To let children try out this year’s most in-demand toys from their computers or tablets, Walmart and choice-driven entertainment company eko unveiled the Walmart Toy Lab for this year’s holiday season. The offering combines play for kids with convenience for parents during the holiday rush, according to an announcement.
Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart’s vice president of toys, said in the announcement, “Being a retailer isn’t simply about selling items anymore – it’s about creating an experience for our customers. The Walmart Toy Lab is a way for us to create a digital experience for kids to really see our hottest toys in action as we enter the holiday season.”
With the offering, children can enter the Walmart Toy Lab and become toy testers in a workshop that is described as “bright” and “fantastical.” Kids can use a “Funtroller” alongside two hosts to experiment, look at or play with the hottest toys of the season. They can try out the toys – from coaxing a creature out of the How to Train Your Hatching Dragon to cruising on a Hover-1 Kart hoverboard – before putting them onto their wish lists.
Ivy Sheibar, chief brand officer of eko, said in the announcement, “KidHQ is filling a gap left behind by shuttered toy stores and old-school catalogs, and is in the process is reinventing how brands connect with people.” She continued, “I have young children and know firsthand that kids have grown accustomed to interacting and playing with technology. KidHQ fulfills these expectations by inviting kids to choose what happens next throughout the experience rather than passively consuming content. At eko, we believe it’s the future for entertainment and brands alike.”
According to the announcement, “The Walmart Toy Lab is an example of Walmart’s commitment to delivering convenience and fun experiences to customers this holiday season.” The offering was created in conjunction with eko, and the Walmart Toy Lab harnesses eko technology to “reinvent” traditional catalogs as well as today’s YouTube “unboxing videos.”