Christmas Must Have Hot Toys
The Christmas toy scramble is almost here, and already the newest toy is limited and hard to find. The hot toy, for this year, is a robotic hamster from Zhu Zhu Pets', a China-based Company.
Perhaps the economy has a lot to do with the intense popularity of this battery-operated hamster. It's cheap and could indicate just how much Americans are focused on price and value. Stores might have kept inventory levels low because of the problematic economy. So, just because a certain product sells out and becomes hard to find, doesn't necessarily mean a soaring demand and a strong economy is inevitable.
The hamsters are out of stock in many places, and retailers are flying in the robotic hamsters in a desperate attempt to replenish their store shelves. This toy is much more than the next Tickle Me Elmo. The Zhu Zhu Pets' craze has a lot to say about the state of the economy.
Economists are keeping an eye on holidays sales for indications of economic recovery. Some believe the recession is, technically, over since the reports of an increase of 3.5 percent in the third quarter. But, actually, there are not any signs to indicate a strong recovery has begun.
The National retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade group, has predicted total holiday sales will drop 1 percent for November and December from last year's combined spending for the same two months.
But, Zhu Zhu Pets' popularity seems to be a bright spot in the toy market. Parents are scrambling to find the toys, bombarding stores for updates on new shipments, and buying out new stock as it arrives.
Apparently the success of the robotic hamsters has to do with the price. The cost of this toy is low, about $8 to $10 per hamster. In fact, every Zhu Zhu Pets' item sells for under $20. Russell Hornsby, Zhu Zhu Pets' creator, told The Associated Press he knew the kind of economy the toy was launching in, and that affordability mattered.
Even though Zhu Zhu Pets' are THE holiday hit, the pricing strategy and razor-thin inventory levels may, actually, show weakness in the economy.