Newsflash: There are only eight days to Christmas, which leaves you exactly seven days to get all that shopping done. Which means you've once again waited too long and you'll probably never find a Zhu Zhu Pet for little Zazu now. Bad mommy!
But Toys R Us has a dose of Christmas cheer for you: The nation's largest toy-seller has vowed that this year there won't be the kind of supply and demand issues that have plagued popular toy rushes in the past (remember trying to find a Tickle Me Elmo?). It pledges enough inventory of this season's "must-have" toys so that even last-minute shoppers will be able to find the hot ticket toys for their kids.
And if you still don't snag a pet, there are three more opportunities to stand in line before dawn and buy an $8 hamster.
Walmart, not be outdone by Toys R Us, is hosting a special Zhu Zhu Pet shopping event. Beginning Monday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 23, Walmart is making Zhu Zhu Pets available at all of its stores nationally beginning at 7 a.m.
Toys R Us says it plans on receiving more than 1 million mechanical hamsters between now and Christmas Eve. And Friday, Dec. 18, it will distribute about 100 Zhu Zhu Pets to each Toys R Us store nationally and open the doors at 6 a.m.
It's like Black Friday all over again.
As a follow up, on Saturday, Dec. 19, four new Zhu Zhu Pets -- Jilly, Winky, Scoodles and Nugget -- make their debut in Toys R Us stores, and the first 50 people in line when the doors open at 6 a.m. get the chance to buy them.
Quantities are limited at both Walmart and Toys R Us, however, Walmart says distribution varies by locations. There will be a minimum of 20 pets available at smaller locations and 60 per day at its larger stores (most locations).
Remember, safety first. Walmart says stores will be organizing the lines in advance of the 7 a.m. start time and customers will be assigned numbers as lines build.
At Toys R Us, however, local stores had not gotten the memo as of today.
I called a Toys R Us in Huntington Beach, CA, and the harried-sounding clerk said there were no Zhu Zhu pets there.
"Will you have some in tomorrow?" I asked. "No," said the clerk. "We might get a shipment, we might not. It's not a sure thing."
The young woman who answered the phone at the Toys R' Us in Cerritos, CA, said they were out of stock today, but would be getting more in a shipment Friday. Probably. "We never really know when we're getting more in," the girl I spoke to said. "Get here when we open if you want one. They sell out quick."
Of the five local Los Angeles-area stores I called, only the Burbank store reported having Zhu Zhu pets in stock. "We have a few," the clerk told me. "I don't know when we're getting any more in stock."
Let's hope Toys R' Us Corporate better informs its rank and file workers of this windfall. If only to keep us procrastinating and now-desperate parents off of eBay, where we'll be trolling for Zhu Zhu Pets at $60-per hamster.
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