Our Top 5 Places To Shop For Toys! (BESIDES TARGET + WAL-MART!)
Hey Honey Hiver! The likelihood of your visiting a Toy Department, even if you’re not a daily visitor to Toy Departments (like myself!), is pretty much guaranteed if you’ve been invited a child’s birthday party, or trying to entertain your kiddo while grocery shopping!
However, sometimes we aren’t always able to visit a local chain store, such as Target or Wal-Mart, due to time, or maybe you don’t have one nearby! There is also the possibility that your local chain store’s Toy Department is . . . less than stellar. Empty shelves. Damaged boxes. Someone decided to preemptively (ahem, illegally) open all of the blind bags in the store. Whatever your reason, there is no need to stop at your nearest gas station in attempt to purchase that last minute birthday toy again because we have compiled a list of alternative places to shop for toys!
But I Always Go To A Big-Box Chain Store . . .
Being an avid toy hunter, I’m constantly on the look-out for the newest toys on the market, and sometimes to requires several trips to several different big-box chain stores. However, we have learned that some spots are toy-filled nearby!
Of course Best Buy wishes to sell you your next flat screen TV, and laptop, but with the increasing competition from other major retail giants, we have found that our local electronic stores have been upping their toy inventory as a way to attract more potential customers.
Recently, we visited Fry’s Electronics (unfortunately it’s not in every state), and they specialize in selling electronics, computers, TV’s, and many other major gadgetry. Unbeknownst to us, they have a pretty impressive Toy Department as well. We scoured over 3+ aisles of toys, and these aisles were LOOOONG. Take your average Target toy Department aisle, and DOUBLE IT. It was basically like shopping through 6 shorter aisles at Target!
We were able to stock up on some of the toy industry’s most recent LEGO sets, as well as find some discounted LEGO Brickheadz on clearance! Best Buy is where we managed to score some L.O.L. Surprise Confetti Pop dolls when they were initially released as well because they were SOLD OUT everywhere else!
Usually when you consider convenience store chains, such as CVS and Walgreen’s, you often think of it as a quick-stop sort of store for picking up some last minute items, or items that you forgot to get on your recent shopping trip.
BUT WHAT IF IT HAS MORE TO OFFER? Because IT DOES. We recently discovered that these convenience store chains have really been emerging in the toy industry as they have been stocking their shelves with more toys, as well as offering HUGE discounts! Last Halloween, for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 25th Anniversary, Basic Fun Toys released some Mashems to celebrate the movie! As soon as Halloween was over, we were able to score the Mashems, and other movie-inspired toys at 50-90% off!
PARTY SUPPLY STORES
Our local Party City has been expanding on their toy inventory recently in attempt to make it that “one-stop shop” for purchasing that last-minute gift. It’s so easy! You can choose a toy, gift wrap, and a card all in one place that isn’t a big-box chain or convenience chain.
Recently, while stocking up on some LEGO Movie 2 birthday decorations for Helper Bee’s 4th birthday, we found some Poopsie Slime Sparkly Critters in-stock! We were pleasantly surprised as we had not seen them yet in stores. One thing to keep in mind though, being that Party City doesn’t have a huge market for toys, they tend to price their stocked toys slightly higher. So keep that in mind!
ANTIQUE MALLS AND FLEA MARKETS
We had yet ANOTHER major score while browsing one of our favorite antique malls lately! We unexpectedly came across an unopened, original Series 2 L.O.L. Surprise doll! Want to know the best part? IT WAS ONLY $6.99! We were able to find this doll in a random booth among-st a slew of other new, unopened toys!
As we continued though the antique mall, we also found a separate booth completely filled with brand new, unopened Melissa & Doug toys! We were in total heaven! Many flea market booth owners are able to purchase large quantities of returned or unsaleable merchandise from big box chain stores, and resell them at a greatly reduced price. Usually the merchandise may have a small blemish on the original packaging that hasn’t damaged the original item!
Dollar Tree. Five Below. Dollar General. These discount chain stores can often be stocked with those unexpected gems that you didn’t know that you needed! As toy brands release new series/waves of their toys, these discount stores are able to acquire the older series, and sell them for a lower price! If you’re not an avid toy collector of the newest of the new toys, and do not necessarily purchase toys due to their original release date, then you could easily find more seasoned, popular toys at these discount stores.
On a recent trip to Dollar Tree, we found an ENTIRE BOX full of Shopkins Season 5 blind boxes! If you’re late to the Shopkins-game, and/or recently began collecting them, this is an excellent way to collect the older series at steeply low prices. Next door at Five Below, we stumbled across an full box of Ryan’s World Mystery Figures Series 2 AND 5 Surprise Series 2! We had not been able to even find these in a big-box chain store yet! So we were ecstatic to find them there!
BIG-BOX Isn’t Always The Answer!
The next time that you’re out toy hunting, make sure to keep those other retail spots in mind! You may find some unexpected surprises! If you have managed to score a popular toy that’s NOT been bought at Wal-Mart or Target, let us know in the comments below!