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Online retail giant Quidsi launches massive virtual toy store, YoYo.com

YoYo.com-Quidsi-Amazon-shutterstockYou’d better sit down for this. Sitting? OK. It’s time to start your Christmas shopping.

We know, we know. It’s not even October yet, and here we are, talking about freakin’ Santa Claus. But it’s time to face reality on this one, people. Luckily, grabbing some sweet gifts for the rascally youngsters in your life just got a smidge easier with today’s launch of online toy store, YoYo.com.

Brought to you by Quidisi, parent company of such notable online retail outlets as Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com (an online pet store), YoYo currently carries more than 20,000 handpicked, “wow-worthy” toys, books, video games, and a variety of other goodies. Quidsi plans to add “significant selection” to YoYo throughout the rest of 2011, according to its press materials. Once its inventory is completely stocked, YoYo says it will offer the “broadest selection” of any online toy store.

“We’ve heard again and again that toy shopping can be totally overwhelming, which is why we wanted to create a toy destination that makes the experience as simple and efficient as possible, and hopefully even a little fun,” said Marc Lore, CEO of Quidsi Inc, in a prepared statement. “YoYo.com helps every type of gift giver find the perfect toy, whether it’s parents who know exactly what they’re looking for, or those who need a little guidance and some and picked recommendations along the way.”

The guidance Mr. Lore talks about in his very-PR-y statement is delivered in a number of ways that, from our quick run-through of the site, are genuinely helpful. First is the organization by age, which is mostly good when you have to pick a gift for a kid you know absolutely nothing about (other than his/her age, of course). And the site’s “Toy Finder” narrows down the choices even further. Other category options include “what’s hot,” “brands we love,” “Halloween,” and the meta category “top categories,” (an option utterly dominated by “science kits,” at the time of this writing.)

Quidsi, which is owned by Amazon, also offers the excellent feature of offering an shopping cart that is shared by all Quidsi’s online retail properties. So you can buy some dishsoap from Soap.com, baby formula from Diapers.com, dog treats from Wag.com and a $112 “Let’s Rock” Elmo from YoYo.com, and only have to go through one checkout. To sweeten the pot, YoYo offers free shipping on orders over $49, but lowers the threshold price to $39 if the products come from more than one Quidsi site. Shipping time: just 1 to 2 days. Not too shabby… (Of course, Quidsi accomplishes this astonishing feat by hiring a bunch of robots to do its bidding.)

The only thing that we found a bit misguided about YoYo is, perhaps, the name. Not that it’s a bad name — it’s certainly easy enough to remember. But it just feels a bit funny buying toys for kids who likely haven’t a clue what a yo-yo is, unless, of course, they get into antiquing. That’s something the kids are into these days, right?

[Image via Olga Popova/Shutterstock]