Another way you know it's the day after Hallowe'en: a pile of toy ads in the paper, including one from a major discount department store that is not going to be asking me anytime soon to be one of its blogging moms.
It's 32-page flyer, and almost without exception, every toy in there is junk. J U N K. These are not even toys. They're a next-summer's trip to the thrift store, if they last even that long.
OK, there are a few exceptions. The Lego Adventure Camper and Lego Friends sets look like good play value for the money. A couple of games. I'm trying to be fair. But almost everything else in there reminds me of genetically modified tomatoes: something's just not right.
I honestly think you can go to that same Large Store and find toys on the shelf that are less glitzy but more fun. But if not, might I respectfully suggest that you consider supporting any independent retailer of your choice who stocks playground balls, dolls of normal body proportions, construction toys that don't require remotes, quality art supplies, and other toys that do not involve the words "light up," "interactive," or "autopsy?"