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Amazon may send out physical toy catalog for kids of all ages this holiday season

By Bruce Brown

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Last July, we wrote that Amazon is attempting to fill the void left by the recent demise of Toys R Us and would publish a holiday toy catalog, a strategy often employed by brick-and-mortar retailers. According to a recent CNBC report, the ecommerce giant is taking a page out of the tried-and-true traditional holiday books of retail toy stores. Instead of relying on all-digital advertising, Amazon is shipping a 68-page printed guide to millions of American households in advance of the holiday season.

The catalog, titled “A Holiday of Play,” has QR codes for featured toys. Customers can scan the QR codes to learn more about the toys and place orders. A downloadable PDF version of the toy catalog is available now. In the PDF version, every toy image in the catalog is a clickable link that goes directly to the Amazon page for that product.

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Toys R Us was known for its extensive toy catalog, which was historically distributed around October every year. The 100-page catalog included all the hottest toys of the year and was a huge draw for toymakers around the world, who vied for a coveted spot in the booklet. Even while smartphones, tablets, and laptops grew in popularity, children and their parents still turned to the Toys R Us catalog when it came time for making holiday gift requests and decisions.

Over the last several months, Amazon has continued to take steps in a more traditional direction, embracing the advantages provided by physical retail locations with the opening of a brick-and-mortar bookstore and no-pay grocery markets, as well as its integration into existing Whole Foods locations. And now, it’s implementing traditional marketing strategies.

Even as Amazon continues to play the role of the primary shopping destination of the holiday season, it’s looking to boost its sales. In 2007, the company began publishing an online holiday catalog and saw its market share increase. Now that it’s publishing a print version, the online retailer could see further success.

“Amazon is excited to offer a new way for customers to shop for toys this holiday season,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.

Updated on November 7, 2018: The catalog will arrive in the mail this month and is also available as a PDF.

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