Kids to have a hand in Walmart Canada holiday toy list

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Walmart Canada has invited more than 550 kids and 350 parents to participate in the first-ever Great Big Toy Testing Event. Taking place on July 21, the event gives kids and parents the opportunity to interact with more than 100 toys and will help the retailer determine the top toy list for the 2012 holiday season.

"Listening to our customers is an important part of our success," said Lee Tappenden, chief merchandising officer for Walmart Canada. "The Great Big Toy Testing Event is an innovative way for our customers to tell us what they think are the hottest toys on the market. Every year we issue a list of top toys for the holidays, and the results of this event will help us determine which toys will appear on this year's list."

Parents and kids will have the chance to play with more than 100 toys, including many highly anticipated toys that are not yet available in stores. The selection includes toys for kids of all ages, starting from three months, and represents the latest toy trends, including educational, kid-friendly tablets and apps, crafting and construction, outdoor, electronic, budget-friendly and movie-related toys such as a new Spider-Man TM action figure that actually scales walls.

"To ensure the kids have the best possible time at the event, we've created the ultimate playroom," added Tappenden. "For example, we've created RC City, where kids can play with remote control helicopters and land them on top of mini buildings, shoot targets, drive cars and scale a 10' building. There's also a target-practice area dedicated to testing the newest Nerf products and a fashion zone with all of the latest up-and-coming fashion dolls and accessories."

The toys are evaluated based on a number of criteria including educational value, age appropriateness, ease of use, how the child reacts to the toy, and if mom and dad like it.

To commemorate their important role at this event, kids who participate will be receive a gift bag including a t-shirt and hat identifying them as official Walmart Canada Toy Testers for 2012 plus a few other great surprises and snacks from Walmart's own Great Value brand.