Area merchants see increased sales of old favorites
It's not a Monopoly, but ghosts from Christmas past are captivating the attention of shoppers this holiday season. Can you guess their names? Sorry! Time's up. Here's a Clue: at some point in your Life, you've probably played with...
It's not a Monopoly, but ghosts from Christmas past are captivating the attention of shoppers this holiday season.
Can you guess their names?
Here's a Clue: at some point in your Life, you've probably played with one.
If you took a Risk and guessed board games, please pass "Go" and collect your $200.
As people flocked to stores Friday, the traditional start of the holiday gift-buying season, managers at some local toy stores said no single toy or gadget stands out as the must-have present this year.
That's helped low-tech perennials blossom in a way they haven't done in years.
Board games like Operation -- "Take out wrenched ankle" -- and old-time favorites such as Lincoln Logs and Chinese Checkers are again racking up sales.
"Retro toys are huge," said Todd Sawrey, store director at Toys R Us, in Fargo.
"Tinker Toys, Care Bears ... I really believe that parents want to see what they experienced when they were children in their own children's eyes," Sawrey said.
Sawrey, the father of two boys ages 8 and 10, said he's happy to see games he enjoyed as a youngster are still around.
"I started out with Stratego and then I went to Risk. I love Risk," Sawrey said, referring to a global domination game that, by its popularity, proves there's a little Napoleon in all of us.
Sawrey said demand for flash-in-the-pan items is usually driven by parents intent on buying whatever toy is perceived to be hot.
"Last Christmas we had scooters floor to ceiling," he said. "Now we hardly carry them."
In the long run, Sawrey said, children decide if a toy lasts -- Kerplunk, for example, is now marketed as a classic -- or fades like a Furby.
"Generally, the life of a toy is two years, tops," Sawrey said. "If your toy gets beyond five years, it becomes a staple."
Chuck Chadwick, manager of the Moorhead Kmart, said nostalgia isn't necessarily to thank for some old toys finding new friends.
"Young people are rediscovering that kind of stuff," he said. "They think it's being made for them.
"There just seems to be a sense of family renewal," he said. "I think people are staying at home more."
A group of Kmart executives recently toured the store and were amazed at how fast low-tech items were leaving the shelves. "Who thinks of that stuff?" he said.
"I'm almost pleased there are no hot toys," Chadwick added, recalling when Transformers took the toy world by storm some years back.
"People were knocking us down," he said. "We would have drawings to see who had the privilege of buying it at full price."
Mary Lund, of Ames, Iowa, was checking out the craft fair Friday at Moorhead's Center Mall.
Lund has already purchased Christmas presents for her three sons, ages 4, 6 and 8, and they include toys she knew as a child.
The list, she said, contains things like Legos, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, which came uniquely packaged in a cylindrical storage bin.
"They still come that way." Lund said.
Readers can reach Moorhead Bureau Chief Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555