Jimmy Martinez of Moreno Valley huddled in the electronic section of the Toys"R"Us store in Ontario on Friday, looking for a MobiGo for his 4-year-old son.
The handheld game console, loaded with educational games, cost $30 -- half off the usual price. Martinez, 23, said his son would be able to use the game to learn and play at the same time.
"Everything is all about technology these days," Martinez said.
He said he started his shopping at 6:30 a.m. (standing in long lines, he said, is not for him), and that he expects to spend about $500 this year on Christmas gifts, the same as last year. He left with a MobiGo and a Toy Story 3 game.
Nearby, Beverly Gillett and Carol Kerr of Fontana were on the hunt for the Vtech InnoTab 2, an interactive tablet for children. The device, normally $129, was selling for $79.
"Kids are more into electronic stuff anyway," Kerr said. "It stimulates their minds."
Cametria Norris, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga went less high-tech with a remote-control motorcycle and a classic toy truck. On her Blackberry, she showed her 5-year-old son using their home computer to look at cars online.
"He has 300 cars," Norris said. "I do this every year."
At a nearby Kohls, Lucy Ventura and husband Augustin were buying clothes for their 6-year-old twins and 9-year-old daughter as well as gifts for themselves. But they also bought a ring for $99 that originally sold for $600, which Lucy was proudly wearing.
Last year, she said, she kept to her $300 budget.
"My gosh," she said. "This year, it was $500."
"$500?" her husband said with a skeptical look.
"$600, then. I just didn't want to say it," she said, smiling. "No -- wait. $700."
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