updated 10/18/2006 6:46:56 PM ET 2006-10-18T22:46:56

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday declared an early start to the holiday shopping season, cutting prices on more than 100 toys and games, effective immediately.

The world’s biggest retailer said the markdowns were “just the start of thousands of price cuts on key gift, entertaining and holiday items,” setting the stage for a fiercely competitive finish to the year.

Wal-Mart said the price cuts include the Hot Wheels Radar Gun, made by Mattel Inc., for $20, down from $29.74, and board games such as Hasbro Inc.’s Monopoly Here & Now for $15, down from $28.96.

Rival Toys R Us listed the Hot Wheels radar gun at $29.99 on its Web site. The Monopoly game was priced at $28.99.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer also said it was standing by its policy of matching competitors’ advertised toy prices.

Last year, Wal-Mart launched its holiday advertising campaign on November 1, which at the time was the earliest in company history, and slashed prices on key categories such as toys and electronics.

That followed a disappointing season in 2004, when Wal-Mart kept prices too high for too long. It has vowed not to repeat that mistake.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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