TAMPA - At only two years old, Channing Vogel hasn't quite grasped the concept of the holiday gift giving. But his grandmother, Alberta Duchemin, has lived it.
"Like when the Furby came out years ago, you had to fight to get a Furby, if you could even find one," said Duchemin.
She has plenty of painful memories of several stressful shopping seasons.
"There was such a rush getting inside the doors. I mean people were shoving and falling all over the floors," said Duchemin.
The action made Duchemin sometimes dread the shopping season, but no longer, thanks to the Toys R' Us Hot Toy Reservation Program.
The company identified what they believe will be the 50 hottest toys of the year, including the Doc McStuffins doll, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Gelarti Design Studio and Furby.
Customers can reserve their favorites, like the LeapPad2 Exploer with 20 percent down and they will be guaranteed the toy in time for Christmas.
The program began today.
At the Toys R' Us in St. Petersburg you could see the relief on several faces, including mother and daughter Yvonne Shearer and Karen Wilson. They hope to avoid the crush of shoppers
"You see people fighting all the time over one toy, and that's not really the spirit of Christmas," said Shearer who has a nine- and a six-year-old.
And some feel it will solve another huge problem as well. In the past, some have cleared off store shelves and then re-sold the items.
Both grandmothers, Wilson and Duchemin have seen it for too many season.
"A lot of people will buy a whole lot of one things and then put it on eBay, jack the prices up," said Duchemin.
Wilson agreed, "People on eBay, they jack up the prices and that is awful so if you can reserve the gift and get them at a better price that would be a lot better for everybody."
And no one we talked to seem to mind the 20 percent commitment.
"They are not asking you to put 80 percent down, so you don't have to put it all down right away. I think 20 percent is a very good price to put down," said Shearer.
Duchemin said you can't put a price on peace of mind.
"Finally! Being older I don't want to be shoved around trying to find something," Duchemin said with a laugh.
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