Make a list, check it twice, Tahoe toys are worth the price |

Make a list, check it twice, Tahoe toys are worth the price

Dan Thrift/Tahoe TribuneVideo Library manager Lara Sloan, left, and assistant manager Bonnie Weigand show off popular DVD movies for this Christmas.

You can almost feel the subwoofer shaking the money out of pockets.

In line with national trends, DVD players make up the hot-ticket item at Accurate Audio Video in South Lake Tahoe.

The new disc technology is the No. 1-selling item in the United States this holiday season.

The electronics store has answered the trend of many American families to cocoon by offering a variety of DVD players for home entertainment centers. Some even come with VCRs built in to the units, a quick and easy way to get surround sound for all those videotapes stored in cabinets and rented off the video store shelves.

Accurate AV also sells a surround-sound package with an amplifier, equalizer, DVD/CD player, tuner and subwoofer — the component that gives the roaring effect in the movie theater. It retails at $599, and like much of electronics technology, only takes up a small desktop of space. The speakers are 2 inches wide.

The move to wider skis makes up the hot seller at outdoor gear stores.

They’re called fat boys — skis that have taken the market by storm. Skiers use them to “float through the powder and crud and powder,” said Chris Eckert, sales manager at Tahoe Sports Ltd. at Crescent V Shopping Center.

And with names like Rocket Pocket and Monster 85, they even appeal to snowboarders returning to the two-planking sport.

“This store is just a kids’ store for big boys,” he said.

For the little people in your life, the return of the classics like Lincoln Logs, Radio Flyer red wagon and Barbie make up many a gift list this year.

It’s even the 100th anniversary of the Teddy Bear, accounting for half of America’s $2 billion plush toy market. In 1902, Teddy Roosevelt, as a result of a hunting incident, was portrayed in a Washington Post cartoon as a timid hunter unwilling to shoot a bear cub.

The Teddy Bear has some company, as parents discover the joy of turning their children on to toys of the older generation’s time.

“Barbie’s always popular,” Kmart Store Manager Charlie Roome said.

Those who want to play a little rougher with dolls, action figures line the walls at Toy Maniacs. Action enthusiasts can even watch their favorite figures, as the toy store has stocked a multitude of DVDs featuring animated characters like Dragonball to keep up with the disc technology trend.

Toy lovers seeking a way to bring life to cars and boats may find the range of remote-control models overwhelming. The cars — measuring most at about 14″ long — start at $269 and rise to about $1,000 for the serious hobbyist. There’s even a mini car that’s a hot new item.

One boat is gas-powered with a water-cooled engine.

“Hobby, line one,” Denise Jagger yells out for Vince Villa to pick up the telephone.

Villa fields yet another question in a section of the store that receives a lot of action.

Other hot toys according to national surveys include, yes, Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, David Copperfield on DVD or VHS and California Beauty Cosmetics’ Makeup Magic System.

For whatever one buys this season, the Baylor College of Medicine advises to refrain from drinking and shopping. The Houston college warns shopping under the influence may lead to impulse buying.

Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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