Commercial after TV commercial bombard children with Christmas toy ideas that they never knew they wanted, driving parents to search for toys that every other child wants.
Instead of trying to get the most popular toys that are marketed everywhere, there are some "sleeper" toys that are still popular but are still enough under the radar that parents may feel they've scored a deal and a great toy when they get one. With the help of zooLert.com, a website that helps people find low prices on toys, WalletPop came up with a list of sleeper toys, or as zooLert co-founder Ed Crotty put it, "the stuff that doesn't get marketed to hell" but still has the "it" factor.Here's the list of sleeper toys, along with availability, lowest price and where to find it. The prices are as of Nov. 19 through zooLert, so check there or at your favorite price comparison site for the best price and if it's in stock. If they're exclusive, are tied to a hot children's movie or are an action figure, they're probably hard to find:
1. Dance Star Mickey
$59.99 at Toys R Us
Cheap toys may be all that are selling this year, but this toy is breaking the trend and selling out like crazy, Crotty said, and can go for as much as $69.99. If you find it online, buy it fast because it sells out within minutes. The toy is much like the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 2006, when parents and kids couldn't find enough of the moving dolls.
2. Cruncher Prehistoric Pets Interactive Dinosaur
$79.99 at Amazon
Just like Dance Star Mickey, this expensive toy continues to beat talking heads' predictions. Expensive toys still have a place as long as they have unique and fun game play. The prices on this toy are so crazy that Sears is selling it for $170. but $80 seems to be the going price at most places.
3. Cicciobello Love N Care Doll
$39.99 at Toys R Us
It's a European import doll, exclusive to ToysRUs. Italian girls have been role-playing with Cicciobello dolls since 1962. Like many interactive dolls, this doll comes with interactive accessories to help a child take care of it when it gets sick. Use a stethescope, take its temperature, give it medicine or feed it from a bottle. The doll cries and gets red cheeks, letting its little mommy or daddy know that it needs someone to care for it.
$19.99 at Mygofer
This doll is one part Coraline, one part adult collector-looking toy, and all cute. It appeals to children and adults and is one of the most sought-after toys at zooLert. The site lists plenty of places that have Lalaloopsy in stock, mostly for $25.
5. How To Train Your Dragon
$15 at Walmart
The action figures from this popular movie are sold exclusively at Walmart, which makes them harder to get. They range in price from $5 for a two-headed dragon to $30 for a two-pack bundle. Although Walmart restocks often, they can still be difficult to find online due to three factors: exclusivity, a hot movie and action figures. The perfect combo for selling out a toy fast.
6. Teacup Piggy
$14.99 at Radio Shack
You know it's a hot sleeper toy when Radio Shack sells it and it's selling out there. Radio Shack sells the pigs and had them in stock when we checked, although many stores such as ToysRUs, Walmart, K-mart and Walgreens sell the piggies, accessories and play sets that range from $7 to $35.
The toy six-inch version of the real teacup piggies were inspired by celebrities such as Paris Hilton, who carried around the real little pigs as pets.
7. Justin Bieber Dolls
$24.54 at Walmart
The pop star's fans are making this doll difficult to find, with some stores selling out of pre-orders. When we checked, only WalMart had it in stock online, although Target had one of the dolls available for pre-order for $17.99. There are various types of this doll, and some of them sing, so finding the one that sings "Baby" costs more than one that doesn't sing.
8. Air Hogs Hawk Eye
$49.99 at Target and Amazon
Like many things at Amazon, it sells fast there because Amazon offers free shipping and often doesn't charge tax. It's a remote-controlled helicopter with an onboard video camera that captures still photos and videos. It can fly indoors and is hot for kids and adults as a Christmas gift.
9. LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle
$129.99 at Toys R Us
Look for LEGO code number 4842 for this specific toy, which is an expensive sleeper but is the centerpiece to any LEGO Harry Potter collection. The new movie comes out this week, giving Harry Potter fans more reason to live out their wizarding moments with this toy.
$5.99 at Toys R Us
It's the modern Thomas The Tank Engine, has newer looking engines, and already has a following across the pond making it a hit with collectors and kids alike. Many types of Chuggington trains are available for $5.99, and tracks and play sets are more, ranging from $16 to $40.
10 Hot 'Sleeper' Toys, and Where to Find Them Before They Sell Out