All Elmo ever really wanted was a hug, and the nation's largest toy retailer is banking on that fact to be a lucrative idea this holiday season.
Toys R Us has released its list of the 15 hottest toys that they believe will be flying off the shelves come November and December, and this year's list is a mixture of creative toys, dolls and electronics.
Topping that list, arguably, is the Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo, a large stuffed doll that moves its arms to hug children back when it's hugged. The doll, priced at $49.99, also sings and talks.
Among the other hottest toys listed this year are the LeapPad Ultra, collectible action figures from the movie Despicable Me, the Shimmer 'N Sparkle Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker and one of the newest entries to the video game market, the Xbox One.
Predicting which toys will be big sellers during the holidays is crucial calculation, because retailers can make up to 40 percent of annual holiday sales during the season. That means that Wayne, N.J.-based Toys R Us needs to make sure it has the right mix of toys at the right prices.
Overall holiday spending is expected to be cautious. Retail revenue in November and December is expected to rise 2.4 percent during the biggest shopping period of the year, Chicago-based research firm ShopperTrak said Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.