Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Got Toys 'R Us Gift Card?

Cartoon It! by ThinkFun- Is it really only $2.00 now?  I have to go there to find out!  Can anyone say... emergency birthday gift?  I LOVE this game.
Read my full review of Cartoon It! here.

Happy New Year!!!!  Are you shopping today? 

WHAT: What to do if you have a Toys 'R Us Gift Card
DOES: Savvy Shopping Hints from ME!   The nearest Toys R Us to me is only a 15 minute walk away and so I find myself hunting there occasionally.  Sometimes I get REALLY lucky.  Maybe today is your lucky day too. 
THANKS to: Number 7's mom for suggesting I write this.  She's right!  A lot of kids get Toys 'R Us gift cards for Xmas. Let's shop smart with them!

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • I am not an affiliate of Toys 'R Us.  Any purchase you make after using one of these links won't do anything for Toys are Tools but a girl can't let a good deal go to waste, can she?
  • Prices that end in the number "98" ie. $14.98 usually means it is a clearance price.
  • I also find that prices that end in "00" ie. $15.00 is a clearance item too but I'm not positive on this. 
  • Sometimes there is a sale like "additional 20% off clearance items" so look out for those.  Right now there is one.  I sometimes find that the stuff that ends up in clearance were the hottest toys last year and that the clearance price is actually the price I'd like to pay for certain toys.

Nanoblock - U.S.S. Enterprise- going for $75.98 right now   You might only be able to get this online.  Not sure..

Nanoblock- right now this is going for $8.99   FAO Schwarz Bear
So cute.  Rainy day activity?
Nanoblock- Hello Kitty- $13.99  Buy it and save it for a rainy day.   There are 110 pieces in that bag.  Don't think she'll be finished in 10 minutes.  It's level 2 difficulty which I think an 8 year old can handle.   All I can say is Hello Kitty is damn cute.  BTW, did you know that Nanoblock is from Japan?  Why do the Japanese make such cute things???  Bring Back My Melody!  I miss her!

Megablocks - $39.98   Again, right now there is a sale on clearance items and this one ends in "98" so...    While I am a big LEGO fan, I think Megablocks are really easy on little fingers. 

Did You Know?
  • Toys 'R Us has a price matching guarantee but you need to read the rules first. 
  • Additionally, sometimes really great toys are ignored by the customers at big box toy stores because a lot of the shoppers there are looking for the popular trendy toys and so sometimes I get VERY lucky and swoop up amazing things. (Once I bought a discontinued set of Quadrilla Marble Run for $15- no kidding!  My son said to me, "You must be really happy right now." as we walked out of the store. I didn't exhale until I got to my car.)
  • You won't see any LEGO products in this list because I think you have to be careful with this.  Oftentimes, LEGO products are marked up higher at Toys R Us than at other stores including the LEGO store. 
LaQ Hamacron 5 in 1 Construction Set- $12.98 right now.
Never heard of this?  Well, that doesn't mean it isn't a big hit in say another hugely populated toy-loving country (psst... Japan).    When the price is right, I like to dabble in new building toys because I think it's good for kids to try something different.  Say, your child is all about K'nex and that is great.  Keep building that stash but once in a while... it's good to flex those creativity muscles with a different medium.

Sizzlin' Cool Kids Fabric Arm Chair from $9.99 to $6.98
Say What?   A chair that was $10 is now $7?  A real one that your child can sit in?  And there is a 20% off sale on clearance stuff?  Thank goodness I think my kids are probably too big for this chair.  It's just the kind of thing I would buy because I think I "need" it.  You might "need" it too.

Angry Birds Soft Flying Disk- was $11.99 and now $6.98
I must admit, I saw this item (in the very back back back part of the store) and since there was no one around, I threw it!  Ha!  I didn't throw it far but it flew well.  I love soft disk flyers and this one felt good in  my hands. I also like how easy they are and so I don't feel like a complete idiot when I try to play with this with my kids.   If I can make a sneak purchase today... I'm going to get this.  I don't have a flyer in 18 inch size.  I wonder if it can bounce like an OgoDisk, probably not but I want to find out.

Stats Soft Flying Disk 24"- Was $10, now $3.98.  Come on.  You have to get like two at least!  Remember it's 20% off this price too.  Ugh.. hit me over the head why don't you?

Phineas and Ferb Koosh Ball- now $1.98 
If I saw this in a store, I'd snatch it up.  I have no idea how it would perform as a ball but I love Koosh balls and I can never find them in stores and paying online prices for Koosh balls is just so demeaning.   Please keep in mind that you will have to dig for this in the store but won't you be happy if you actually found it?  I think it would be hard to find out in advance if they have it but it's one of those meant-to-be shopping moments.

Eric Carle Soft Foam Mat - now $14.98
#1 used to pick up the foam mat and take them apart when he was little.  Remember those alphabet ones???  Ugh, that drove me crazy.  Still, I love Eric Carle.  If you do too, this would be fun.

Hexbug Micro Robotic Scarab- was $15 now $12.99
We really don't own any Hexbugs.  We have bought them in the past but #1 always takes them apart and then he can't put it back together again.  I hate that!!!!!  Still, my spidey sense tells me that Hexbugs are one of those toys that you can modify, take apart, build back.   If I knew just a little more about mechanics, I would probably be able to confidently say that hexbug structures are rather straightforward but alas, I'm just guessing.  They are cute though.  The website says "The HEXBUG Scarab is a high-speed, mechanical, beetle-like robotic bug that skitters around on six angled legs. The Scarab propels itself forwards and backwards, and is capable of popping from its back to its feet if placed upside down."  I would like to see that.

Stats 2 in 1 Billiard-Basketball Combo Table  Was $119 and now $64.98
Gosh, I have no idea how sturdy this is but you know what? If I had the space in my home and this lasted me 1-2 years, at that price ($64.98- 20% off), I would say that it is worth a try, especially if you love pool and basketball.   I like that there are two baskets.  Parallel play for big kids.

Pavilion Giant Chess Set- Was $39.99 and now $24.98
Need a reason to start playing chess again?  Try the giant size.  Why not? Looks fun.  It's not that gigantic anyway.  King is 8 inches tall.  Think about where you'll store it before you buy it.

More shopping hints? More, really?  Yes!:
  • Whatever you do, please don't be like me and lose yourself in your quest to save money.  Your time is valuable too and so you might be happy that you save $10 but if you spent two hours to find that price then review your research procedure so that you will spend less time the next time you shop.
  • prices may not be the same as the in-store prices.  Apparently those prices will be matched unless you see words like "Online-only"
  • Make use of the price scanner.  You might realize that something is on sale even if it doesn't say so on the shelves.
  • If you are going to shop online and you really have nothing to buy there then consider buying things that I've never see in the brick and mortar stores... like these science sets.  Thames and Kosmos are high quality sets. 
  • The website says Free Shipping on any purchase $49 and above.

I think Toys R Us is selling Thames and Kosmos sets at the regular MSRP.  That's good.  Can't say that they do that for LEGO though...

Thames and Kosmos - Scope Construction Set $59.99

I totally like this idea of building your own microscope and telescope.  First of all, it encourages a child to concentrate on one thing at a time (microscope for a month or two then telescope).  Secondly, these are really expensive!  The good ones are at least.   I gather that for $60, you aren't going to get the most powerful microscope or telescope that some parents may be tempted to buy but the question is... do you need such a powerful microscope or telescope?  Just like getting your own LEGO set.  I think it's great to start with a modest but very decent effort and I think for this price you can't go wrong on encouraging a child to inquire about the world in this way.   The added benefit is the investment that you will have from the child because heck, they built the thing, I'm sure they'll want to use it to make the most of their time!  Gosh, I just got my kid a Zoomy microscope that he loves!  But I really want to try this now.

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised. 


1 comment:

  1. How on earth do you find these crazy deals? We love Cartoon It! I'm not organized enough to order a bunch for birthday presents but that is the best idea. $2????