Fancy electronics get most of the attention as Black Friday doorbusters, but the shopping holiday is a great time to stock up on holiday gifts like toys, too. Whether you're standing in for Santa, or just adding to your personal collection, we'll tell you the best times to get the greatest deals during the 2016 Black Friday season!
This year for our Black Friday predictions, we've created a "cheat sheet" with the top tips you need to know when shopping this season. For savvy consumers who want more information, scroll down for our in-depth analysis.
So what can you expect from Black Friday toy deals? Read on below! Then, consider signing up for the DealNews Select newsletter to keep track of the latest deals in your inbox, or download our app to have them at your fingertips.
The Cheat Sheet: Black Friday Toy Predictions
Discounts to Expect
- LEGO sets for 50% off
- Roundups of select toys taking up to 50% off
- The holiday season's hottest toys at up to 60% off
- Star Wars and Frozen items for up to 60% off
6 Quick Tips You Need to Know
- The week of Black Friday is the best time to shop
- Toys "R" Us' Fabulous 15 sell out quickly, so jump on any deals you see
- Amazon will offer more toy deals than any other merchant
- Look for a limited edition LEGO set during the site's "Brick" Friday Sale
- Tabletop games are discounted during Cyber Week
- Toy deals get better and more plentiful in the weeks leading up to Christmas
Want more details on how, what, where, and when to buy toy deals this Black Friday? Then check out our full analysis below.
When to Shop
Deals Surge on Black Friday, Return Cyber Monday
Toy hunters have a lot to look forward to this Black Friday season, with the week of Black Friday itself being the best chance for deals. Get ready for toy offers to start strong at the beginning of that week and grow in volume until Black Friday — which we anticipate to be the single best day for toy savings. We'll see a sharp resurgence of interesting toy bargains again on Cyber Monday.
Don't expect too much excitement from the rest of Cyber Week though, as deals tend to wind down as merchants gear up for their holiday sales. It's best to pause your toy hunting and pick it up two weeks before Christmas when things take off again.
What to Buy
Hottest Toys of the Season Will Be Hard to Buy
Deals on the most desirable toys — like the Fabulous 15 from Toys "R" Us, or last year's popular remote-controlled BB-8 and Viewmaster VR — will continue to be sparse during the Black Friday season. That's not to say there won't be deals on the hottest toys of the holiday season; there will just be so few of them, and they'll sell out so quickly, that they'll be hard to come by.
To add insult to injury, when there are deals on the season's hottest toys during the Black Friday season, they're pretty impressive: up to 60% off, in some cases. Last year that included Star Wars toys, Frozen dolls, and a random assortment of items from the Fabulous 15 list. But again, they come and go so fast it's hard to ensure that you snag one.
If you want to take your chances, and think you can move quickly, the best time to find deals on the hottest toys is in the week leading up to Black Friday (though we wouldn't rule out Black Friday itself or Cyber Monday). Historically, there have been one or two deals on those must-have toys on those days — and we literally mean "one or two deals." Good luck!
There's a Very Specific Time to Buy LEGOs
For the past several years, LEGO has offered the same "Brick" Friday discount: Up to 50% off a wide selection of sets, plus free shipping on all orders, plus a free limited edition holiday-themed set with orders of $99 or more — and we expect them to repeat this offer this year.
This sale doesn't offer just one or two sets at half-off so they can claim "up to 50% off," either; LEGO reduces a ton of sets by 50%. This will truly be the best time to hunt for LEGO deals, not only during the Black Friday season, but all year. Even the "bad" deals are still 20% off.
LEGO's "Brick Friday" sale will slash 50% off many different sets, making it the best time of the year to buy LEGOs.
There will be other LEGO deals scattered throughout the season, but they'll mostly be on individual sets. Our recommendation is to wait on buying any LEGOs until you see what the Brick Friday sale has to offer. If that doesn't appease you, there will be a resurgence in LEGO deals starting on Cyber Monday and continuing into that following week, when we typically see the highest volume of individual LEGO deals.
Black Friday Finally Embraces Tabletop Gamers
Tabletop games, with all their bits and pieces, can be downright expensive! Luckily, our data indicates that Amazon will be the place to help you save some coin. Stay alert during Cyber Week (12/1 to 12/4), and expect the most bargains on popular titles like Ticket to Ride, Tokaido, Dominion, Pandemic, Munchkin, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and more.
Where to Shop
If You Only Shop at One Store...
Over the course of the entire Black Friday season, Amazon will be the store to beat. Last year, it turned in 16% more toy deals than the next highest contender, Target, and we expect the same first-place performance this year. It should be pointed out that even though Target may come in second overall, it actually offered more deals during Black Friday week.
Amazon will be the store to beat for toy deals. Last year, the site had 16% more toy deals than the runner up, Target.
Last year, third place went to Walmart, which offered a third fewer deals than Target during the Black Friday season (and about 40% fewer deals than Amazon). We don't expect any greater performance from them this year, as Amazon has tended to match or beat every Walmart toy deal for the past several years.
Finally (and sadly), Toys "R" Us — a company with "toys" right in its name — wound up at the back of the pack last year, offering up a quarter as many deals as Amazon.
Remember: Even though Black Friday is a great time to buy toys, deals always tend to get better and more frequent in the two weeks before Christmas. With the exception of the LEGO "Brick" Friday sale, Black Friday isn't your single best (or last) chance to get a deal on most toys!
What are you hoping to see among the toy deals this year? Let us know in the comments, check out all our Black Friday predictions below, and don't forget to bookmark our Black Friday homepage for all the latest ads, deals, and analysis.
This article first appeared in DealNews.