Carroll County community tests out holiday gift options at Hampstead Walmart's Toy Demo

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Johnson stood focuses at a table in the Hampstead Walmart working to put together a bag of pink and purple Legos.

From the Legos, she bounced around to a remote control car, a furry spider that moves when it hears loud noises, and she even got to pose for a picture with Santa Claus.


Aaliyah, of Westminster, was one of a handful of children hanging out in Walmart’s toy section Saturday afternoon, as part of the store’s Toy Demo event.

Thousands of Walmart stores across the nation pulled out a handful of the most popular toys Saturday for kids to test out. These included Polly Pocket, Really Rad Robots, Legos, Sharper Image Flip Stunt Rally and Yellies at the Hampstead Walmart.

Priscilla Martin, Aaliyah’s mother, said her daughter was so excited to visit Santa. Saturday’s trip was her first time seeing the man with the big white beard this year.

“She was running all the way down the front corridor when we heard that Santa was here,” Martin said. “It reminded me of the movie ‘Elf.’ ”

Martin said Saturday’s event was a good chance to check out some of the toys Aaliyah likes, and for her to get to test them out before Christmas.

“She loves it, and it gives me a good idea of what to get her, or Santa to bring her,” Martin added.

Heather Brown, a Walmart employee who works in the vision department, said the Toy Demo was a fun event the store got to do this weekend.

“We've got a lot of really cool toys that are actually open so kids and parents can play with them and kind of test them out before they take them home, which I think is very awesome,” she said.

Brown said the Hampstead Walmart tries to do a lot of events for the community, and that Saturday’s Toy Demo was one of the larger ones they’ve done in the toy department.

“I love this time of year, especially here at Walmart because we're able to really drive that sales experience, you know, we want to make sure when people think of holiday shopping they're coming to Walmart,” Brown said.

Sunday, she added, they’re holding a Fortnite event.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, all Baltimore Supercenters and Walmart Stores (excluding Walmart Neighborhood Markets) will join Walmart stores nationwide in hosting one of the largest Fortnite parties in the country, according to a news release from Walmart.

Walmart customers will be given a code for free in-game spray, according to the release. The Fortnight events at Walmart will feature the latest gear, and a replica “Battle Bus” will be available in select stores, according to the release.