JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – It may only be June, but McKenzie Catlin already knows what she hopes to put on her holiday wish list in December.
“I like the castle,” said three-year-old McKenzie, as she played with various dolls, builder sets, Play-Doh and more.
On June 20, McKenzie and dozens of other military children ages three through 12 got a sneak peek at some of the hottest holiday toys at the Exchange's Military Brat Approved toy-testing event at Randolph Elementary School.
The kids’ feedback will help the Exchange determine which toys, games, dolls, action figures and more to stock in stores and online at ShopMyExchange.com this holiday season.
Fifth year for focus group
This is the fifth year the Exchange has conducted the Military Brat Approved focus group. The toys that receive the most thumbs-up from the pint-sized experts will be marked with a “Military Brat Approved” sign on store shelves, online at ShopMyExchange.com and in the Exchange’s holiday Toy Book, which will be available in stores later this year.
“It’s just such a great event to be a part of, and we’re honored to have it here at Randolph for the second straight year,” said Exchange General Manager Marc Floyd. “Military brats are a special type of child, and it’s fun to be able to give them this unique opportunity.”
Making brats smile
The event was a hit with parents, too.
“Now we know which toys they want for Christmas,” said McKenzie’s mom, Angelica. “It kind of gives us a little heads-up.”
Military Brat Approved is the favorite event of Exchange toy buyer Alexandra Martin.
“Military kids have to cope with so much, so anything that we at the Exchange can do to make them smile and bring families together, we will do,” said Martin. “I love watching parents and kids putting away their phones and just playing with each other.”