(Toys article updated with new pricing and promotions.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What are the top 10 toys of the year? What toy will be this year's Zhu Zhu Pets or Tickle Me Elmo? And where can you find them for the lowest price?
While it may be too early to tell, there is one theme emerging: the growing interest in collectible toys. Miniature figurines and trinkets, like Calico Critters, Squinkies and Sing-a-ma-jigs, have already been touted as this year's hottest toys.
The best part: all of these items can be purchased for under $30.Price, of course, will be at the forefront of parent's minds when purchasing presents this holiday season, and the battle for who can offer these toys for the lowest price has already started between three giants. Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) will once again offer some of the most competitive prices on this season's hottest toys. The company announced earlier in the month that must-have toys are already available in stores for $5 , $10 and $20. Tonka Light and Sound Truck, for example, is now $10 from $14.97, Monopoly is $10 from $12 and FurReal Gogo Walking Puppy is down to $49 from $54. The discount giant also identified the final list of "top toys," simultaneously with Amazon's (AMZN - Get Report) release of its 2010 Holiday Toy List. Wal-Mart is also launching its first-ever toy catalog and a dedicated section of its Web site for top toys. Amazon has provided a dedicated toy section on its site over the past holiday seasons. But new this year, Amazon customers can receive free two-day shipping, or a $10 credit toward future purchases for Amazon Prime member, when they use a MasterCard to purchase $75 or more in eligible items from the Hot Toy list. Target (TGT - Get Report) unveiled its toy promotion in October, saying it will slash prices on more than 1,000 toys, while Toys 'R' Us has joined in the price battle, lowering prices on some of its best sellers. For the first half of the year, toy sales remained stable, according to the NPD Group, at about $7.8 billion. In 2009, toy sales fell less than 1% to $21.5 billion.
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