With Black Friday shoppers expected to shell out $20B this year, it is a mathematical certainty that there will be a 'hot toy' that causes a rush of excitement. No matter what it is, retailers say that parents need to be careful not to simply buy into the hype.
Walmart is gearing up for the onslaught of customers, perhaps more than any retailer, and one general manager said that there are a few toys he expects to deliver the goods.
"We've got a lot of the technical toys this year. We've got a lot of the drones that you can fly around, that you can have the whole headset on so you can see where you're flying. It takes pictures,” Terry Tschoepe told KFOR.
Alongside the drone is a remote-controlled truck that has a similarly designed virtual reality headset, allowing the operator a first-person view of driving.
The Nintendo Switch is emerging as a wish-list leader as well -- and for $299 it is having a hard time staying on shelves.
Hatchimals are also back in the swing of the season. A massive winner from 2016 is holding over into this season.
"Basically, it's an egg, then you pet it, and you have to take really good care of it and then it hatches out of the egg,” Tschoepe said.
A toy with that kind of commitment needed also requires a level of logic applied to a purchase.
Jim Silver, the CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More, said that look down the long road to see if the expense is worth the investment.
“Is it fun? Does it have play value? Is it on-trend? Does it have a good price? Are you getting your money's worth?” Silver told InsideEdition. “No, I mean if it's something that's hot in the past doesn't mean its hot today. Technology changes toys. They're being made better and better.
“Look at the price-value relationship. We like to show parents, 'Is my child going to be playing with this a week from now, or two weeks from now?'”
As shoppers behave more ridiculously -- already this year, an early shooting and mall brawl closed stores on Black Friday -- having a plan is also highly recommended from insiders.
At Walmart, employees are being color-coded to help shoppers identify who can help in which department.
"We'll have helpers out here that have a vest on, and so we have all of the colors for the different areas that you can actually find it,” Tschoepe said.
Instead of the traditional blue that most every associate wears -- or tries to sell to customers to skip the lines -- associates will have purple in electronics, green for toys, and that blue for apparel.0comments
No matter the sales person being sought out for advice there is a simple mentality to have when contemplating a purchase:
“The hot toy is only hot if it's hot for your child,” Silver said. “So you don't buy a doll for a child that doesn't like dolls.”