Lower shipping, layaway minimums at Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart

You may not be thinking about holiday shopping season, but big box retailers are already going there.

Toys “R” Us, Target and Wal-Mart have begun making announcements that will impact the holiday shopping season including lower minimum shipping fees and earlier than ever layaway options.

On Tuesday, Toys “R” Us announced they would lower the free shipping minimum at Toysrus.com and babiesrus.com from $49 to $19 beginning today, Sept. 9. (Heavier items may be subject to a surcharge.)

This is the lowest shipping minimum the company has offered in recent history. Of course, you can also get free delivery for online orders by using the Free Store pickup option. You make your purchase online, then pick it up in store in an hour or less.

Recently, in conjunction with its first-ever Toy Week (a sneak peek at top toys for the holidays selected by kids), Wal-Mart announced the start of their holiday layaway program — two weeks earlier than last year.

Not only can you begin using the service earlier, but they have lowered the price for layaway eligible items to $10 with a $50 minimum basket. You do not have to pay a fee to open a layaway account but you do have to put down 10 percent. The last day to pick up layaway items is Dec. 14.

Here are some of the top holiday toy picks according to Wal-Mart:

Toys that inspire kids to get creative in the kitchen:

  • Wicked Cool Girl Scout Cookie Oven
  • Moose Shopkins Scoop Ice Cream Truck Playset

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Picks for lovers of animals, real and imaginary, and future veterinarians:

  • Fisher Price Little People Zoo
  • Spin Master Paw Patrol Mission Chase
  • Just Play Doc McStuffins Vets N Pets Care Center
  • Hasbro Furreal Unicorn

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Action toys for kids who love dancing and moving:

  • MGA MC2 Deluxe Lab Kit
  • Mattel Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
  • Jakks RC Hulk Smash Vehicle
  • Alpha Voice Command Helicopter
  • Dreaming Design Stars

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Play sets that help you create outfits and decorate houses and castles:

  • Mattel Frozen Ice Castle
  • Mattel Barbie Dream House

For the full list of kid-approved toys visit www.walmart.com/chosenbykids.

Target has also released their annual toy list including a range of STEM toys. Some popular items include razor scooters, Star Wars items, and video games like Guitar Hero Live. Here are some of the toys by age group (for a full list, visit the ABullseyeView.com.)

18 months – 3 years

  • “Frozen” ERO, $189.99 *Available 9/28
  • Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo, $59.99

3 – 4 years:

  • KidiZoom Action Cam, $59.99
  • My Little Pony Power Ponies Collector Pack (Target Exclusive), $59.99
  • FurReal Star Lily, My Magical Unicorn, $119.99
  • Barbie Dreamhouse, $199.99
  • “Frozen” Sing Along with Elsa Doll, $39.99
  • Spinnyos Giant YO-ller Coaster, $49.99

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5 – 7 years:

  • Star Wars Legendary Jedi Master Yoda, $179.99
  • Star Wars BB-8 Droid R/C (Target Exclusive), $79.99
  • Razor Scooter, $29.99
  • WubbleX, $7.99 *Available 9/28

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8 – 12 years:

  • LEGO Minecraft Crafting Box, $49.99
  • WiiU Bundle with Mario Kart from Nintendo, $299.99

Teens

  • Guitar Hero Live from Activision, $99.99 *Available 10/20
  • Sky Viper v950HD Video Drone, $89.99

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