What toys are hot for the holidays? Just ask Mom.
Actually, ask lots of moms. That’s what Amazon.com did recently when it created an ad hoc focus group called “Amazon Mom.”
Nearly half a million moms weighed in on what toys would be hot with their tots this year. Their Top 50 picks – featured prominently on the toy guide section of the giant online retailer’s website – range from a web-slinging Spider-Man to a “Frozen” ice-skating Elsa doll.
Lisa Diaz, of the tiny city of Belton in South Carolina’s Upstate, unknowingly became part of that marketing push last month after posting a comment on how much her son would like a train set shown on an Amazon social media page. The company took her feedback – along with that from 400,000 other moms who post on one of the company’s Facebook pages – and distilled it into a “Mom Picks 2014” list of 50 top toys and games for the end-of-year period.
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“It means that other moms and everybody can have a voice,” said Diaz, 34, who added that she didn’t realize the full extent of what she was doing by posting her comment. “I think it’s neat.”
Here’s a sampling of some of this year’s picks:
Anything “Frozen”: Toys from the hit movie that made the list include an Elsa singing doll, a castle and ice palace play set, a CD featuring the songs from the movie and an acoustic guitar featuring characters from the movie.
Classics: Toys that have stood the test of time also are popular, including a Melissa & Doug standing art easel, Lincoln Logs, a basic 50-car Hot Wheels pack and the classic Twister game.
Riding toys: Kids love to go mobile. Fisher Price Power Wheels made the list twice, with a Jeep Wrangler ride-on and a Dune Racer ride-on. And for the little ones, the company’s 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride and Ride Elephant was popular.
Cool electronics: Can’t get a dog? You can get a robot that will follow you around like a puppy. The MiP Deluxe Pack is on the list, along with LeapFrog’s LeapPad3 learning tablet and a variety of video games.
Bloomberg News and staff writer Kristy Eppley Rupon contributed.