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Mom's Minute Grades Black Friday Sales

Black FridayBlack Friday

Black Friday is almost here! You may want to take advantage of the Black Friday Sales, some which are starting as early as 6:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014.  In my opinion, it pays to know which stores are worth the time you may spend waiting in lines to own those coveted sale-priced video games, video game systems or other merchandise.  To help you decide where to shop on Black Friday for video game merchandise -- I, Ms. H from Mom's Minute Video Game Show, will grade some prominent Black Friday retailers.  

There will be lots of sales on all types of merchandise on Black Friday; however, I will be grading these establishments for video game prices, as well as video game systems and related peripheral video game type merchandise.   If you want to know which store offers the best Black Friday deals on gaming merchandise -- you are at the right place.

Black FridayBlack FridayAs a disclaimer, the ratings here are my opinions,  which of course you may or may not agree with.  Grades were not based on prices alone, but include the array of discount offers , as well as the quantity of video game merchandise choices available at the retail establishments on Black Friday.    On Black Friday, I believe retailers' merchandise should have  extraordinary sale prices so low that these low prices will entice you to leave the comfort of your home, venture into the crowds to get those coveted video games, or video game merchandise.  The grades will be listed, starting from the lowest performing Black Friday establishment in the group and end with the store that has the best video game deals befitting Black Friday sales.  If the retail store you frequent for video game merchandise is not included in the list, you may visit its website, check out the ads and find out if the  sales are worth your valuable time as well as your hard-earned money. With that being said,  let's get started with the grading countdown!

10.  Sears:  In my opinion, Sears is not known for video games per se and Sears video game Black Friday ads reflected that. In looking over Sears' ads, I did not see a sale that, in my opinion,  you would want to stand in line for or to even visit the store.  There were a few Nintendo products advertised such as the Nintendo 3DS XL  for $169.99 which has a regular price of $199.99 and the Nintendo 2DS for $99.99 -- regular price $129.99.  There were a few accompanying games for these systems ranging from $29.99 to $39.99 -- certainly nothing to write home about.  It goes without saying that Sears Black Friday video game sales are a fail.

Sears Black Friday sale starts 6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 through November 29, 2014.

Grade:  F

9.  GameStop:  Someone needs to notify GameStop that Black Friday is a time to lower regular priced video game merchandise substantially to prices that would be categorized as  Black Friday sales. It may be understandable that GameStop wants to be conservative with their Black Friday pricing since their core business model is based on video games --unlike some of the other retail establishments that sell video game merchandise --  However, looking at GameStop Black Friday sales -- the prices for video game merchandise were not anywhere near competitive with some other retail establishments.  For example, at GameStop, the video game Destiny is  $49.99, a mere $10.00 savings from its regular price of $59.99.  GameStop is offering the usual video game system bundles that sell comparably elsewhere for the same price including the Xbox One Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed Black Flag bundle for $329.99 and the PlayStation 4 Limited Edition Bundle which comes with Grand Theft Auto V and a digital copy of the Last of Us Remastered for $399.99.  These are standard prices for the video game bundles at most other establishments that sell video game merchandise -- so there are actually no or very little savings here.  There are sporadic savings on a few older games, such as Call of Duty Ghost for $27.99 -- regular price $49.99, and the Xbox One wireless controller is $44.99, a savings of $15.00.  The largest savings I saw in the GameStop ads were $20.00 off sports games that regularly sold for $59.99 which included Madden 15, FIFA 15, NHL 15 and Need for Speed Rivals. I recommend you save your gas and not shop at Sears -- or bypass Sears if are looking for true Black Friday sales.

GameStop's Black Friday sale starts at midnight, November 28, 2014 and ends November 30, 2014.

Grade:  D+

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8.  Kmart:  Kmart differentiated itself this Black Friday shopping year by opening early, 6:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  Unfortunately, I did not see any video game sales that were that exciting to get up so early for.  Someone needs to advise Kmart to rethink its points system and let their mangement know that most customers shop for money deals and not deals in points.  Kmart lists several video games at the regular price where you can earn points.  For example, Super Mario Brothers video game for the WII U is the regular price of  $59.99 with a notice that members get $40.00 back in points.  You are not saving $40.00 on the video game -- but can save $40.00 on your next shopping trip.  You can of course return to the store and buy another video game using the $40.00 earned in points, but you still paid full price for the first game that you bought, which in my opinion is not true savings.

Kmart Black Friday sale starts 6:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 through November 30, 2014.

Grade:  D-

7.  Xbox Games Store:  If you have an Xbox One or an Xbox 360, you may want to check out some of the digital video game Black Friday sales. Microsoft is advertising a wide range of video game titles showing a percentage discount as high as 75% off the original prices.  For instance, Angry Birds Star Wars  will be 30% off the regular price as well as Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag.  Use caution in your purchases on Xbox Live since it's been reported that although some of the games are advertised as being a certain percentage off -- when you do the math on some -- the savings sometime are much less.  To get these sales, you must be an Xbox Live Gold member.

Xbox Games Store Black Friday sale is from November 25, 2014 through December 1, 2014.

Grade:  C-

6.  PlayStation Store:  Just ahead of Xbox Games Store Black Friday sales grade-wise is the PlayStation Store.  PlayStation Store is advertising more than 30 titles discounted up to 65% off -- Up to 80% off if you are a PS Plus member.  Note the discounts are "up to" a certain percentage instead of an actual percentage.  What I liked about the PlayStation Store Black Friday ad was instead of listing games with percentage offs  (like Xbox Games Store) -- the actual sale prices broken down by the PS Plus price and regular sales price were listed.  You could see at a glance how much money you were saving.  For example, Angry Bird Star Wars PS Plus Price was $22.49, sale price was $24.99 compared to the regular price of $49.99. Soul Sacrifice Delta for the PS Vita has a sales price of $17.99 and a PS Plus price of  $14.39 compared to the regular price of $35.99.  I also noticed that most of the discounts were on the older games -- and no -- Destiny was not discounted for Black Friday.  Note:  PSN also has a sale that if you spend more than $100 using your SEN Wallet, you will receive a redemption code of $15.00 on or before December 15, 2014 which must be redeemed by January 13, 2015.

PlayStation Store Black Friday Sale is from November 25, 2014 until December 2, 2014.

Grade:  C+

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5. Toys R Us:  Toys R Us would be higher on the list if its inventory of video games were larger.  Unfortunately, if you shop Toys R Us, there are no guarantees that the games you are looking for will be available.  For video games, the Black Friday sale is Buy 1, get 1 40% off.

Toys R Us Black Friday sale starts 6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 and ends November 29, 2014.

Grade:  C

4.  Target:  Target was in the news regarding credit card breaches during the holidays last year, 2013 -- and its sales performance  seem to have not been as negatively affected as expected.  Regarding this year's video game Black Friday sales, Target has the Xbox One Assassin's Creed Bundle and Assassin's Creed Black Flag Digital download for $329.99.  Call of Duty Ghost is $25.00, and Madden 15 is $15.00.  What cemeted Target in the top five was their blockbuster Black Friday sale of a 40" Element TV for only $119.00.

Target's Black Friday sale starts 6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 through November 29, 2014.

Grade:  B

3.  Amazon: Give it to Amazon to be creative with their Black Friday sales.  For instance, on-line retailer Amazon is featuring Black Friday sales coupled with a timing element.  For example, every 10 minutes an item is placed on sale.  To find out the price, you click on "Deal Price" to see what your savings are.  By being an online store, reaching millions of customers, Amazon has the flexibility to announce Black Friday deals creatively. You get the sale by simply clicking on the item you wish to purchase. The above being said, let's see how Amazon is faring relative to its online video game merchandise sales.  I must say that it is faring quite well.  To illustrate --  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Ultimate Media Collection for the PS4 and Xbox One is selling for $72.70, a discount of 66% from the original price of $215.03. You save even more if you buy the regular collection -- sale price $54.98, a 69% savings over the regular price of $179.97.   If you are in the market for an Xbox One and do not mind waiting for it to be delivered, the Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle is reduced 13% for a price of $349.99, a savings of $50.00.  Other online Amazon Black Friday video game sales include The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Legendary video game for the PC -- $26.99 and Wolfenstein The New Order playable on the PS4 and the Xbox One for $29.99. In my opinion, Amazon is a viable source for your Black Friday video game sales, especially if you can get free shipping on video game items and do not mind waiting to receive your Black Friday merchandise.

Amazon Black Friday sale started with pre-Black Friday sales, the middle  of November and the sales continue through December 1, 2014.

Grade:  B+ 

Best BuyBest Buy

2.Best Buy:  Best Buy is known for people camping outside days prior to the start of its Black Friday sales.  From a video game perspective, the question is  -- is the waiting in line worth it?  Just as some of the other stores listed, Best Buy has the Xbox One Assassin's Creed: Unity Bundle selling for $329.99 as well as the PlayStation 4 The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V for $399.99. There is also an Assassin's Creed: Unity bundle with Kinect and a free extra Xbox One controller for $429.99.  If you are in the market for a big screen TV, Best Buy will have a 50" Panosonic 60 Hz 1080 p LED  television selling for only $199.99.

Video game deals include Call of Duty Ghosts, MLB 14 and The Walking Dead for $19.99 each. Madden 15, Diablo, FIFA 15 and NBA 2k15 are $29.99 each, a savings of $30.00.

Similar to some other Black Friday sales, current video games are also on sale, for example both Call of Duty, Advanced Warfare and Destiny are $44.99,  a savings of $15.00 each. 

Best Buy's Black Friday sale starts 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 and will close at 1:00 a.m. the following morning.  Stores will then reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Black Friday, November 28, 2014. Online deals are available all day Thursday and Friday at http://www.bestbuy.com .

Grade:  A-

 WalmartWalmart

1. Walmart:  Drum Roll -- Da! Daaah! -- and the winner is the retail giant Walmart.  Walmart is not relying on its reputation of being a low-price leader not only in video games -- but other merchandise as well. It has been in the media a lot -- reminding you of its low priced merchandise.  You may have seen the youtube videos and television commercials tooting not only Black Friday sales at Walmart -- but also all the different sales options available.  Walmart has a low price Black Friday guarantee to match Black Friday sales at other retail establishments if the Walmart price is higher.  Additionally Walmart will have hourly blockbuster deals beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

The video game sales include the $329.00 Xbox One Assassins Creed:  Unity Bundle as well as the $379.00 Xbox One with your choice of game bundle and a 12-month Live card.  (Walmart exclusive).  Purchase a $399.99 PlayStation 4 and get a free $50.00 gift card.  The $449.00 PlayStation 4 Grand Theft Auto V bundle is on sale with a choice of two games.  (Walmart exclusive).

Walmart sales start 6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 with a second round of doorbusters set to start at 8:00 p.m. on the same day.  On Friday, November 28, 2014, Walmart stores will reopen at 6:00 a.m. which is two hours earlier than last year.  Some 24 hour Walmarts will remain open. 

Grade:  A

Alert:  If you plan to shop at Walmart or any of the above stores where there are large crowds, practice safety whether you are shopping Black Friday sales alone or with others. Remember, it is nice to get items on sale, but it is even more important to be safe.

Happy Thanksgiving -- Happy Black Friday Shopping and be safe!

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Zumba Fitness Sends You to Hawaii

 

Want to take a trip to Hawaii? Of course you do, and now you can. Zumba Fitness World Party, published by Majesco, will let you head to the islands in the new Zumba game, Zumba Fitness World Party, which has over 40 new high energy routines with a pretty awesome soundtrack. The last destination in the game will be the Hawaiian islands. If you don’t know what Zumba Fitness World Party is or if you just want to check out the trailer, you can watch it below. You can register online at zumbafitnessgame.com and gain four entries for a chance to win a trip to Puerto Rico (which just so happens to be one of the destination in the game). Also if you can keep up with your virtual passport you will receive a coupon for 10 dollars off Zumba Fitness World Party.

The game will be available on November 5th for Kinect XBox 360, Wii U, and Wii. It will be a launch title for the XBox One on November 22th. For information or to just register for the passport check out their website http://zumbafitnessgame.com/zumba_wp_passport.php, Now go dance in Hawaii!

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Balloon Fight Night! WiiU HighScore Competition

Balloon Fight Night


Get the highest score in Balloon Fight. We're taking it old school with the NES classic, Balloon Fight on the Ninendo Wii U and Wii. Float among the clouds, popping the enemy's balloons while staying airborne, and stay away from the balls of lightning that will take you out in a second.

All you need to do to win is get the high score on single player mode and you'll win not only the admiration of your peers, but also a Limited Edition Atari Tempest Hot Wheels vehicle.

Just how old school is old school? Since Balloon fight doesn't have online leaderboards, to register your score, take a picture of your score and post it in this thread in the AG Forums. You can use a camera, cell phone or even a polaroid. Then reply to this thread with the image link.

The highest score at the end of the competition will be crowned the AG Balloon Fight Champion and take home the prize.

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You can download Balloon Fight for the WiiU through the Nintendo Shop for 30 cents. (Yep, 1 quarter and a nickel)

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