How far ahead are you in getting Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest? November seems to be the month where you either start panicking or revel in having a well-planned out Christmas shopping strategy! No matter which gift giving camp you fall into we are here to help.

Toys, for all ages, are one of the biggest Christmas sellers every year and make the ideal gift for little ones. After all, there is nothing quite like that feeling of playing with a brand-new toy on Christmas day.

In just a few short weeks Black Friday will be upon us, bringing with it a cavalcade of deals and discounts that can significantly reduce the cost of this year’s Christmas present budget.

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What is Black Friday?

A long held US tradition, Black Friday has heralded the start of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years this popular American retail event has grown in popularity across the globe, gaining a strong foothold in the UK calendar.

Electronics were once the biggest sellers in the Black Friday Sales but these days you will find amazing offers on toys. Whether you are looking for classic board games or the latest Wi-fi enabled gizmos we are here to help you find the best deal.

Carrick Herald: Make Black Friday kids play with our tips and tricks. Photo by Click and Boo, Unsplash

When is Black Friday?

 The 2018 sales officially kick off on the 23rd of November. If you want to plan ahead for next year and beyond, know that Black Friday always falls on the fourth Friday of November. Across the pound, this is the day after Thanksgiving.

What toy shops will be participating in the Black Friday?

With so many retailers taking part in Black Friday and offering blow out sales it can be hard to know where to start. We have put together a list of stores to keep an eye on for some of the hottest deals around.

  • Hamleys*: It’s not been confirmed if Hamleys will participate in this year’s Black Friday but going by previous years the chances are high. Last year saw savings of 20% on classic brands such as Lego and Playmobil. Personally, we are hoping for steep discounts on the Lego Hogwarts Express.
  • The Entertainer*: Formerly known as The Toy Shop, be on the lookout for discounts of up to 75% off from this well curated cave of wonders.

    The Nerf Rebelle Codebreaker Crossbow Blaster and Marvel Avengers Side Blaster Armour are really popular with kids right now and are slated to see discounts of over 50%**

  • Disney Store*: Black Friday kicks of early here with deals starting on November 19th. Home of Disney Princesses, Marvel heroes and the Star Wars saga you will find something for everyone.

    Remember the craze for Buzz lightyear action figures?  Marvel action figures like Black Panther, Thanos and Venom are expected to be a big hit along with items from Incredibles 2 like Elastigirl’s Ealsti-arm this year.

  • Build-a-Bear Workshop*: Admit it, you still have or can name your favourite childhood teddy bear! Build-a-Bear encourages you to sign up to their newsletter to be the first to hear about this year’s deals, but if you can’t wait they have already released two cracking deals.

    One deal will snag you a cuddly Snow Hugs Penguin for only £6 and the 2nd allows you to buy second fluffy companion for only £6 with the purchase of a full priced creation. Both deals are available online and instore but only on November 23rd.

  • The Works*: For crafty kids and bookworms alike make The Works your first stop. Unicorns are still a firm favourite this year, so don’t miss the Unicorn Sparkle Art kits, Unicorn banners and even a Unicorn Cookbook.

    While most of The Works deals you will be able to find online it can be worth braving the crowds for limited ‘Doorbuster’ specials you won’t find anywhere else.

Carrick Herald: Get Creative This Black Friday. Photo by Tina Floersch, Unspalsh

Can I get toys for big kids in the Black Friday Sales?

We are hoping for discounts on the RYZE Tello Drone from Currys*, controlled from your smart phone and capable of recording HD video it’s ideal for the young at heart.

Keen creators will also want to keep an eye out for ‘Brick Friday’ offers from Lego*. It’s the perfect way to save on sets from the dedicated adult side of their website like the exclusive 9 room Hogwarts Castle or James bond Aston Martin DB5

Will Black Friday sales include personalised toys?

If you are looking for something unique check out the offers from Notonthehighstreet.com*. We love the rocking Mammoth, that can be inscribed with your favourite tot’s name, and the personalised music boxes they have on offer.

Can I get Black Friday deals on educational toys?

Make learning fun this Black Friday! Mothercare* regularly offers deep discounts on toys. Help toddlers grasp numerical concepts with the Number Loving Oven from Leapfrog or use interactive games to teach spelling with a Lights and Sounds Phonics Desk.

What can I do to get the best deals on toys this Black Friday?

  • Sign up for newsletters to get exclusive deals sent directly to you.

    This is the best way to find out about hot offers, not only will you be among the first to know about specific deals many retailers also offer money off coupons or even free shipping in addition to their Black Friday Deals.

  • Do your research
    By creating a shopping list of toys in advance of the sales you can head straight to the checkout and avoid the dreaded out of stock notifications that can plague popular items.
  • Check dates and times

    Not all stores limit their deals to November 23rd. Amazon*, for example, has 10 days of sales starting on November 16th so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for early offers and news.

  • Plan out birthdays as well as Christmas

    Don’t limit your sale purchases to just Xmas. These deals are ideal for stocking up on Birthday gifts too. Avoid trending items that could go out of fashion if birthdays are more than 6 months away (looking at you L.O.L Surprise) and instead opt for classics like Lego*.

Carrick Herald: Get great deals on Lego this Black Friday. Photo by Omar Albeik, Unsplash

What happens if I miss out on the Black Friday offers?

Don’t panic if this year’s Black Friday discounts pass you by. Simply check here* to browse through the latest discounts we have found for your favourite retailers including Mothercare*, Playmobil* and many more.

**Prices accurate as of 08/11/2018