It’s never too early to save money, especially when shopping for Christmas presents. Get the best deals on the hottest toys and gifts this year by shopping early, taking advantage of free shipping offers and getting the most popular items before they sell out.
Following are some of this year’s hottest Christmas gifts—all under $20.
Webkinz stuffed animals and their smaller siblings, Lil’ Kinz, are plush animal toys that also offer access to online computer games. Kids buy a Webkinz frog, panda, cat, bear, pig or other animal from the Ganz company’s huge selection, enter the code from the attached tag at the Webkinz Web site and “adopt” a virtual version of their pet in Webkinz World. Once online, kids feed and play with their pet, take educational quizzes and play a variety of kid-friendly games. The price of the Webkinz toy comes with a one-year membership in Webkinz World, not a bad deal for a stuffed animal that sells for as little as $7.69. Buy from a dealer on Amazon.com or find a local store at the Webkinz site. These toys are not available at big box stores, such as Wal-Mart.
Classic Transformers Figures
Hasbro hit pay dirt in the early 1980s when it introduced a series of toys that featured robots that disguised themselves as vehicles, animals or other machines. A comic book series and television cartoon show helped popularize these versatile toys. This summer’s Transformers movie brings these contraptions back into toy stores and onto the wish list of many a young boy. Mirage and Bumblebee, the two members of the Autobot spy team change into fancy hotrods with a few twists and turns of the toy’s plastic parts. Decepticon enemy Astrotrain converts form a frightening hulk of a robot figure into a space shuttle. All are available for $9.99 each from the Hasbrotoyshop.com. Get 25-percent off and free shipping until Oct. 8, 2007.
High School Musical Dolls
Kids can stage their own version of the popular Disney Channel High School Musical and High School Musical 2 movies with these fashion dolls by Mattel. The 11-1/2-inch tall versions Gabriella, Troy, Sharpay, Ryan, Taylor and Chad sport an extra set of hip clothes and sell for $12.95 at Atamaii, plus $4.95 shipping.
Cranium Card Games with Squawkbox
Creative and funky toy company Cranium does it again with a new line of card games featuring an electronic “squawkbox,” containing the voice of an announcer who voices funny instructions throughout the game. Cranium’s three new squawkbox card games are Pirate’s Passage, Lunch Munch and Bug Hut, available for $9.99 each at the company’s Web site; free shipping for orders over $25.