It's only August, but if you're a parent or grandparent, you will soon be forced to think about toy shopping for the holiday season. And while the weather may still be hot near you, hot holiday toys are already selling.
That's because toy stores and shoppers are already wondering which toys may be harder to find closer to the holidays.
Mary Jo Singler and her kids are already shopping for holiday toys.
"Definitely," she said. "We're going out of town this Christmas, so I have to make sure that I've got everything."
Which toys will be the biggest sellers
Toy store buyer Rob Kearney, of Kings Arthur's Court Toys, is stocking up now on hot movie tie-ins like Barbie.
"Barbie is going to have a great year this Christmas," he said. "We've drastically expanded what we normally carry with Barbie stuff."
He's seeing big interest as well in huggable toys like Squishmallows, and their competitor, Squishables. Kearney is also filling his shelves with the newest Marvel-themed Lego sets.
"We have Avengers Endgame Legos," he said, "And then we have all the Thor sets."
Every year, the site Toy Insider hosts the "Sweet Suite," giving stores and consumers a preview of some of the hottest toys of the season. Other than blockbuster brands like Barbie, Toy Insider predicts Elmo will be a hit again this year.
"Preschoolers, adults, everybody loves Elmo," Ali Mierzejewski, editor-in-chief of Toy Insider, said. "The Elmo slide is going to be one of the most popular toys for the holiday season."
Also, tech, such as the Nintendo Switch.
"Tech toys are coming back in a big way this year. They're a little bit more sophisticated than we've seen in the past."
Why you shouldn't wait too long
Summer and early fall may be just the right time to purchase toys. Online toy prices were down nearly 4% in July 2023 compared to last year.
Plus, you may not want to wait long, because toy deals are never guaranteed, even on Black Friday. Kearney said if it's a hot toy, don't wait too long to buy.
"It seems like there is always going to be something that's gonna put a crimp in getting that toy that's on top of their kid's list," he said.
So beat the heat and the crowds right now, and get a head start; that way you don't waste your money.
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