This year the Big Three toy retailers, Toys R Us, Target and Walmart, are promising to match the competition's prices, with Toys R Us also pledging to match certain online retailers, including Amazon.com.
And for the first time, those retailers have to deal with something that helps consumers check toy prices right in the store and demand discounts at the cash register: the Shop For Kids mobile application, launched by toy review website TimetoPlayMag.com. (The app is called Shop for Kids by TimetoPlayMag.com and is available for Apple and Android devices.)
A user can scan a bar code and see what the price is at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kmart and Toys R Us; learn which retailers have the item in stock; and link to another retailer's website and purchase it online. Or, because of the price-match promises this year, users simply can show their smartphone to the cashier and get the lowest price listed by the app.