Parents, this is your public service announcement.
BlackFriday.com looked at the three retailers' toy lists to craft its "Top 10 Holiday Toys 2018" predictions, said Sarah Hollenbeck, shopping and retail expert for the popular holiday website.
"With Toys R Us out of the holiday picture for the first time in decades, these retailers have stepped up their stock and are making toys a huge focus for the upcoming holiday season," Hollenbeck said.
Target is doubling the number of new and exclusive items this year and will have more than 2,500, said Mark Tritton, the company's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer in a statement.
Even before losing Toys R Us, the toy industry has been in transition as retailers try to adjust to customer tastes that in recent years have shifted away from dolls and action figures to gadgets and digital games.
According to the NPD Group, U.S. toy sales rose 7 percent to $7.9 billion in the first six months of this year.
Hollenbeck said some of the biggest categories this year are toys from movie and television shows, interactive and innovative toys and nostalgic toys.
“We saw that reflected in each retailer's list, such as with the Jurassic World and Elmo toys, and made sure to take that into account when creating our list,” Hollenbeck said.
To avoid the last-minute scramble and possible Christmas morning disappointment, you may want to start scoping out the toy aisle now. Be advised not all of the toys are available yet but should hit shelves weeks before Black Friday.
Top 10 holiday toys
Here are the toys BlackFriday.com expects to top kids' wish lists, prices can vary:
1. Fingerlings HUGS: The animatronic baby monkeys were one of the hottest toys in 2017 and are back as a larger, plush with long arms that can embrace kids in a hug. This topped all three lists and costs $29.84 at Walmart and $29.99 at Target. At Amazon, third-party sellers already are selling for $69 and up.
2. L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise: This toy includes a variety of different collectibles and made the Target and Amazon list. It will go on sale at Target on Sept. 25 for $89.99 and Walmart is taking pre-orders now for the same price. At Amazon, third-party sellers have pre-orders starting at $188.88.
3. Hatchimals: The eggs that hatch into animatronic surprise pets are expected to be popular for the third year in a row and made the three retailers' lists. An announcement about the next Hatchimal product, Hatchibabies, will be made Oct. 5. Target and Amazon are both taking pre-orders at $59.99 and Amazon promises a "pre-order price guarantee."
4. furReal critters: Another interactive, animatronic pet. Kids can give them bottles, feed them treats and watch them interact. There are multiple varieties including a Rock-A-Too bird and Munchin' Rex dinosaur included on the Target and Amazon lists. Prices vary, but the Target exclusive Rock-A-Too is $79.99.
5. Let's Dance Elmo: The Sesame Street character has been a hot toy for more than 20 years and this year's singing and dancing version is expected to be in demand. The $39.99 toddler toy is on the Amazon and Target lists.
6. Imaginext Jurassic World Jurassic Rex: This 30-inch tall toy is 30 inches made both Target and Walmart's lists. Available for $99.99 at Target and $99 at Walmart.
7. Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall LEGO Building Kit: There are 878 pieces in this $99.99 set, which made the Amazon toy list and is recommended for ages 9 to 14.
8. Barbie DreamHouse: This 3-foot-tall and 4-foot-wide classic is the most expensive item on BlackFriday.com's top 10 toy list at $179 at Walmart and $179.99 at Target.
9. PJ Masks Play Set: Romeo's Lab made Walmart's top 40 toy list and is available for $39.88.
10. Really Rad Robots MiBro: The remote-controlled toy has a built-in microphone and can be put into "stealth mode" for spying. Available for pre-order at Target.com for $39.99.
Charisse Jones contributed to this report.
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her a firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.tcpalm.com/newsletters.