UPDATE: December 11, 2018: Amazon clarified to Retail Dive that AmazonBasics offers classroom supplies, including for preschool and pre-K.
Amazon appears to be developing private label toys, according to a blog post from Amazon tracking site TJI Research.
Three of four toy items from the e-commerce giant's popular AmazonBasics line were not available hours after the post went up, although the AmazonBasics Kids' Toy Storage Organizer remained as of press time.
Amazon has developed private label and exclusive products in several categories, including apparel, pet food, snacks and mattresses, among others, but this is the first private label toy offer, according to TJI owner Justin Smith.
It's difficult to miss the all-out effort from many retail quarters to grab the significant market share in toys left by the collapse of industry giant Toys R Us — including from Amazon.
The e-commerce giant mailed out print versions of its "A Holiday of Play" toy catalog to "millions of customers" last month, for example, with limited quantities available at its bookstores and Amazon 4-star locations. Amazon said in a recent press release that customers worldwide ordered more than 18 million toys on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined this year.
But, while Amazon is a go-to destination for busy holiday shoppers working down their holiday lists, the retailer is at a disadvantage compared to legacy retailers like Target and Walmart, which have reserved large swaths of their stores to toy sales this year and amplified a sense of play in stores and online. And FAO Schwarz, which returned to New York City just weeks ago to recapture the affection and revenue it has long garnered there, has re-installed major attractions like its dance piano along with new ones in partnership with Build-A-Bear and trendy candy retailer IT'SUGAR to take its share.
While Amazon may not have the brick-and-mortar chops of some of its rivals, it does have reams of data on sales that inform the development of its private label and exclusive assortments. Although its AmazonBasics line established share with consumer basics like batteries, the e-commerce giant has moved into disrupted categories like mattresses and now, apparently, toys.