2016 “Buy it Now’ Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 2 – Bigger Kids]

2016 “Buy it Now’ Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 2 - Bigger Kids]We’ve talked about which toys have proven track records. Now it’s time to figure out the “Buy Price” for the toys on the lists.

Typically, you can expect toys to go to about 40% off list price around the holidays. Not all of them will, though. Some will only go as low as about 20% off, and the hottest and newest toys may be in such high demand that they don’t go on sale much at all.

Tracking past sales and price histories allow us to estimate the price a smart shopper should pay for these toys. Could the price go lower? Sure. Whether you wait to see if it does depends on your tolerance for risk.

Here’s the list for kids 3 and up. If you missed the post for littler kids, you can see it here. The links go to Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Note: The first price is the list price and the second is the recommended “Buy-It-Now” price.

These “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price or even the current price. You can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The Toys

Think any of these “Buy” prices are out of line? Let me know!

Related:

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

2016 “Buy it Now” Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 1 – Little Kids]

2016 "Buy it Now' Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 1 - Little Kids]We’ve talked about which toys have proven track records. Now it’s time to figure out the “Buy Price” for the toys on the lists.

Typically, you can expect toys to go to about 40% off list price around the holidays. Not all of them will, though. Some will only go as low as about 20% off, and the hottest and newest toys may be in such high demand that they don’t go on sale much at all.

Tracking past sales and price histories allow us to estimate the price a smart shopper should pay for these toys. Could the price go lower? Sure. Whether you wait to see if it does depends on your tolerance for risk.

So here we go, starting with toys for the littlest kids. I’ll be breaking the post into two parts due the the amount of info I’ll be dishing up. The links go to Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Note: The first price is the list price and the second is the recommended “Buy-It-Now” price.

These “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price or even the current price. You can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The Toys

Think any of these “Buy” prices are out of line? Let me know!

Coming Soon: “Buy it Now’ Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 2 – Bigger Kids]

See all the Toys That Get Played with Lists

See more more Buy-it-Now prices

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

Toys: How to Tell the Winners from the Duds [Infographic]

There are lots of great toys out there and a whole lot that aren’t worth spending money on.

But what makes a good toy, anyway? It’s a question we’ve pondered many times over the years here at BC. If you stop to think about which toys have the best staying power in your household and what they have in common, I’ll bet you’ll come up with a similar list to the one you’ll find in our infographic below, especially if you’ve got a few years of parenting experience under your belt.

Here’s a .pdf version of the graphic for sharing.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check back very soon for brand-new versions of BC’s Toys that Get Played With lists.

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

2016 Dollhouse Shopping Guide [Top Picks and Buy-it-Now Prices]

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.46.06 PMBecause dollhouses are so good at fostering the open-ended play that keeps kids interested, they always make BC’s Toys that Get Played With lists. They’re fabulous toys, but choosing a dollhouse for your child can be overwhelming. There are over 400 dollhouses and accessories on Amazon alone! How can you choose the one that’s best for your child?

This guide will help. It will also clue you in on what price you should pay for the one you choose. Read on!

Choosing the Best Dollhouse for your Child, Home and Lifestyle

When choosing a dollhouse, think about the following:

  • Consider your space. Where will you keep it? Where will your child play with it? How much room do you have in your chosen location? Big dollhouses can span four feet wide or more, whereas the smallest can easily fit on a tabletop. If you’re short on space, consider a folding dollhouse or a corner dollhouse.
  • Consider your budget. The prime ages for playing with dolhouses are from about three to age six. That’s a pretty long span for a toy. How much do you want to spend? If the house you want costs more than you want to spend, check consignment sales, consignment stores, Craigslist. etc. for a gently used model.
  • Does the house come with furniture and/or dolls? If the house you choose isn’t furnished, you’ll end up spending more on those little tiny sofas and chairs. Be sure to take the extra cost into consideration.
  • Will it fit dolls your child already has? Little People? Barbie? American Girl? There are dollhouses to fit all sizes. You may want choose a dollhouse that will work with your child’s cherished pals.
  • Do you want plastic or wood? Plastic can be wiped down, but may parents prefer the aesthetics of wood. You may also be able to repair wooden items if they break.

Top Dollhouses

Here are my top dollhouse picks, taking into consideration a variety of needs and wants. I’ve also listed the Buy-it-Now price for each house, and I’ve linked to the item at Amazon so that you can learn more.

Note: If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current price (although they may be the same) or the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The picks:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.42.01 PMBest deluxe wooden dollhouse:

KidKraft Majestic Mansion: Top selling dollhouse at both Amazon and Walmart. Assembly required.

  • Dimensions: 51.0 x 14.0 x 52.75
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories with 8 rooms
  • Furniture and dolls included: 33 pieces of furniture. Dolls sold separately.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Fits Barbies

List price: $246.99. Buy-it-Now price: $130

Note: You really can’t go wrong with a KidKraft dollhouse. If buying for the holidays, be sure not to wait until the last minute to assemble the house. Some of them can take a while. For extra savings, check out the very similar Imaginarium dollhouses at Toys R Us.

On a budget? See also: KidKraft Chelsea (BIN = $65) or KidKraft Savannah (BIN = $110)

Best if you’re short on space:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.41.32 PMMelissa and Doug Folding Princess Castle

  • Dimensions: 27″ x 15.25″ x 17.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 2 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 6 pieces of furniture, princess, prince, 2 horses
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $49.99. Buy-it-Now price: $36

Note: Also comes in gender-neutral gray.

See also: Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse. It also folds. (BIN = $65).

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.56.34 PMBest for toddlers:

Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse. Ages 2 and up

  • Dimensions: 22.25″ x 9.125″ x 16.0″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: mom, dad and baby figures and a few interior items–kitchen, table, chairs, etc.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $40. Buy-it-Now price: $35

See also: Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home (BIN = $35).

Best eco-friendly:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.40.53 PMHape All Season Dollhouse. Solid wood construction with child-safe paint finish. Gender neutral.

  • Dimensions: 23.6″ x 11.8″ x 28.9″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: four room sets: Master Bedroom, Family Bathroom, Media Room and Kitchen. Dolls sold separately
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $199.99. Buy-it-Now price: $124

See alsoPlan Toys The Green Dollhouse with Furniture (BIN = $75)

Best plastic:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.40.26 PMFisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse

  • Dimensions:  25.6″ x 9″ x 16″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: Mom, Dad, Baby, sofa and baby seat
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
  • Folds for storage

List price: $69.90. Buy-it-Now price: $65

Best for 18″ dolls (American Girl, Our Generation, etc.):

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.39.41 PMKidKraft Elegant Doll Manor with Furniture for 18″ Dolls

  • Dimensions:  47.7″ x 19.5″ x 65.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 4 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 12 pieces of furniture
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $338.99. Buy-it-Now price: $217

Best gender-neutral:

KidKraft Everyday Heroes Play SetScreen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.34.29 PM

  • Dimensions:  38.2″ x 14.9″ x 25.8″
  • Rooms, etc:3 stories, 12 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 28 pieces of furniture, 2 bendable figurines and 2 bendable dogs, 3 vehicles
  • Folds for storage
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $153. Buy-it-Now price: $90

See also: Hape All Season Dollhouse (BIN = $130).

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.28.13 AMBest dollhouses with a twist:

Like to DIY? You can also make your own dollhouse from boxes, bookcases and more. See my DIY Dollhouses Pinterest board for inspiration.

Related: Baby Cheapskate’s Toys that Get Played With Lists

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

11 Holiday Best Bets from this Year’s Crop of New Toys [Fisher-Price & More]

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 10.56.17 AMSooo many toys have hit the shelves in the last few months. Which are worth your holiday shopping dollars?

With BC’s What Makes a Good Toy guidelines in mind, Here are eleven toys that I wouldn’t be surpised to see on BC’s Toys that Get Played With lists in years to come:

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.40.26 PMPower Wheels 12-volt Wild Thing

  • Ages: 5-10
  • MSRP: $300
  • Blurb: “Using the dual joystick steering controls, they can shift it into forward or reverse and spin it 360 degrees for a whirling, twirling thrill ride! “
  • Learn more: Video (Baby Gizmo)

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.43.14 PMDisney Junior Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Care Cart

  • Ages: 3-6 years
  • MSRP:: $50
  • Blurb: “Cart features a light & sound patient scanner with two interchangeable cards, a talking EKG area with a printout EKG roller, a kid powered blood pressure pump, a real working drawer, and a patient bed!”
  • Learn more: Video (TTPM)

VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess PalaceScreen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.49.25 PM

  • Ages: 1-5 years
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Blurb: “This epic palace expands to more than four feet wide and has a variety of luxurious rooms, including a ballroom, music room, kitchen, parlor and observation tower. While exploring the palace with Princess Darla, place her on the five MagicPoint™ locations to experience her friendly personality, lights and more. When Princess Darla sits at her MagicChat™ tea set table with a friend (additional characters sold separately), they will chat and sing with each other. “
  • Learn more: Video (TTPM)

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.50.43 PMImaginext Ultra Ice Dino

  • Ages: 3-8
  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Blurb: Turn the Power Pad behind his tail and he starts walking. A turn of the Power Pad above his left hip allows him to stand to his full height of 2 ½ feet tall – and activates the LED lights in his spikes and his eyes. And when you turn the third Power Pad, his mouth opens and closes with awesome chomping sound effects – and even fires arrows! If that isn’t enough to scare away enemies, he has two ice boulder launchers in his chest and back that can be fired at the push of a button – and a projectile claw!”
  • Learn more: Video (BSCKids)

Imaginext DC Super Friends Super Hero Flight City

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.53.40 PM

  • Ages: 3-8
  • MSRP: $80
  • Blurb: “This awesome playset is two worlds in one. One side is Gotham city and the other is metropolis. The playset comes with 4 power pads. Turn the very top left power pad to have your favorite superhero take flight. Load Batman or Superman into the flight pack and watch him circle the city. Turn the second power pad on the Gotham city side to reveal a projectile launcher.”
  • Learn more: Video (Fisher-Price)

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 2.57.31 PMBarbie Ultimate Puppy Mobile

  • Ages: 3-7
  • MSRP: $49.99
  • Blurb: …this Barbie vehicle transforms from a sporty SUV to a playground perfect for Barbie doll, her sisters and their adorable pets…! …Lift up the roof of the SUV and pull open its sides to reveal a deluxe island-inspired play area! Play spaces include lounge areas, a tiki-themed smoothie bar…, a television, beds for all four puppies and a truly amazing feature: when one puppy rides down the zip line all the way across the play set, it triggers a fun palm tree “elevator” for another puppy!”
  • Learn more: Video (TheChildhoodLife Kids and Toys)

Laugh & Learn Crawl-around Learning CenterScreen Shot 2016-10-24 at 3.03.22 PM

  • Ages: 3-36 months
  • MSRP: $50
  • Blurb: “With 20+ activities and 4 sides of play, this grow-with-me toy takes your baby through important stages and milestones, from sitting … to crawling … to standing …. to cruising. There are over 150 sounds, songs, tunes & phrases. 4 panels with fun learning and busy activities all around for baby to explore. Plus a big arch that activates sounds when baby crawls through! “
  • Learn more: Video (Fisher-Price)

Mega Bloks First Builders Food Truck KitchenScreen Shot 2016-10-24 at 3.06.03 PM

  • Ages: 1-5 years
  • MSRP: $40
  • Blurb: “With two ways to play, this big, rolling truck opens into a stand-up kitchen where your little foodie can build all kinds of yummy curbside treats. Open the side window to reveal a stovetop for your frying pan. Next, open the roof to build a pantry where you can keep your ketchup, mustard and relish. Then, lift up the front grill, and start flipping your patties.”
  • Learn more: Video (TTPM)

Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway Playset 

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 3.24.45 PM

  • Ages: 18 months – 5 years
  • MSRP: $40
  • Blurb: “They can start out zipping their wheelies vehicles over the roads and down the ramps of the horizontal town, stopping to fill up at the gas pump at the bottom. Then take it up. Up. Up to a vertical mountain skyway that stands over 3 ft. tall. Now toddlers can place their wheelies vehicles at the top and watch as the cars zip & zoom their way around & around (& around) the spiral ramps all the way to the bottom! Kids steer their own adventures as this skyway playset changes from a sit-at roadway to a stand-up mountain skyway (and back again!) with the help of mom or dad.”
  • Learn more: Video (GrowingYourBaby)

LeapFrog Fridge Numbers Magnetic SetScreen Shot 2016-10-24 at 3.30.36 PM

  • Ages: 2 – 4 years
  • MSRP: $20
  • Blurb: “Matching numbers to corresponding food tiles reinforces number learning and teaches the critical notion that they’re more than symbols-they represent quantities. Place a food tile in the basket to hear colors, counting and a helping of fun phrases like “How do you make a strawberry shake? You put it in the freezer!” and “Strawberries are a fruit!” “Can you find another fruit?” With magnetic play that sticks to the fridge or any other magnetic surface, little ones can help themselves to endless servings of numbers, colors and food groups.”
  • Learn more: Video (TTPM)

Fisher-Price Thomas the Train TrackMaster Thomas’ Sky-High Bridge JumpScreen Shot 2016-10-25 at 10.42.36 AM

  • Ages: 3 – 6 years
  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Blurb: “After a tall, spiral ascent with Harold the helicopter, Thomas speeds down a huge ramp and the velocity launches him into the air! Thomas soars for over two feet (0,6 meters) through the air before landing safely on the other side and continuing his journey. This one-of-a-kind Thomas & Friends train set also features a cargo hopper, waving flags, a barrel cargo piece, and removable Harold the helicopter.”
  • Learn more: Video (Fisher-Price)

Which of these toys do you think your kids would enjoy most? Are there any other new toys we should be talking about?

See BCs Toys that Get Played With lists. New lists coming very soon!

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

Toy Rotation the Cheap and Easy Way [Get Organized for 2016!]

Toy Rotaton The Cheap & Easy Way

So your kids have a few new toys, huh? Are they playing with all of them, or are they already showing favorites?

We spend a ton of time here at BC talking about which toys are the “good” ones that kids actually play with, and I’m sure you’ve made some fabulous choices. Even so, it’s natural for kids to gravitate towards one or two toys and play with them semi-exclusively for a while.

But what about the perfectly good toys that never seem to see any action?

No need to ship them off to the Island of Misfit Toys. There are some things you can do to encourage them to play with more of their stuff.

First, make sure your kids can see and access their toys. When toys are out of sight and/or out of reach, they’ll most likely be out-of-mind as well.

Of course, when we see the same items in our rooms every day, they become invisible to us over time. The same goes for toys on the shelves and in the toy bin. Enter the idea of toy rotation.

In addition to encouraging kids to play with more of their toys, toy rotation helps solve the problem of being short on storage space and cuts down on the time it takes to tidy everything up. It works with books, too.

The Basics

Setting up a basic toy rotation system is a lot less time consuming than it may sound. You don’t need any special bins or supplies, either.

You can get as complicated as you like with your toy rotation system, but the essentials are as follows:

1. Divide up the toys. How many go in each set depends on the space you have, the number of toys you have, or you or your child’s personal preference. A dozen is plenty.

2. Keep one set of toys out at a time. Put away the others.

3. After a week or two (depending on your child’s continuing interest in the toys that are out), switch to another set.

Read More

There are many variations on this them. Check out these articles for more toy rotation strategies.

Have you tried implementing a toy rotation system? How did it go? Have any tips? Share them in the comments!

photo in top image by Elizabeth/Table4Five [via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/table4five/377763536/]

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.

2015 “Buy it Now’ Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 2 – Bigger Kids]

2015 “Buy it Now’ Prices for 40 Top Toys [Part 2 - Bigger Kids]Here’s the second part of BC’s 2015 toy “Buy Price” list. You can see the first part (and read more about what this is) here.

Note: The first price is the list price and the second is the recommended “buy-it-now” price. These “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price or even with current prices. You can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

Think any of these “Buy” prices are out of line? Let me know!

Related:

See all the Toys That Get Played with Lists

See more more Buy-it-Now prices

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.