The consumer affairs committee of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) announced yesterday, in a room full of children playing with toys, the results of its annual price survey at 33 area stores.
A new low price leader - Best Products catalog stores - was hailed by Ann Brown, head of the committee, at the Georgetown Children's House, a day-care center. Toys-R-Us, almost as low as Best, continues to offer the best buys among discount toy stores, while Woodward & Lothrop and Hecht Co. "challenge this leadership," the committee's report said.
Tunz-a-Fun, a new entry to the area market, was cited in the report for prices "almost as low as Toys-R-Us."
"Sears, Roebuck & Co. remains low priced, while McBride's Variety Stores compete favorably with Sears this year - proof that inner-city stores can compete on price and survive," the report said.
Toys at Super Giant Juvenile Sales, Evans, and K-Mart were said to be "priced to the buyer's advantage.
Brown warned buyers to beware of widely varied prices for the same items. And Bloomingdale's was said to have "had the most erratic toy-price structure recorded during the survey."
Bloomingdale's at White Flint, for example, was said to have priced the Star Wars Early Bird Gift Certificate at $16, compared $7.96 at Toys-R-Us. Fuzzy Pumper Play Doh was $16.75 at Bloomingdale's and $6.91 at Juvenile Sales. But Snoopy's Good Grief Gliden went for $6.95 at Bloomingdale's and $9.99 at Woolworth and some Bloomingdale's toys had "absolutely the lowest prices found."
Brown cautioned shoppers to be aware of price differences for the same items, to be merchants open boxes and show them the toys.