Make way for the toys — lots and lots of toys.

Target is moving quickly to gobble up the void left by Toys “R” Us before they may reopen under new leadership.

Target announced Tuesday, Oct. 16 that is feverishly expanding toy departments at 500 of its stores nationwide. Another 100 stores will get a complete toy department makeover. All the work should be done by early November as holiday shopping kicks off in earnest, Target said in a statement.

Selecting the right assortment, deepening our inventory to offer more of the hottest items and reimagining the experience we have for toys in our stores and online,” Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, said.

The company has seen toy sale increases at some remodeled stores within 5 miles of a former Toys ‘R’ Us.

The retailer said it’s shifting a quarter-million square feet of space for the toy expansion, helping to showcase larger items such as electric ride-on vehicles, playhouses and outdoor playsets. Displays will take the toys out of the box, so kids and shoppers can see an item completely.

Target also has deepened its inventory, with plans for 2,500 new and exclusive toys, or double what it stocked last year.

Meanwhile, Toys “R” Us lenders that took control of the retailer during its liquidation — and faced criticism for their role in the shutdown — are now working on resuscitating the brand, according to court documents filed in early October.

It might be too little too late. The retailer has already sold its stores and distribution centers, leaving the marketplace wide open to retailers such as Walmart, Target and Amazon.

Toy sales have grown despite the loss of Toys R Us, rising 7 percent to $7.9 billion in the first half of 2018, according to a report by NPD Group.

“The toy retail space has been bustling with activity, and this will continue through the end of 2018,” said Juli Lennett, an NPD industry adviser on toys. “Existing toy retailers have announced they will be dedicating more space and will carry more toys this holiday season both in-store and online.

“We’re also seeing new store formats emerge that are more experiential, and we will have new toy retailers entering the space,” she said. “The industry has shown to be proactive in compensating for the dollars Toys ‘R Us has left on the table, and more.”

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