Guts; making the tough buying decisions

In my last posting, “The Courage of a Toy Buyer,” I compared the "Hot Toy" Lists from Toys R Us and Kmart in the US and Argos, the UK’s leading toy retailer.  I was looking for where they agreed.   In this positing I want to look at where the “Hot Toy” lists do not agree.  That is where buyer courage truly comes into play.

Let’s face it, choosing months in advance of the selling season means having the guts to make a bet and live with it.  If you are incorrect, you just spent a lot of your company’s money on the wrong product.  That means lost revenues, lost profits and maybe even a lost job.

So how do buyers make these choices?  As I mentioned in the last posting, let’s not forget that some great

selling takes place.  In addition, savvy buyers negotiate great prices, exclusives and targeted promotional money.   

Ultimately, however, the buyer has to bet on the product itself.  No amount of great prices or promotion can overcome a product that just does not engage the consumer.  So, even though buyers have computers, committees, bosses and second guessers to contend with, they ultimately have to rely on their “Spidey” sense of what makes for a great product.

Below are the retailers and the products the buyers from Argos, Kmart and Toys R Us did not agree on.  Let’s applaud these buyers for making their choices.  Let’s also see how they did after Christmas.


Air Hogs Hyper Actives by Spin Master

Air Swimmers Extreme by Animal Planet

Lalaloopsy Silly Hair dolls by MGA Entertainment

My Keepon by Wow! Stuff

Poppin' Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper by Hasbro's Playskool

Power Wheels Dune Racer by Mattel's Fisher-Price

"Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure," by Activision

The Trash Pack Garbage Truck by Moose Toys.


I am T-Pain Microphone

Barbie Designable Hair Extensions and Doll

Lite Sprites Lite Wand, Prisma and Pod

Redakai Championship Battle Tin

FurReal Friends Cookie My Playful Pup

WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena

Transformers Mechtech Ultimate Optimus Prime

Lazer Stunt Chaser R/C Vehicle

Simon Flash

Dora Fiesta Favorites Kitchen


Dance Star Mickey

Octonauts Octopod Playset  

VTech Kiddizoom Twist Camera – available in pink and blue  

Dr Who Dalek Ride-In
Bop It! XT
Disney Pixar Cars 2 Secret Spy Attack Finn McMissile
LEGO Star Wars Sith Nightspeeder
Barbie Puppy Water Park
Chad Valley Design a Friend
Baby Annabell









Leave a Reply