It’s every parent’s holiday nightmare; driving around town on Christmas Eve in a vain attempt to find the toy that your child needs to have. Sure, you knew that it was at the top of their wish list. Sure, you saw them ask Santa for it, multiple times. But you never expected it to sell out so quickly, right? After all, it’s just a toy.
“It’s just a toy.” Those could be your famous last words, so learn from such holiday classics as Jingle All The Way and The Simpsons, and plan ahead. It’s up to you to do the research, know what will be in demand this season, and win the holiday war before it even starts. To help you out, here is an early projection of toys that promise to fly off the shelves this season.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Big Hugs Elmo
Elmo, the pint-sized Sesame Street Muppet who has won the hearts of millions of children, is no stranger to the holiday season. Many parents remember the struggle to find and purchase a Tickle Me Elmo; the previous Elmo doll caused mass shortages during its initial holiday release in the late ‘90s.
Times change, but Elmo only gets better; the newest doll will sing three songs and speak over 50 phrases, can play pretend with your child in four separate modes (Elmo will pretend he is a frog, horse, rabbit, or… astronaut), and will hug your child back. Let your Christmas morning be full of songs and hugs, as a furry red robot lulls your young one to sleep, just as nature intended.
Marvel 12” Titan 6-Pack
The odds are your kids like superheroes. When each new super-powered blockbuster earns more than a billion dollars in theatres, what chance does any child have to avoid the hype? The problem, once Christmas wish lists roll around, is choosing which one to get them. Spider-Man is always a winner, but what about Wolverine? Captain America has a new movie coming out, but who can forget the Hulk, or Iron Man? Here’s a simple answer: buy them all! This Marvel action figure collection includes Iron Man, Spider Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Silver Mark II Iron Man, all in 12-inch, poseable splendor, available only at Target.
Skylanders: Swap Force
The third installment of Activision’s wildly popular (and profitable) series is taking the world by storm in a way only this franchise can. For the uninitiated, the Skylanders franchise is a series of video games that allows your child to unlock new characters in the game by purchasing their respective action figures and plugging them into your game system of choice via a fancy device dubbed “The Portal of Power”. What this means for you is that buying the video game itself is only the beginning -- there are dozens of Skylanders toys to collect, and the hunt for specific ones can become all-consuming.
Add the fact that there are different types of figures (giant figures and the new, titular Swap Force figures), and Skylanders could end up being a gift that keeps on giving. Luckily, they’re a blast for families to play together, and you may find yourself hoarding Skylanders figures for yourself (And who would blame you? They’re pretty cool!). Swap Force is currently out for all current systems (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U) and will be a launch title for this fall’s new consoles (Xbox One, Playstation 4).
Monster High Power Ghouls Assortment
The Monster High line of dolls is a runaway hit, combining classic touches (dressing and caring for dolls) with modern sensibilities (all of the dolls are horrible monsters). As the franchise has expanded its reach -- movies, books, and a web series all exist – the roster of characters has grown as well, from vampires and werewolves, to aliens and now, superheroes.
This limited-edition run of dolls, available only at Target, sees the Monster High girls pulling double duty as crime fighters with typically clever names like “PolterGhoul” and “WonderWolf”. Because these dolls are a rare and limited departure from the usual line, expect them to go fast. What’s scarier than coming home empty-handed?
This is a classic case of two birds, one stone. Zoomer is a robotic dog that reacts to his own name being called, can track and follow your kids around the house, and even do tricks (like singing). Right off the bat, you can provide the family pet that your kids have been asking for at a fraction of the cost (not to mention that Zoomer won’t need to be housebroken). On top of that, you get to realize a dream that has existed since The Jetsons first aired; you can own your very own robot. Zoomer works because it’s simple, it comes in dalmation spots or full purple, and it’s one of the first affordable, functional companion robots meant for families. And hearing your child proudly tell the tale of how “Santa brought me a robot dog,” will never, ever get old.
For more Holiday Toys, check out Target’s Toy Catalogue where you can also find links to valuable coupons.