Hoverboards, back from the dead, could be holiday hits

To many, hoverboards may seem like last year's fad, but don't tell Walmart or Target.

In revealing their respective Black Friday deals on Thursday, both major retailers announced deep discounts on theelectric-powered skateboards as part of their Thanksgiving night "doorbusters."

It shows there is still life in the consumer product that looked like it might be a goner after a rough year. After being last year's holiday hit, schools and colleges banished them. Some were recalled after reports of fires and they were banned from airlines.

This year, Walmart will offer Razor's Hovertrax 2.0 board for $273, a $125 discount, while Target will counter with a Jetson V6 hoverboard, which have built-in Bluetooth speakers, for $284.99, $115 off.

Both retailers will open their stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, joining continuing the trend of retailers extending Black Friday into Thanksgiving. Best Buy will be opening its stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, as is Toys R Us, who will then keep its doors open for 30 hours straight in a bid to attract shoppers.

In a twist from prior years both outlets appear to have made all their deals available online as well as in store, in line with the growing shift of consumers shopping for gifts digitally. Walmart even went so far as to only reveal its Black Friday ad through its Walmart app.

In addition to hoverboards, both outlets will be offering the seemingly standard Black Friday offer of heavily discounted 4K TVs. Target will have a 50-inch Hisense 4K set for $249.99 while Walmart counters with a 55-inch Philips TV for $298.

Those looking to supersize their TV can find a 65-inch Hitachi 4K TV for $599 at Walmart.com. As with an increasing number of tech deals this year this TV can be purchased at its discounted price right now.

The two retailers will also be discounting video games. The garden variety $50 off on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 bundles are available, but each retailer is doing some little twists depending on the console. Target is the better of the two to buy an Xbox One S, throwing in a $40 gift card. Walmart is the better bet for PlayStation 4, bundling a $30 gift card.

When it comes games both have taken roughly 50% off popular titles such as Madden 17, NBA 2K17, Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1. Walmart however is will save you a few bucks more, charging $27 as opposed to Targets $29.99. Both stores are knocking over $20 off the latest Call of Duty game, with the Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare version of the game costing $57 at Walmart, $59.99 at Target.

The two retailers will also be offering a bundle on the Nintendo 3DS, which includes a console and a copy of Super Mario 3D Land for $99.

Similar to other retailers both stores will be bundling $250 gift cards with the purchase of either an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus or Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge on a carrier installment plan. Samsung's phone will also come with a free Gear VR virtual reality headset if purchased at Target.

Another area of overlap: robot vacuums.  Walmart will be selling a Black and Decker robotic cleaning aide for $196, with Target offering the Bluetooth-enable Hoover Quest 700 vacuum for $199.99, $115 off.

It is after the robot vacuums however, where the deals start to differ with each retailer offering better deals in different areas.

Walmart will have the 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 3 for $119, or a $60 savings. The superstore also has a better deal on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, offering the drone for $369, $130 off and $30 cheaper than Target's deal.

Target meanwhile will have GoPro's new Hero5 Black camera for $399.99 but is throwing in a $60 gift card. Target is also the better option for Apple Gear. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be $449  and the iPad Air 2 $274. This translates to a savings of $150.99 and $125.99, respectively.

As with last year Target also has some of the best deals available for the Apple Watch with the Series 1 version starting at $198, down from its usual price of $269.99.

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal


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