Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2012 04:06 PM
Nobody wants to relive the days of folks getting trampled for Cabbage Patch Kids or engaging in fistfights for Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Perhaps to avoid such awfulness, which of course brings bad publicity for whatever retailer is involved, and to pick up a few bucks along the way, Toys R Us is letting consumers reserve specific toys before the holiday season — with a catch.
In addition to announcing its list of the 50 “hot toys” (which includes Hasbro's version 2.0-edition Furby, a $70 Laloopsy doll, One Direction dolls) that kids, apparently, are clamoring for this holiday season, the toys' prospective buyers will be informed when the product arrives. That way, nobody has to get trampled.
That’s not to say that Toys R Us isn’t going to do everything it can to get as many people into its doors during the crucial holiday shopping season as it can. Indeed, the Hot Toys RSVP checklist must be downloaded from the Toys R Us website and then printed as a PDF and delivered to a bricks and mortar Toys R Us store with a 20% deposit to hold the item for pick-up. The better to woo you with impulse purchases, my dear.
Other holiday tactics that Toys R Us is using this year, as Reuters notes, is to “open more pop-up stores and offer more exclusive lines of playthings this year.” Last year, the retailer opened 150 pop-up shops nationwide. This year, 50 more than that should open their doors. And, of course, there is the new Toys R Us tablet, called Tabeo, which is (of course) featured on the Toys R Us 2012 Hot Toys list as well.
The store brand tablet costs $150 and boasts “Wi-Fi connectivity, extensive parental control features and 50 pre-loaded apps that include popular games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Even though plenty of kids these days are adept at using their parents’ tablets, the hope is to be one of the first to corner the parent-controlled-but-built-for-kids tablet market. And lock in those holiday orders before Halloween.