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The deals will be plentiful this holiday season at Toys R Us, as will the mix of exclusive toys that shoppers won’t find at competitors, such as the much talked about Tabeo tablet.

But the big news this year, is the company’s first-ever Hot Toy Reservation program. The free service will allow YOU to reserve the season’s hottest toys, before the shelves are bare.

Having the toys kids want in stock is the holy grail of retail during the Christmas shopping season.

The free toy reservation service will be offered through Oct. 31, and applies to the 50 items featured on the retailer’s upcoming “Holiday Hot Toy List,” which highlights what it’s sees as the must-have products of the season.

Shoppers must reserve toys in-store at customer service desks — a move to prevent “pros” from gaiming the system online — and make a 20% down payment. When their order arrives in store, they receive an email notice, and have until Dec. 16 to pick it up.

Another enticement for cash-strapped shoppers: Toys R Us is offering free layaway through October 31, dropping the $5 fee it charged in 2011. It will also be doling out free shipping offers.

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