A few weeks ago, the children of the world let out a collective shout of "Awesome!" when this year's Toys "R" Us Fabulous 15 list was announced. At the same time, parents looked into their wallets and let out an exasperated, "They cost HOW MUCH!?"
Well, fear not pennywise parents. We are here to hold your hand, smooth your hair, make soothing "shush"-ing noises, and tell you that everything will be all right; you won't have to break the bank this holiday season. And these are not just empty words — we have data on our side!We went through our records from last year, and besides finding out that we have a serious lack of restraint when it comes to our eggnog budget, we turned up some interesting info pertaining to the price trends of last year's Fabulous 15 list — and by extension, price trends for new holiday toys in general.
Bypass Black Friday, Collect up to 63% in Savings
You may be tempted to buy the season's hottest toys sooner rather than later — maybe even during a Black Friday sale — but don't!
All of the deal data we have on these "Fabulous" toys tells a similar tale: to get the best price, wait until the last possible moment to make your purchase; on the whole, not even Black Friday — the hottest of all shopping days — can beat this technique.
Last year nearly all of the toys we saw deals on hit their price lows during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. We saw Air Swimmers drop 50% in price, Lalaloopsy Silly Hair dolls drop 63%, and Let's Rock Elmo fall 57% in price. Those are some significant savings that shoppers would only have gotten by skipping the Black Friday deals and waiting 10+ days for December.
Wait for It ... Wait for It ...
Seriously, wait. Wait to buy those toys as long as you can stand ... then wait just a bit longer. Hold off on toys and games purchase until you're either about to pass out from the stress of disappointing a child or until it's just not physically possible to have the toy delivered to you in time to get it hastily wrapped and thrown under the tree. Deal-hunting is not for the weak! To get the best deals, you're going to have to sweat a little! This is the price we all pay for getting lowest-ever prices! (Except for, you know, the price that we pay for the item.)
Now, we realize that for some people paying slightly more than lowest-of-the-season prices is OK if it means peace of mind during an already stressful time of year. In that case, we can relax the window of opportunity a tad and say: Wait until December to buy toys. Last December, we saw all the toys we had Black Friday information on drop in price. Sure, the prices got better as the month progressed, but deals from early in the month offered savings, as well. Purchase one of the Fabulous 15 — or any "new release" toy — in December, and you're likely getting a good deal.
The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Ruins Everything
One caveat we'd like to mention: The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer kinda threw a wrench into our data set. It had an MSRP of $100 and that is where it stayed all season long. The good news? Even if you waited all December for a deal on a LeapPad Explorer, you were never going to end up paying more than anyone else did. Annoying, but at least not costly!
The Moral of the StoryIn the coming weeks, many consumers will be tempted to pull the holiday shopping trigger early. Stores will entice you with savings. Tell them, "Get thee behind me, storefront!" and wait. Then keep waiting, patiently, until the 14-day window before Christmas, when the toys of the season are likely to be at their lowest prices.
If you already have a thorough list from your child, consider setting up an email alert for those toys, and to know immediately when any one of them goes on sale. (Also keep an eye on our daily toy deals as we begin our descent into the holiday season.) Because if the Tickle Me Elmos and Zhu Zhu Pets of the toy industry have taught us anything here at dealnews, it's that, occasionally, there is a toy so hot that the deal will sell out faster than a garage band approached by a record label.