As Halloween decorations still linger, the Salvation Army donation bins are out and Christmas music is on the radio. That means Americans are already thinking about what they're buying for the holidays. It also means that kids are thinking about what they're going to tell their parents they want.

Walmart ($WMT), the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in America, touts itself as "America's Best Toy Shop," which might come as a bit of a sting to those who were once Toys R' Us kids.

Since 2015, we have collected sales-rank data from Walmart's public e-commerce API across multiple product categories, including Toys. By averaging sales-rank data for each category and then counting the number of days each product remained on Walmart's top-sellers list, we get an accurate picture of which toys Walmart customers are buying as holiday shopping season ramps up.

Right now, a 3-pack of 1-foot tall Marvel action figures has dominated the past month on Walmart, as it was the #1 best-selling toy for 31 straight days.

A 9-pack of Hot Wheels cars and a LEGO Snowman round out the top-three toys with the best average bestseller rank. 

Name Toys Category Rank (Average) Toys Category Rank (Count)
Marvel Titan Hero Series, 3-Pack 1 31
Hot Wheels 9-pack (styles may vary) 2 31
LEGO Snowman 40093 3 31
FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet 4 18
Air Hogs Helix Video Drone 4.580645161 31
VTech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train 5.580645161 31
Lego Easter Chick 40202 6.580645161 31
Simon Swipe Game 7.777777778 18
Shopkins Shoppies S1 Doll Pack, Bubbleisha 8 2
Play-Doh Super Color 20 Pack, 60 oz 8.161290323 31
Brightlings Interactive Plush, Teal, 15" 10.09677419 31
Tube Heroes TDM Hero Pack 11.22222222 27
Best Choice Products Toy Fire Truck Electric Flashing Lights and Siren Sound, Bump and Go Action 11.96774194 31
Baby Alive Lil' Sips Baby Has a Tea Party Doll - Blonde Hair 13.38709677 31
Moose Toys Shopkins Shoppies S2 Doll, Peppa-Mint 14 13
Pressman Toy Let's Go Fishin' Game 14.80645161 31

The overall list is relatively stable compared to the bestselling toys for the 2016 pre-December holiday period, which we extrapolated out from October 1 to November 30 of that year.

Back then, there were only four toys that consistently ranked (more than 30 days) within the top-100, and not one toy had become the unanimous best-seller. According to data, kids were only truly adamant about the latest Nerf Blasters, as well as the "Speak Out" and "Pie Face" board games, which both rose to popularity due to stints on popular TV and online shows like Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show.

Name Toys Category Rank (Average) Toys Category Rank (Count)
50-Piece Train Set with 2-in-1 Activity Table 2 3
Shopkins Season 6 Chef Club, Mega Pack 2.736842105 19
LEGO LEGO Friends LEGO Friends Advent Calendar 41131 3 8
Speak Out Game 4.959183673 49
LEGO Snowman 40093 5.346938776 49
Funko POP! Marvel Dr. Strange, Dr. Strange, Walmart Exclusive 6.25 4
Shopkins Shoppies Gemma Stone 8.2 5
Nerf Rebelle Fearless Fire Blaster 8.8 45
Lego Classic Lego Large Creative Box 8.857142857 14
FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet 9.14 50
DreamWorks Trolls Troll Collection Pack 9.666666667 12
LEGO Classic LEGO Creative Building Set, 10702 10.54545455 11
Pie Face Game 11.46428571 28
Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster 11.66666667 3
Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Take 'N Play Roaring Dino Run 12 2
Minions Mini Guitar 12.8 50
Fisher-Price Thomas ; Friends Take 'N Play Roaring Dino Run 13.4 5
Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage Playset With Car Wash 14.6 5
Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Dreams Dollhouse with Furniture by KidKraft 14.66666667 3
Air Hogs Helix Video Drone 14.74 50

Only three toys — the LEGO Snowman, the Air Hogs Helix Video Drone, and the FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet — were ranked both in 2016 and 2018.

The stark contrast between best-seller rankings on toys in 2016 and 2018 gives an idea of how much the taste in toys for kids (and parents) have changed in just two years. Namely, there is only one board game that consistently ranked within the top-15 toys at Walmart this year (Simon Swipe), and there aren't any musical instruments classified as toys.

We'll see how the rest of the pre-December shopping season shapes up at Walmart before we declare a true winner as the hottest toy of 2018.

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