by revealing the top 20 toys it expects to make every kid’s wish list. From Magic Mixies, Squishmallows and Magic Whispers to Barbie’s Dreamhouse, Hot Wheels Ferris Wheel and Pokémon Packs, Kohl’s wish list also reads like a who’s who among popular global licensed IPs.

“As parents and loved ones start building their holiday lists, our top toys list is the perfect tool to make shopping easy and inspire confidence that they’re getting the most sought-after toys that every kid will be asking for this year,” says Nick Jones, chief merchandising and digital officer, Kohl’s. “We also know how important value is to our customers, so our assortment is filled with toys to fit all ranges of budgets.”

Kohl’s will also have hundreds of other toys, including holiday-favorite categories, such as arts and crafts, action toys and vehicles, outdoor toys, NERF, LEGO building sets and more, available throughout the season. Plus, to help make shopping for toys as easy as possible, has all toys categorized and highlighted by price. The upcoming Kohl’s full holiday gift guide will feature dozens more toys the company will have available this season.

Squishmallows are among the top gifts of the season for kids and teens, and new this year, Kohl’s is making sure customers can find all the best Squishmallow gifts in its new and significantly expanded assortment of Squishmallow products. Beginning in October, Kohl’s stores will feature a dedicated Squishmallow area boasting a cross-category selection of products, including plush, backpacks, bedding, throws, impulse toys and more. The Squishmallow assortment will be featured in 1,100 stores and at

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

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