A look at what will be hot for holiday 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A glance at the expected hot holiday gifts

As Americans scrutinize every purchase, merchants are making sure to stock up on holiday gifts that are either practical or offer an affordable way to splurge. Here are some of the hot trends for Christmas 2010:

FASHION: Fur vests — real or fake — and sweaters with Nordic patterns around the neckline should be hot sellers, according to Catherine Moellering, executive vice president of Tobe, a fashion trend consultancy. Military-inspired clothing like cadet-style jackets and cargo pants should remain hot.

CONSUMER GADGETS: Smart phones and e-readers, particularly Apple Inc.’s iPad and iPhone, will be popular. So will Sony Corp.’s Playstation3 Move controller and Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect, which both let video-game players control characters in a game with body movements, similar to the Nintendo Wii.

GADGET ACCESSORIES: With consumers already armed with trendy covers for their cellphones, a bevy of companies are pushing covers for the iPad. (For the big spenders, Chanel offers a $1,555 leather version in its classic quilted design.) Stores are also pushing fingerless gloves — for those who will be texting in the cold, according to Moellering.

TECH-PACKED TOYS: Certain toys, which started to hit store shelves in August, are seeing strong sales already. Blip Toys’ Squinkies, tiny collectible figures that come with toy vending machines that open out into playsets, are already hard to find. They come in 16 packs for $10.

So are Spin Master’s $5.99 Zoobles, colorful creatures that pop open when placed on stands. Hasbro’s $54.99 Nerf foam dart blaster and perennial favorite Legos are already hot. Another popular toy is WowWee Toys’ Paper Jamz, a collection of paper-thin electronic guitars and drums that sell for $24.99. Walgreen’s spokesman Jim Cohn says that Paper Jamz is the top seller among the 400 toys it sells.

THE VERY PRACTICAL: For those looking for underwear and socks, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will have plenty. And home improvement leader Home Depot is pushing gadgets that will help shoppers cut the costs of operating a home, such as eco-friendly lightbulbs. So don’t be surprised if you see some bulbs or socks in your stocking.

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