Current status: Out of stock online, in stock at a very few stores.
Bet you didn’t have “Drive across the state to pick up a toy Target shopping cart” on your 2022 Bingo card!
When a friend (who’s a mom) texted me that parents are searching high and low for the Target Mini Shopping Cart, I was a little surprised. Why would a mini replica of something so mundane as a shopping cart be so popular when dinosaurs, magical mystery critters and fantastical LEGO sets are vying for attention in the toy aisle?
In any case, the Target Toy Shopping Cart ($19.99) is having a moment. And has been consistently sold out since Target released it in August 2022. Here’s how to up your chances of finding it — and some cute alternatives that might do the trick after you’ve long since given up on finding it.
What’s the Mini Target Shopping Cart? And Why’s it So Popular?
The Target Toy Shopping cart is a miniature (18.85 inches x 10.43 inches x 13.75 inches) version of Target’s famously designed shopping cart. It’s made for kids to push around and, for added realism, includes toy groceries. It also has a drink holder and a child seat for a doll to ride in.
Why’s it a top toy right now? It’s popular because Target is popular with parents, so parents want their kids to have this toy as much as kids might want it. As for the kids, this toy has mini-me appeal. Tons of toys replicate Things That Grownups Do, thus making them intriguing for kids. Think kitchen playsets, teeny tiny dish sets and all that toy food. The Target cart is something kids can “play” with by pushing it alongside their parents at Target, all while acting like Mom or Dad, right down to the drink in the drink holder. Target, unsurprisingly, included it in its Bullseye’s Top Toys list for the 2022 holiday season.
Where to Find the Target Mini Shopping Cart in Stock
Ready to try your luck and snag this top toy? Here’s where to look.
Try your luck at Target first, as it’s the only place you’ll get the original low sticker price of $19.99. You almost certainly will NOT find it online (if you do, you’re lucky!). So, hit that “Shop In-Stock Stores” button, which will show you where you’ll find it at stores nearby. “Nearby” is a relative term. We found it at two stores within an hour of us, but in very short supply:
We suggest using Target’s pickup service (that way you can place the order online and know the cart will be there for pickup when you arrive, instead of driving 45 minutes only to find the cart has sold out).
Amazon ($50 and Up)
If convenience is more important to you than price, you can order the Target Toy Shopping cart from Amazon. Note that you are not buying directly from Amazon, but from a marketplace seller, hence the higher price tag. If you can make your peace with spending $50 or more on this toy, at least you’re getting that Amazon free shipping — and a not-so-bad shipping time of five to eight days. Just make up your mind fast — supplies are dwindling even on Amazon.
eBay has the Target Toy Shopping Cart in stock (limited supply). And shipping is still relatively fast, too (around five days). If you don’t want to spend the gas money on a trip to a Target an hour away, snap up this hot toy at eBay, all the while thinking about how you should have bought some of these carts the last time you them in a store and sold them on eBay.
Target Mini Shopping Cart Alternatives
If we learned anything from the Magic Mixies shortage of holiday season 2021, it’s that popular toys have a way of getting even more impossible to find, the closer to the holidays we get. So, it makes sense to have a backup plan. Check out these equally cute shopping carts for kids that we’ve seen consistently in stock online.
Perfectly Cute Toy Shopping Cart ($19.99)
If this cart looks familiar, that’s because it’s from the same toy company that made the Target Toy Shopping Cart. This version just happens to be a different color (no Target branding), and it even includes some toy fruit and a little coffee cup. It’s the same price as the official Target Toy Cart, and it’s available for fast shipping online, so it’s truly the next-best thing.
Melissa and Doug Toy Shopping Cart ($51.99)
This toy is pricier than that Target cart. But it has fantastic reviews and partners with the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote early brain development. Just like you’ve come to expect from Melissa and Doug, the toy is high quality and well designed. Reviewers praise this cart for its sturdy metal frame and easy pivoting, which makes it feel like a real shopping cart.
The New York Doll Collection Toy Shopping Cart ($38.99)
This cart is red like the Target cart, has a child seat that holds the baby doll and comes with some toy groceries (24 pieces). It’s got 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and reviewers praise its good design and say their kids have taken it on shopping trips without breaking it. A great option for Prime members who don’t want to pay more than $50 for a toy cart and want to take advantage of Prime shipping.
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