If you’re looking for great deals on toys and games this holiday season, listen up because The Toy Insider has some tips!

James Zahn aka The Rock Father (founder of this website) is a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider, the trusted go-to source for parents and gift-givers. Following the release of its 18th annual Holiday Gift Guide this season, The Toy Insider is serving up expert tips to secure the hottest toys topping kids’ wish lists, just in time for the busiest holiday shopping days of the year.

For shoppers seeking deals, The Toy Insider rounded up a curated assortment of the best deals to save BIG on hot products from top brands, all with direct links to “add to cart” at trusted toy retailers. Click here to see them all!

“If there’s one word on toy shoppers’ minds this holiday season, it’s ‘affordability’—but good news: retailers of all shapes and sizes stocked their shelves with lots of options sure to impress any kid on your list, without breaking the bank,” says Ali Mierzejewski, Editor-in-Chief at The Toy Insider. “Our team of experts has pulled together our top shopping tips for stress-free holiday toy shopping and getting the best bargain — so you get even more bang for your buck in the end!”

The Toy Insider’s 2023 Holiday Toy Shopping Tips

  • Shop early: Once the hottest toys sell out, they may not be back in stock before the holidays, especially once you get to late November and December. Be sure to grab the toys your kids want as soon as you see them and help your kids make their wish lists early so that loved ones have time to shop, too.
  • Save on last year’s bestsellers and go-to classics: If you’re looking for the best deals on toys, consider buying options that aren’t “brand new.” Evergreen classic toys and last year’s super-hot items will be much cheaper, or very deeply discounted, leading up to the holiday season. Value retailers like Ollie’s, TJ Maxx, and Ross also carry hot toys at a discount.
  • Budget more for toys: Toy prices are increasing in 2023. While some toys may only increase by $2-3, larger toys like dollhouses and ride-on toys could be as much as 20% more than normal. Take advantage of big sale days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to check some pricier items off your list.
  • Shop in-store, and shop often: Pressed for time? Visit your favorite retailers in person — you could find and leave with toys that very same day, without the wait! Toy supply and restocking patterns vary by store, so check multiple locations or visit the same store often. Combine your visits with getting in-stock alerts, which are helpful but are not always accurate on their own.
  • Think outside the “big box”: Specialty retailers that placed orders with toy manufacturers early in the year will not only be well-stocked with those hot toys you’re looking for, but you’ll also be supporting a local business with your purchase. Smaller, local toy stores also offer their own independent deals all throughout the shopping season. Plus, these local toy stores often offer convenient services, such as gift wrapping!
  • Buy trusted brands and avoid third-party resellers: Use The Toy Insider’s Holiday Gift Guide (including the 12 Under $20 hot list!) and Perfect Present Wizard to ensure you purchase toys from reputable companies or select brand names you know and love. Avoid knock-off, counterfeit items, as they are not properly safety-tested, and may be of lower quality. Shop trusted retailers, avoiding sites like Temu.

For the best recommendations on toys, games, and family entertainment for the kids in your life, check out The Toy Insider early and often!

And, for a peek under the hood at what makes the toy industry tick, visit The Toy Book — the leading trade publication serving the industry since 1984, where Zahn serves as Editor-in-Chief.

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