The Christmas toy price war begins

November 7, 2011 3:58:28 PM PST
The Christmas toy price war is already beginning. The big players like Wal-Mart, Target and Toys"R"Us just launched their new Christmas toy catalogs.

It will pay you to shop around! In some cases, we found a price difference by as much as $5 per toy. If you are shopping for a lot of kids, then you know that can add up quickly.

It's no surprise that Elmo makes the top of the "hot toy" list once again. Let's Rock Elmo has a new "rollback price" at Wal-Mart of $54.88. We found Elmo at Target for $58.99, but now until November 23, there's a $5 off coupon, making Elmo $53.99 -- cheaper than Wal-Mart by 89 cents.

What about Toys"R"Us? There, we found Elmo the priciest for $59.99 -- $6 more than Target. That's a big enough difference for some shoppers.

"When you add it up, it comes in handy, so it's a big difference," shopper Michael Gonzales said.

Our next toy -- a Fijit -- is an interactive toy. We found it at Wal-Mart for $39.97. At Target, the price is $44.89, but with a $5 coupon, the price is $39.89 -- 8 cents cheaper than Wal-Mart. But, once again at Toys"R"Us, it was the most expensive at $44. That's $4 and almost $5 more than Target and Wal-Mart prices. It's why some shoppers compare.

"I go to Wal-Mart, Target and everybody online, including Amazon.com," Ruth Senegal said.

Baby Alive was $16.97 at Wal-Mart, $19.99 at Target and at $22.99 at Toys"R"Us. That's $6 more than Wal-Mart's new rollback price!

After seeing this price, Amanda Nelson had buyer's remorse.

"We got that for my daughter's birthday and it was $30 at Toys"R"Us," Nelson said.

Still, we found popular toys really competitive, like the new LeapPad on sale for $99, battery-operated four-wheelers for kids were all priced around $60, and video games were all similar in price at all three stores we visited.

Keep in mind, every store offers incentives. At Wal-Mart, they have a new Christmas price guarantee. Basically, f you purchase something from Wal-Mart and find it advertised at a lower price later, they will offer you a gift card for the difference through Christmas day.

At Target, the store offers 5 percent off when you use a Target debit or credit card on your purchases.

"It gives you the ability to save to save 5 percent on all items every time you come to Target to shop," Barry Moseley with Target said.

Wal-Mart and Target were really competitive. Toys"R"Us was usually more expensive.

We found the best prices at Amazon.com. In most cases, you don't have to pay tax or shipping.


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