Board games still sell
TRURO - When all else fails, pick up on an old fashioned board game ....
Despite all the wizardry and bells and whistles included in today's wide array of electronic goods, shoppers are still falling back on the tried and true merits of board games when filling their Christmas shopping lists.
And not only because most of the electronic goodies are gone.
"A lot of the old favourites like Easy Bake Oven are gone and there's board games like Operation, Mousetrap, the Connect Four, we're completely sold out of all three of those," said Christine Leadbetter, senior sales associate for toys at Zellers in the Truro Mall.
In fact, "board games are very popular," she said.
As far as toys are concerned, "some of the hottest toys are new ones," Leadbetter said, referring to such items as the FurReal Friends Kitty and new varieties of dolls called Liv Dolls and Moxie Girls.
"Those are real popular right now for girls and we're completely sold out of everything ...," she said. "And I'm getting calls every day for them."
Of course, that leads to disappointment
for Santa's helpers who arrive too late but
at this point, no new shipments will arrive before Christmas.
"A lot of shoppers wait as long as they can hoping to get deals and stuff but, unfortunately, with new products that are out, they usually sell quickly, before they go on sale. And, if you wait too long, you don't get them."
For boys, she said, some of the more popular items are Tec Dek (a mini skateboard) and Flic Trix, tiny toy bicycles on which such things as the tires and handlebars can be changed and modified.
"And, of course, Lego is another old toy that my shelves are completely empty of," Leadbetter said.
Across town at Wal-Mart, this year's shoppers were big on high-end electronic items such as large-screen, plasma televisions but soft on high-end toys, said assistant manager Eric MacIntyre.
"They seem to be buying bigger ticket items this year as opposed to last year," he said. "Toys have been the opposite."
Ipods and GPS systems are also big sellers this year, along with boxed set movies, complete season television shows and Snuggies, the blanket with sleeves, he said.
And, as with his competition, MacIntyre is also seeing a big run on board games.
"We've been selling a ton of board games, like Monopoly and Risk and Life and stuff like that," he said.
Canadian Tire general manager Jason Hawkes said electronic items are the big hit at his store this year, along with GPS systems.
"The prices keep coming down on them so they stay hot for awhile," he said, adding overall, "it's been a steady season" leading up to Christmas.
"Just about the same as last year."
At The Source Store in the Truro Mall, assistant manager Dwayne Hiltz said such commodities as Ipods and Wii are good movers this year.
But as with other popular items, the early shoppers went away with the prizes.
"We had lots of them in stock here and we told people ... but people decided to wait and now we don't have any," he said.
Flying toys such as helicopters, planes and birds were also a big hit this year.
There were a couple of items that weren't so popular, however.
"Digital photo frames. They are not popular this year. We couldn't keep them in stock last year but this year people don't want them," Hiltz said.
Likewise for the old diehard - Slinky, according to Leadbetter.
"Usually I'm sold out of those by now but I have quite a few of those and I didn't have any more this year than I had in previous years," she said, adding some people just may be waiting to pick up their Slinkies as stocking stuffers.