By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - Electronics, educational toys, video games and Mattel dolls are on the wish lists of area children this year, according to department store officials who are having trouble keeping those items on the shelves.
Lisa M. Hoffmann/The Daily News Photo
Jeannette Ruhf, layaway clerk, stocks the Monster High dolls at Kmart in Iron Mountain. The dolls are a popular toy for Christmas this year.
Jason Dulinski, store manager at Kmart in Iron Mountain, said Monster High dolls, which are a variety of classic scary movie character's daughters, sell very, very well.
Monster High dolls names include Draculaura, Cleo De Nile, Clawdeen Wolf, Ghoulia Yelps, Frankie Stein, and Lagoona Blue.
Barbie dolls and Cabbage Patch dolls are also popular selling dolls for young girls.
The Furby, a talking hamster and owl-like creature, is also a popular toy for children ages six and older. The electronic robotic toy sleeps, dances, talks, eats and constantly learns new behavior.
This toy was popular from 1998 to 2000, selling more than 40 million units in three years. It was the hot holiday toy in 1998, and is making a comeback.
Fred Werk, assistant store manager at Walgreens Drug Store in Iron Mountain, said customers are purchasing a variety of toys geared toward the younger children. He added Dream Lites and Stompeez Slippers are also popular.
"All in all, the season in itself has been very good, very busy, very active and people are happy," he said.
Dulinski added that Mega Bloks, LeapFrog and LeadPad2, Skylanders Giants video game and figures, Nintento Wii U and XBox Kinect games and Xbox 360 Zoom are also hard to keep in stock.
Skylanders are figurine characters that plug into PS3, XBox 360, XBox Live, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS XBox, and are used to play the game, bringing the characters to life.
Dulinski said Kmart sells the Nintendo products as soon as they get them in. He said the Nintendo DS games are geared toward younger children and the Nintendo 3DS games are more for teenagers and adults.
Natalie Zimmermann, assistant store manager for Team Wireless Verizon in Iron Mountain, said iPhones are popular this year.
The iPhone 4 is being given away by cell phone companies for free, with the purchase of a cell phone plan. There is the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5 was just released this fall and is being sold at retail price.
"You see the iPhone everywhere and they are phenomenal phones," Zimmermann said. "They can do everything except cook dinner."
Zimmermann added the phones can be used to do online banking, check stocks and weather, look up just anything using the Internet or any of its applications and is user-friendly.
"They have turn-by-turn navigation and artificial intelligence," she said.
Zimmermann added schools are incorporating smart phones into their curriculum.
"Basic phones are a thing of the past these days," she said.
The Kindle Fire and stereo boxes are also quite popular.
"Shop early and often. Look for deals and shop the sales," Dulinski said.
He added it is also important for parents to buy age-appropriate toys for their children.
"Electronic learning toys are best. They entertain and are educational," he said.
Zimmermann said some hot selling accessories for the iPhones are touch-screen gloves, extended batteries, charges and cases.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.