PITTSBURGH - With just a few shopping days left, Target 11 has discovered some of this year’s hottest toys are sold out. Consumer reporter Robin Taylor takes a look at what’s selling the fastest and she found some alternatives that should keep kids smiling.
Store inventories are a lot tighter than they have been in years past, so when a hot toy is gone, it's gone.
If you have a youngster you’re still trying to buy for, here are some suggestions that are proven winners with kid testers.
Doc McStuffins, based on the Disney Junior show, has got to be this year's hottest seller. Stores just can't keep up with the demand. Disney's newest princess, Sofia, is also flying off the shelves.
Toy expert Marianne Szymanski suggests Heart for Heart dolls instead or buying Doc McStuffins after Christmas.
"If you're looking for something else to give them, while this great toy is coming later, go classic. Look at the board games you played with as a child. Many of them are still around," said Szymanski, president of Toy Tips Inc.
Parents tell me Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Crayola Glow Dome are also hard to find.
Furby is also hot. While there are plenty of them available, the $54 price has actually gone up, not down in many stores.
"Don't get worried if you can't find that one toy that everyone's talking about because that won't matter," said Szymanski.
Once the wrapping comes off, she says they'll be happy, as long as what they get is fun to play with. Szymanski suggests the Smack Shot Performance Launcher or a classic train.
Tablets are also big this year. Toy Tips has kid tested them. Szymanski recommends the Kurio for children four and up.
"So if you have kids of multiple ages, you can customize it for homework apps. If you don't want the younger kids listening to certain music, or you want to take certain words out of YouTube you can do that," said Szymanski.
Make sure you stick with the manufacturer’s age recommendations. If a toy is too advanced, a child is likely to get frustrated. Of course, if a toy needs batteries, make sure to include them.