Walmart wants kids to have fun, even during a pandemic. To do that, the mega-retailer has vowed to serve up a bit of 21st-century tech magic.
The “Walmart Wonder Lab” will give kids a way to experience its Top-Rated By Kids Toys List offerings, the company said in a news release. “Starting today, kids can play and engage with hundreds of toys from the aisles of America’s Best Toy Shop,” the company said. Eko, which offers interactive video, is a partner in the Walmart project.
“The Walmart Wonder Lab transports kids into a choice-driven experience where kids can unbox, test and play with this holiday season’s hottest toys without leaving home,” added the release.
In line with the COVID-19 era, Walmart said that “there are many convenient pickup and delivery options that customers can take advantage of as soon as the same day, with services like Pickup and delivery, or as quickly as the next day with services like Express delivery or shipped from Walmart.com.”
The unveiling of the Wonder Lab was timed to coincide with Walmart’s announcement of its list of the 36 hottest toys for the 2020 holiday season.
“This year’s Top-Rated by Kids Toy List reflects the shift we’ve seen in toy trends and behaviors this year,” said Steve Ronchetto, vice president of Toys at Walmart, in the release. Given the ongoing pandemic, he added that “toys play a critical role in families’ lives as they spend more time at home and parents seek ways to keep kids engaged with learning-based play.”
The list covers everything from toys based on movies like “Frozen Two,” to high-tech gadgets, to “interactive play” toys such as the Disney Princess Vanity, to “surprise toys” like the L.O.L. Surprise Playset, to “energy-burning” and “screen-free indoor entertainment.”
For last year's holiday season, the retailing giant unveiled a similarly-themed Walmart Toy Lab. Anne Marie Kehoe, then Walmart’s vice president of Toys, said at the time, “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.”