Scalpers buy up hot toys, raise prices on secondary market

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip KGO logo
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Scalpers buy up hot toys, raise prices on secondary market
It's not just concert tickets, as the hottest toys become hard-to-find this holiday season, scalpers are betting desperate parents will pay big bucks.

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- You've heard of ticket scalpers. Now, there are toy scalpers.

Some of the hottest toys of the year may be selling at way above retail value. If you're not paying attention, you could be paying a huge markup and not even know it.

Baby Yoda quickly became a pop culture favorite after being revealed in "The Mandalorian."

RELATED: 'The Mandalorian,' Baby Yoda back for season 2, now streaming on Disney+

Soon kids and grown-ups alike couldn't wait to buy up Baby Yoda merchandise.

"One of the biggest toys of the year is this little guy right here. This is the animatronic edition of The Child. He likes to make a lot of little baby noises," said Marissa DiBartolo of the Toy Insider.

She says third party sellers are buying up The Child and jacking up the prices on resale.

It retails for $59.99. We found it selling for $119 on

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"I think people will be surprised to know that Walmart also has a marketplace. So even when you're on, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're buying from Walmart," she said.

It's these third-party sellers you can find also on Amazon and Ebay who will sometimes inflate the prices.

She's already seeing the price for Lego Super Mario Starter Course almost double.

"The best part is that it comes with this little interactive Mario figure. So you see he's got a little LCD face. He actually recognizes what type of brick he's on. So if you them on a blue brick, you'll see water come up on his chest. If you put them on a red brick, he's got a little fire animation," she explained.

The Starter Course also retails for $59.99. The Super Mushroom Kit sold separately sells for 5 dollars. But both together on Amazon are selling for $99.99.

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The pandemic has increased demand for furry companions, meaning shelters and breeders have few puppies to adopt this holiday season.

Annette Gutierrez has three teenagers who are all big fans of Super Mario. This Christmas she's hoping to get them the Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con.

It retails for $299.99, but we've seen it being sold by a third party seller for $437.

"Oh, wow, wow. I wasn't aware of that," said Annette.

She says there's no way she'd pay that kind of a premium.

"It's cruel. It's cruel to children. These are toys. I know they're expensive. But there comes a limit," she said.

DiBartolo from the Toy Insider says if you do buy from a reseller, make sure you check on the return policy because it often differs from the actual retailer.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7-KGO.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.