Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll. Photo by Amazon.
If your kid is clamoring for a Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll and you haven’t even begun your search yet, no need to panic — despite the fact that this doll is one of about 30 toys that will likely sell out in the next two weeks. Others on the hard-to-get list include new toys in the Lego, Barbie, and Nerf lines, but with a little clever thinking, those can be had, as well. Just start broadening your search — today! Here, six tips for snagging this year’s must-have toy:
Shop locally. That mom-and-pop store in your neighborhood might just have a shipment of new Legos or Nerf items coming in — and could even be holding back stock to have treasures on hand for a last-minute holiday promotion. “Keep calling your local stores to check,” Adrienne Appell, a spokesperson for Toy Industry Association, tells Yahoo Parenting. “Comb the area for these sorts of last-minute sales.”
Keep haunting even the most obvious sites. This includes Amazon and Disneystore.com. “The Disney Store and site have been very good about restocking this season,” Christopher Byrne, content director of TTPM.com, a website that publishes reviews and live price updates for toys and other items, tells Yahoo Parenting. “The Frozen figurines and dresses, for instance, have recently come back in stock.” Consider searching eBay — though prices on this site are likely to be highly inflated, Byrne warns. “These toys might be sold on Craigslist, too, but buyer-beware,” he says. “I always recommend that people search here very carefully, because not all of the people who list here are on the up-and-up.”
The coveted Max Tow Truck. Photo by Amazon.
Search parenting chat boards. “It’s possible that a mom bought extra FurReal Friends and maybe she thought her child wanted it, but her child is actually over it so she’s trying to sell it,” Appell says. “Moms often buy two or three of the same item to hold for a relative who ends up buying it on her own.”
Think outside the toy box. When it comes to hot items, you’ll want to expand your search beyond Toys “R” Us. Instead, visit Kohl’s or Bed, Bath & Beyond, and search on Overstock.com. “While not known for stocking toys, these retailers are carrying hot toys this year, especially Frozen items,” Laurie Schacht, co-publisher of the Toy Insider, tells Yahoo Parenting.
Create a DIY version. So maybe your local store is out of the Disney Frozen Castle. Not to worry. If you’re crafty, you can probably find some handmade items elsewhere. “For example, Etsy currently has an enormous Frozen selection, including original dolls, role-play outfits and accessories,” Schacht says. “These items will ensure that your child has an original item instead of the ones everyone else in her class has.”
Watch for giveaways. Twitter and Facebook often run toy sweepstakes at this time of year, and manufacturers, retailers, bloggers, and review sites give away popular items all of the time, Schacht says. “Many also guarantee Christmas delivery, and these items are almost always free,” she says.
In the end, an IOU is just fine. If after all this trying you still can’t find the to-die-for trinket your child is pining for, consider having Santa leave a note. “Write something like ‘we got backed up with toy requests so we’re making it for you right now,’” Appell suggests. “Holidays are so overwhelming for kids, so an IOU from Santa will help build up the excitement even more!”