Shoppers eyeing toys for holiday season

By Tony Parra

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three stories about what Portales shoppers are buying this holiday season. The third story will focus on jewelry and women’s clothing.

Roosevelt County residents will be out in full-force trying to pick out the perfect present for their children for Christmas and many stores are trying to cater to their needs.
Paul Duran, assistant manager of True Value Trader Horn Hardware store, said five-speed bicycles have been the most popular so far for the Portales Christmas shopper. The bicycles are $59.99 unassembled and $89.99 assembled.
Duran said the store received many seasonal items for Christmas. A swing and slide set is displayed outside the store for Christmas shoppers and was marked down from $226.99 to $126.99. Duran said they carry red wagons all year-around, but said the latest rave is over the red tricycles and roadsters made by Radio Flyers Inc. Radio Flyers Inc. has been making red wagons for more than 85 years, but has expanded to make roadsters and tricycles.
Duran said people in Roosevelt County like the all-terrain wagons for the terrain in the high plains. The all-terrain cargo wagon sells for $149.99 while the tricycle sells for $28.99.
“Radio Flyer Inc. is expanding and last year we received a lot of new items,” Duran said. “The pedal cars are real popular. Shoppers like to buy the regular red wagons as a good Christmas present for their kids.”
Dollar stores in Portales are also feeling the impact of the Christmas rush and are flooding their aisles with toys for boys and girls. The Family Dollar store has remote controlled Dodge Dakota and GMC Sonomas for $20, electronic drum set for $10 and a Cinderella Dream Castle for $15. Family Dollar also has a pair of boxing gloves for $5 and Lilly Loves Ballet dolls, which are approximately two feet tall with a pink ballet outfit, for $10 each.
Michael Burns, store manager of the Dollar General, said there have been many customers since the day after Thanksgiving.
Burns said the most popular selling items have been the muscle machine cars for $8, and many items for girls have been selling. Burns said some of the featured items are Flavas Doll sets, Karaoke machines, race tracks, Care Bears sleeping bags and electric guitars.
John Pugh, Southwest Books and More store owner, said that beanie babies have been a popular selling item and educational books are available for $7 and up. Pugh said there are also race cars for sale.
“Traditional Christmas books have been selling well,” Pugh said. “Books such as ‘The Three Christmas Trees,’ ‘Polar Express’ and ‘Christmas Stories.’ We’re not generally a toy-selling store.”
Pugh has been the owner of the Southwest Books and More store for 10 years and he said he’s been in retail for 35 years. He said he feels Internet shopping has hurt the local businesses and added that some Portales residents usually plan shopping trips to Lubbock or Amarillo for holidays.