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Boxing Day 2016 Predictions: What to Expect and What to Buy

Boxing Day 2016 Predictions: What to Expect and What to Buy

By Simon Hung

Nobody likes Mondays, but we'll make an exception on Monday, December 26, because Canada's biggest shopping day is almost here -- Boxing Day.

Last month, we put together a list of Black Friday predictions and while we were right on some predictions and wrong on others, we're taking some of the things we saw during Black Friday and applying them to a new set of RFD Bold Predictions™ for Boxing Day.

We still haven't mastered the art of fortune telling and our Magic 8 Ball is hit-or-miss, but take a look below to read some of the things we expect to see during the biggest shopping day of the year.

General Predictions

  • Doorcrashers -- if you’re willing to brave the crowds, in-store-only doorcrashers will likely be available at many major stores and a great way to snag the best deals, but quantities are usually extremely limited
  • Early birds -- Best Buy will likely hold another “VIP Pre-Sale” where you can buy some items from their Boxing Day sale early. We like the concept but aren’t too fond of the name, because nobody is a VIP when everybody is a VIP
  • Flyers -- you can expect to see a flood of Boxing Day flyers after the first major store releases theirs. We don’t know who it is and when it’ll be, but competitors are usually quick to release flyers after the first shoe drops. Whatever the case, we’ll have them here on RedFlagDeals
If you're willing to wake up early, some of the best deals are in-store-only doorcrashers.
  • The queue -- it’s become a holiday tradition at this point that brings the RFD community together, but Best Buy will have an online queue once their sale begins where you’ll have to angrily wait in a virtual line before spending your money
  • Worse deals? -- Boxing Day generally isn’t celebrated in the US, which means most Canadian stores may not feel the need to offer comparable deals to US stores. We hope we’re wrong and it means retailers will want to offer better deals, but we’ll have to wait and see

Cell Phones

  • Android -- many popular Android phones from Samsung, LG and even the new Pixel saw discounts or gift card bonuses with a two-year contract during Black Friday, so expect to see them on sale again
  • iOS -- all iPhones (including the 7) had some discounts over Black Friday with a two-year contract. We expect similar sales, with the iPhone SE and 6s offering the steepest savings
  • Windows -- if you happen to use Windows 10 Mobile, the Microsoft Store will likely have a sale or include a bonus with the purchase of select Lumia devices

Computers and Tablets

  • Apple products -- we saw very minimal savings on Apple products during Black Friday and it wouldn’t shock us to see the same trend on Boxing Day. You’ll probably find sales on some older generation products, but probably only up to 15% off
  • Microsoft Surface -- Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book both received discounts during Black Friday from a number of stores and they'll likely go on sale again on Boxing Day
Microsoft's Surface tablets will likely see discounts on Boxing Day.
  • Windows laptops -- there will be a plethora of laptops on sale from various retailers, but you can expect to find entry-level models for as little as $200.00, mid-range models for $500.00-$700.00, while laptops with premium add-ons like SSD storage or touchscreens will be $700.00 and up

Home and Appliances

  • Christmas décor -- if you’re the type who likes to shop early (like 364 days early), Christmas décor will be on sale everywhere
  • Major appliances -- there will be sales on standalone major appliances, but you’ll find the most savings if you bundle multiple appliances from specific brands
  • Small appliances -- high-end small appliances from Breville, KitchenAid and other premium brands will likely see big discounts, including the popular Breville Barista Espresso Machine and KitchenAid Stand Mixers

Home Audio and Entertainment

  • Apple Music -- we didn’t see a price cut for Apple Music during Black Friday, but we may see the reported 20% price cut that Apple is “seriously considering”
  • Bluetooth speakers -- we saw a number of Bluetooth speakers go on sale during Black Friday, including popular models like the UE BOOM 2 and Bose SoundLink Mini II, so anyone looking for Bluetooth speakers should wait until Boxing Day
  • Physical media -- many DVD and Blu-ray sets will be on sale at a number of stores, including recent releases, for those who prefer physical media
  • Wired headphones -- Sennheiser HD 598 Cs headphones went on sale during Black Friday and while many RFDers were pleased with the sale, others had hoped to see the open-backed Sennheiser 598 SE on sale instead and there is a chance we’ll see them for around $100.00 on Boxing Day

Peripherals and Accessories

  • Cameras -- GoPro HERO Session bundles are a common sight for sales recently and there’s a good chance that they’ll be on sale again on Boxing Day
  • Peripherals -- many peripherals including the $199.99 (!) Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum mouse went on sale during Black Friday, so look for premium gaming accessories like mechanical keyboards, surround sound headsets and gaming mice on Boxing Day
Gaming peripherals like this $200.00 Logitech G900 mouse are likely to go on sale.
  • Storage -- we’ll likely see discounts on both internal and external computer storage if you need more space to store your selfie collection. Specifically, look for high-capacity external hard drives and internal SSDs to go on sale

Televisions

  • 4K televisions -- with higher demand and more 4K content available, 4K televisions should be a popular item on Boxing Day and expect to see major price cuts on a number of major brands
  • HD televisions -- since 4K televisions have grown in popularity, 1080p televisions should receive steeper discounts than normal on Boxing Day
  • OLED televisions -- one of the most popular threads during Black Friday revolved around OLED televisions and while the prices are tough to swallow, if you’re looking for a television with incredible colour and contrast, be on the lookout for more sales on Boxing Day

Toys

  • Drones -- DJI Phantom 3 and some Phantom 4 drones are likely to go on sale, along with a number of more budget-friendly drones from Parrot and other brands
  • Hatchimals -- the Hatchimals craze is real and some stores may receive stock and even put them on sale once demand diminishes after Christmas
  • LEGO -- you can usually save 20% on LEGO sets at stores like Toys R Us and it wouldn’t shock us to see the same sale. If we’re lucky, the savings might be even more on Boxing Day and not exclude more popular LEGO collections
  • Star Wars -- by Boxing Day, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in theatres and we’ll probably see discounts on a wide range of Star Wars toys so stores can take full advantage and cash in on the hype

Video Games

  • Microsoft -- the standalone Xbox One S console went as low as $299.00 during Black Friday and we’ll likely see a similar deal on Boxing Day, with bundles probably getting savings of $50.00. The Microsoft Store has a popular promotion where they include an additional Microsoft Store promo code and free game, which we hope to see again
  • Nintendo -- barring a surprise announcement, we don’t expect another special edition 3DS to release on Boxing Day. There’s a chance stock may spring up for the limited-edition handheld or the popular Mini NES Classic Edition, but otherwise look for sales on the standard Nintendo gaming hardware if stock is available
  • Sony -- we’ve seen the slim PS4 go as low as $329.99 recently and there’s a chance it may dip even lower, but we’re more likely to see some bonuses like free games or PlayStation Plus subscriptions. We saw no sales on the new PS4 Pro during Black Friday and chances are slim that we’ll see any discounts on Sony’s latest flagship until 2017
  • Steam -- Steam has historically held a Holiday/Winter sale over the Christmas break, so expect to see another one this year

Wearables

  • Apple Watch -- we didn’t see any Apple Watch sales aside from Apple themselves on Black Friday. We don’t expect the Apple Store to hold a Boxing Day sale, but we’re hoping to see at least some discounts on the Apple Watch, even though it seems unlikely
There were barely any Apple Watch sales on Black Friday, but we hope that changes on Boxing Day..
  • Fitbit -- Fitbit fitness trackers went on sale at multiple stores during Black Friday (including some of their new products) and we expect the same thing on Boxing Day
  • Pebble -- Pebble was recently acquired by Fitbit, who intends to shut down Pebble operations. While this does mean Pebble products will likely get discounts, it is somewhat of a gamble to purchase them as product support will be limited

What are you looking to buy on Boxing Day? Will you brave the weather and shop in-stores or online? Leave a comment with your thoughts and stay tuned to RedFlagDeals for the latest in Boxing Day news, flyers, tips and more as we inch closer to the biggest shopping day of the year!

Holiday

Hatchimals: Out of Stock Across Canada, How Can You Get One?

Hatchimals: Out of Stock Across Canada, How Can You Get One?

By Kate Musgrove

The holidays are here and Hatchimals, the must-have toy of the season, is out of stock everywhere! While the best thing to do is check in regularly on the sites below to see if they have stock, we can also suggest setting up a Deal Alert for the RedFlagDeals.com forums. If you click "more options" you can change if the topic alert is searching all forums (or just some), if it's searching just forum titles or titles and body and if you want to receive alerts instantly, hourly or daily. If you set up an instant alert, you just might be able to snag a Hatchimal the moment they come back in stock!

There are a number of stores across Canada carrying Hatchimals. Toys R Us has an exclusive Owlicorn species and Walmart has an exclusive Burtle species. While they're all out of stock at the moment, if you're not setting up a Deal Alert you might want to bookmark these pages and visit often.

Air Miles Reverses Decision to Implement Rewards Expiration

Air Miles Reverses Decision to Implement Rewards Expiration

By Simon Hung

Air Miles collectors can breathe a sigh of relief, as the popular rewards program has announced that they’re rescinding their plan to expire earned miles.

Earlier this year, the company had announced their controversial plan to expire unused miles after five years, with the policy set to take effect January 1, 2017. The decision angered many collectors, as members rushed to cash in their miles on items they didn’t necessarily want before the expiration date.

Some customers also accused Air Miles of deliberately blocking certain rewards and many RFDers were also frustrated with the decision, as there is currently a discussion thread with over 700 replies.

Now, customers are free to collect points for as long as they wish with no fear of expiry. While some customers are relieved, those who have already redeemed their points are likely unhappy with the sudden change of plans.

Air Miles members can now collect points without fear of expiration.

It’s speculated that the reversal is due to a pending bill in Ontario that would make it illegal for loyalty programs to set an expiry date on rewards -- should the bill pass, Air Miles would be operating against the law in Ontario and cancelling the expiration plan altogether is an easier option than to operate with two sets of rules depending on the region.

The decision will cost LoyaltyOne, Air Miles’ parent company, up to $250 million USD in revenue and Air Miles has announced plans to adjust their reward offerings to members as a result -- no specifics have been released, but there is a reasonable chance that future offers may be of lesser value to help offset the loss of revenue.

Let us know how you feel about the decision and share your thoughts about the Air Miles debacle in the comments!

December 2016 Video Game Release Dates

December 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

Your wallet may still be recovering from all the video games you purchased for Black Friday, but with the holidays just around the corner, there are still plenty of new titles to pick up! If you're thinking about some gift options for the gamer in your life, some of December's most anticipated titles include, Dead Rising 4 for Xbox One, The Last Guardian for PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo 3DS port of Super Mario Maker.

If you're looking for even more games to play, you can check out our list of releases for past months including September, and October, and November.

Get your wish list for Santa ready! Here's a look at what's coming out in December:

  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (iOS) - December 1
  • Maize (PC) - December 1
  • Rad Rodgers: World One (PC) - December 1
  • The Dwarves (PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac/Linux) - December 1
  • Furi (Xbox One) - December 2
  • Little Briar Rose (PC) - December 2
  • Steep (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - December 2
  • Super Mario Maker (3DS) - December 2
  • Arizona Sunshine (Vive/Oculus Rift) - December 6
  • Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One/PC) - December 6
  • I Expect You to Die (PS VR/Oculus Rift) - December 6
  • The Last Guardian (PS4) - December 6
  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun (PC/Mac/Linux) - December 6
  • The Unspoken (Oculus Rift) – December 6
  • VR Sports Challenge (Oculus Rift) – December 6
  • Werewolves Within (PS VR/Oculus Rift/HTC Vive) - December 6
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (Android) - December 8
  • Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel (PC) - December 8
  • Space Hulk: Deathwing (PC) - December 9
  • Bastion (Xbox One) - December 12
  • Drive! Drive! Drive! (PS4/PC) - December 13
  • Stardew Valley (PS4) - December 13
  • The Little Acre (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - December 13
  • Stardew Valley (Xbox One) - December 14
  • Super Mario Run (iOS) - December 15
  • Eagle Flight (HTC Vive) - December 20
  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC/Mac/iOS/Android) - December 20
  • Don Bradman Cricket 17 (PS4/Xbox One) - December 22
  • Rollercoaster Dreams (PS4/PS VR) - December 22

Will you be picking up any of December's titles for yourself or as a gift? Let us know in the comments below!

Netflix Adds Offline Playback Ability

Netflix Adds Offline Playback Ability

By Simon Hung

Netflix released an update to their app for iOS and Android today and with it comes a feature that many users have been wanting for a long time -- offline playback!

That’s right, you can now download select titles to your device and watch them offline without a data connection! This new feature is a somewhat surprising addition, as the company has previously stated that they had no plans of offering offline playback ability.

Titles including Stranger Things and Narcos are now available for offline playback.

Currently, there are a bevy of popular titles available for download, including several Netflix originals like Narcos, Stranger Things and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, letting you take your Netflix binge wherever you go. To view all titles available for download, tap the “Available for Download” menu in the navigation drawer. Downloaded titles will appear in the “My Downloads” menu in the app.

Look for the Available for Download menu in the navigation drawer to find downloadable titles.

The download feature is available to all Netflix subscribers and it’s important to keep in mind that downloading titles will still consume bandwidth, but this is a great feature for those with unlimited home internet and those frequently on-the-go, as you can download titles using your home network instead of streaming with a mobile data connection.

Let us know if you’ll be using the feature and if you’re glad to see offline playback finally come to Netflix!

TTC Launches Online Gift Shop with Official Merchandise

TTC Launches Online Gift Shop with Official Merchandise

By Simon Hung

Depending on who you ask, Torontonians either love or hate the TTC and the riders who love the contentious transit agency can now own some official merchandise, as the TTC has opened an online gift shop!

Currently, there are over 50 products available and it’s unknown if proceeds from sales will go towards funding the one-stop Scarborough subway or mitigating the costs of the PRESTO rollout beset with financial trouble.

Products range from artwork to drinkware to apparel and we’ve listed a few of the notable items to give you an idea of what the TTC Shop has to offer.

Stations Shower Curtain - $90.00

This $90.00 shower curtain repels water better than most streetcars.

Before you go on your long, miserable commute, relax with a nice warm shower and remind yourself about your impending long, miserable commute.

Replica Street Car USB Flash Drive, 16GB - $24.95

By the time these are shipped, the real ones might actually be on all streetcar routes.

Currently marked as “Coming Soon” to the store, we suspect that the stock delay is to provide as genuine of a streetcar replica as possible, as shipping will be behind schedule and delivered by Bombardier by 2019 (maybe).

Token Cuff Link - $75.00

Also handy for paying your fare whenever a PRESTO reader is broken.

Made from real uncirculated tokens, these stylish cuff links go wonderfully with any formal ensemble, but unlike real tokens, they won’t go up in value by $0.10 every year.

System Map Double Cover Folding Umbrella - $57.00

Never use another smelly, leaky bus shelter with this $57.00 umbrella.

Perfect for those rainy days when your bus decides to unexpectedly go out of service and you have to huddle alongside dozens of angry, cold and wet passengers for the next bus (which is probably running late).

Westbound Line T-Shirt - $29.00

Keep cool on those Line 2 trains with no air conditioning with this functional and fashionable shirt.

There were over 1100 subway delays in 2015 and if you find yourself stranded on a platform or your train suddenly goes out of service, rest assured that you can always find your way home with this handy shirt. Plus, at the current rate of subway expansion in Toronto, this particular shirt won’t become obsolete for a very long time.

Stations Thermal Bottle - $25.95

Store water, juice and other drinks to make your TTC commute more tolerable.

Great for keeping hydrated when you’re trapped on the 504 King streetcar during rush hour and also handy to collect rain water on days when the window next to your seat springs a leak.

Stations Soft Phone Case - $12.00

Stand out from the crowd, as your phone will likely be the only one rocking this stylish case.

Ideal for deterring theft while you Ride the Rocket, your phone will always be safe as almost nobody would want a phone wrapped in a TTC case. Plus, if you do lose your phone and it winds up in the TTC lost and found, it'll be easily identifiable since it'll probably be the only one wearing this case.

Facetiousness aside, the store does contain some neat memorabilia for transit enthusiasts or Toronto fans, including an authentic subway map for $20.00, a myriad of modern and retro posters starting at $15.00, wooden station signs for $39.00 to represent your favourite Toronto ‘hood (although we wish there were photos of the actual product and not digital mock-ups) and even an authentic subway blind for $250.00.

The TTC Shop is a store that’s peak Toronto and serves a small niche of Torontonians, but it is a nifty store for anyone with an interest in Toronto or its transit. The TTC Shop is open now and offers free shipping on orders of $50.00 or more. Let us know if you plan on buying anything from the store and share your thoughts in the comments!

While you're there, be sure to take a look at our PRESTO Beginner's Guide to learn all about the upcoming fare change.

Holiday

What are Hatchimals and Where Can You Get One?

What are Hatchimals and Where Can You Get One?

By Simon Hung

This article was originally published September 26, 2016 but has since been updated with stock information.

They’re expected to be one of the most popular toys this holiday season yet nobody has a clue what they look like. They’re called Hatchimals -- interactive eggs that require nurturing and patience before they “hatch” into a magical surprise creature. Once hatched, the walking, talking Hatchimal will continue to evolve and remain interactive with its owner.

This Hatchimals teaser doesn't reveal much about the mysterious toy.

Aimed at children age five and up, the toy was previewed earlier this year by Toronto-based company Spin Master to industry insiders and has since landed on must-have lists from both Toys R Us and Walmart. The toy has been shrouded in more secrecy than the contents of Area 51, but all will be revealed when Spin Master officially releases the toy on October 7, a day that they’ve dubbed Hatch Day.

The eggs "hatch" to reveal their unique design.

Only the speckled egg exterior has been shown thus far, while creature designs remain unknown. Children can choose a colour and one of four species when purchasing, but the Hatchimal inside is a mystery until it’s hatched. Those familiar with Pokémon GO can think of the toy like incubating eggs, as part of the thrill involves not knowing what’s inside until it’s hatched. Hatchimal designs will vary by species, so you’ve “gotta hatch ‘em all” to discover all of the unique designs.

If you’re wondering where you can get one, they’re currently available from Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Toys R Us and Walmart starting at $59.97. Right now they're sold out at all stores, but intermittent stock does pop up from time to time, so be sure to check back frequently if you're interested in getting one. We’ve listed the stores and prices below.

While you wait for Hatch Day, visit the Hatchimals website to interact with a virtual egg and be sure to visit on October 7 for the full reveal!

Fad or flop? How do you think these mysterious toys will fare during the holiday season? Do you plan on buying one (or several) for your child? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Black Friday

Black Friday 2016: Is it Worth it to Shop in the United States on Black Friday?

Black Friday 2016: Is it Worth it to Shop in the United States on Black Friday?

By Simon Hung

Once upon a time, Black Friday was a convenient excuse for many Canadians to head south of the border to shop, but with the sagging dollar, that trend seems to have diminished significantly. In fact, only 20% of users who voted in our poll are planning a trip to the US this year in our roundup of American Black Friday flyers.

We did one of these comparisons last year and we’re doing another one for 2016 with five deals from a few American Black Friday flyers to see if it’s really worth it to take an impromptu road trip on November 25. In our analysis, we considered items with savings of over $100.00 vs. comparable Canadian products "worth it," but there are some caveats we'll mention at the end.

We made some conservative estimates for the adjusted CAD pricing of each deal we examined:

  • Currency conversions were made via Google Finance, but your bank will likely convert at a higher rate
  • A round trip gas cost of $20.00 CAD was added, using a trip from Toronto to Buffalo as reference
  • Sales tax, duties and extra costs like meals and parking are not included

Best Buy

Product
USD Price (Adjusted CAD Price)
Comparable Canadian Product
Worth it?
Dyson V6 Animal Stick Vacuum$299.99 USD ($422.00 CAD)$599.99 at Hudson's Bay
iRobot Roomba 655 Vacuum$279.99 USD ($395.00 CAD)$399.99 at Costco.ca
PlayStation 4 500GB Uncharted 4 Bundle$249.99 USD ($355.00 CAD)$379.99 at Best Buy
Samsung 50” 4K Smart TV$397.99 USD ($554.00 CAD)$899.99 at Best Buy
Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Bundle$249.99 USD ($355.00 CAD)$379.00 at the Microsoft Store

Target

Product
USD Price (Adjusted CAD Price)
Comparable Canadian Product
Worth it?
Apple iPad Air 2, 32GB Wi-Fi$274.00 USD ($389.00 CAD)$499.00 at the Apple Store
Apple iPad Pro, 9.7”, 32GB Wi-Fi$449.00 USD ($623.00 CAD)$799.00 at the Apple Store
Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones$119.99 USD ($180.00 CAD)$229.99 at Best Buy
Hisense 50” 4K TV$249.99 USD ($355.00 CAD)$699.99 at The Source
Samsung 55” 4K Curved Smart TV$697.99 USD ($957.00 CAD)$1499.99 at Best Buy

Walmart

Product
USD Price (Adjusted CAD Price)
Comparable Canadian Product
Worth it?
Apple iPad mini 2, 32GB Wi-Fi$199.00 USD ($287.00 CAD)$329.00 at the Apple Store
Dyson V6 Slim Cordless Vacuum$196.00 USD ($283.00 CAD)$399.99 at Best Buy
Philips 55” 4K Smart TV$298.00 USD ($420.00 CAD)$799.99 at Best Buy
Samsung 65” 1080p Smart TV$798.00 USD ($1089.00 CAD)$1699.99 at Costco.ca
WD My Passport 2TB External Hard Drive$69.00 USD ($112.00 CAD)$119.00 at Staples

As expected, televisions appear to be the product that offers the greatest value with a trip to the US, with upwards of $600.00 CAD in savings in our basic comparison. Another product worth noting is the 9.7" iPad Pro, as there is the potential to save upwards of $150.00 CAD at Best Buy or Target and prices for Apple products in Canada are inflated and don't usually get significant discounts. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S consoles don't appear to be worth a trip, as the savings are fairly meager and include mediocre extras. Finally, it's important to remember that potential duties when declaring products may drive up the cost even more and we're still awaiting Canadian Black Friday flyers to trickle in, so most of the comparable Canadian products are listed at regular price instead of a potential sale price.

Do these comparisons make you want to brave the madness that is American Black Friday? Let us know what you think and what you're looking to buy this Black Friday and stay tuned to RedFlagDeals for more Black Friday news, flyers and tips!

Black Friday

10 More Holiday Gift Ideas for Geeks

10 More Holiday Gift Ideas for Geeks

By Ambia Staley

The holiday season is fast approaching, which may mean that once again you're looking at that geek on your shopping list and dreading picking something out for them. Their lectures about which Star Trek captain is the best, or why Michael Bay ruined Transformers may go over your head, but just because you don't follow their passions doesn't mean they are impossible to shop for -- actually it can be the opposite! While getting an adult a brand new Optimum Prime figure or Pikachu plushie may receive a lukewarm reception at best, with some clever thinking you can pick up some great gifts that show off your loved one's favourite series, movies, or games, while staying age-appropriate.

If you've got no idea where to get started, there's no need to worry, as we've put together a handy list of 10 gift ideas for geeks!

Before you check out this year's list, be sure to take a look at last year's list of holiday gift ideas for geeks, which includes tips on what to buy and what not to buy for geeks who are part of the most popular fandoms including Star Wars, Doctor Who, Disney, and more.

Without further ado, here's our list of 10 more items to buy for that special geek on your Christmas list!


1. Pokemon

Pokemon is something that has never completely vanished from popularity, but it's seeing a massive resurgence this year with the release of Pokemon GO on mobile, Pokemon Sun & Moon on the 3DS, and a bevvy of other new toy and card releases. If your friend or loved one is still riding the Pokemon GO wave, you can gift them with something like this keychain or pendant which shows off their team of choice. 2016 also marks Pokemon's 20th anniversary, so you can indulge some childhood nostalgia with accessories like this bracelet & necklace which show off your loved one's favourite Generation 1 starter Pokemon.


2. Transformers

Transformers is one of those franchises that is deeply rooted in the childhood of many people. However, even if people are still in love with the franchise, it doesn't mean that they want a bunch of toys hanging around their house. Additionally, while it may seem like an innocent gift, many long-time Transformers fans are not overly fond of the Michael Bay live-action movies. If you're unsure of exactly who the recipient's favourite Autobots and Decepticons are, they might enjoy a general gift like these cufflinks, or this special Autobot grille for their car.


3. The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda was briefly touched on in last year's Geek Guide, but since the game series has a wide and dedicated fan base it's worth expanding on a bit more. Shopping for Zelda fans is not too hard, as the franchise is currently celebrating it's 30th anniversary, meaning there are a lot of new collector's items to choose from. Music is one of the most popular components of the game series, so gifting this 30th Anniversary Music Collection featuring pieces from the first game through Triforce Heroes is sure to be a hit. As time is a recurring theme in quite a few Zelda games, you can also pick up great items like this leather wristwatch, or clock, which will help your Geek finish all their tasks before the moon falls.


4. The Lord of the Rings

Since the release of the very first Lord of the Rings movie 15 years ago, the fandom of the beloved book series has seen a huge increase in followers immersing themselves in all things Middle Earth. Most people are likely to own all the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies by now, but you'll have no problem finding a number of other gifts perfect for adults. This Lord of the Rings art book contains a complete collection of sketches, drawings, paintings, and maps by series author J.R.R. Tolkien and will be sure to mesmerize anyone. If you want to go the jewellery route, there are plenty of alternatives to gifting something predictable like The One Ring, such as this sterling silver replica of Arwen's pendant.


5. Back to the Future

Back to the Future is one of those films that are still beloved by many, even decades after its release. The first movie celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, and recently the film has been seeing a resurgence in the media with people commenting on how its predictions of the future have been mirrored in recent news events. If you know a Back to the Future fan, you can gift them with nifty items like this Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger which plugs into a car's cigarette lighter, allowing them to charge their gadgets. If they'd prefer a good read, you can also pick up the Back To The Future: The Ultimate Visual History book which gives them a look into creation process of the films.


6. Legend of Korra

The sequel series to Avatar The Last Airbender actually had a fan base made up largely of adults, however there is not much merchandise to choose from that's not a toy or figure. If the recipient is a fan of the show's visual style, they might enjoy one of Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series books. There are 4 books in total, one for each season, that include a look at the creative process behind the show as well as never-before-seen artwork. Alternatively you can pick up something like this Legend of Korra Shot Glass Set, or the Legend of Korra Coaster Set, each with different pieces decorated with the main bending elements.


7. Studio Ghibli Movies

Studio Ghibli is a favourite among those of all ages for both the visually appealing animation and magnetic stories in each film. If you've got a loved one who adores movies like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Kiki's Delivery Service, you'll have a pretty easy time finding tons of great products online to gift them with this holiday season. If the recipient is a gardener, they'll love this sculpture of tree elves from Princess Mononoke to accessorize their garden. For inside the home, you can pick up home decor items with subtle Ghibli film touches, like this Kiki's Delivery Service Cafe Curtain featuring the adorable Jiji, or this My Neighbor Totoro Door Mat.


8. Sherlock

Anyone who has dipped a toe into the dark hole known as Tumblr, is well aware that BBC's Sherlock is one of the 3 ruling fandoms on the site, more commonly known as SuperWhoLock (Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock). If you know anyone who is a fan of the series, you can pick them up funny items like this coffee mug or t-shirt featuring some of Sherlock's best quotes from the series, or you can encourage their artistic side with this Sherlock Adult Colouring Book.


9. Supernatural

Supernatural may not be well known outside of Tumblr, where it is one of the site's most popular fandoms (along with Sherlock and Doctor Who), but the series does have a fairly dedicated fan base which has kept it on the air for 12 seasons so far. If you know anyone that is a fan of the television show, there are quite a few items they'll love in their collection, such as Family Business T-shirt with the Winchester brothers' motto, or this large hardcover journal in which they can record all their thoughts. Alternatively, if the recipient is into the lore of the different monsters, demons, angels, and other supernatural forces explored in the series, they can read up on them in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting, or The Supernatural Book Of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, And Ghouls.


10. Yu-Gi-Oh!

Like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. While the craze may have died down since the original series ended, it is seeing a bit of a resurgence this year with a new movie and products. If you want to get some bonus points for invoking some nostalgia, you can pick up some great items like Duel Art: Kazuki Takahashi Yu-gi-oh! Illustrations, an art book featuring both old and new artwork from original creator of the series. Alternatively, this Millennium Item Pendant Set is a great gift choice for any fan of the original series, as they can slip a mini-sized version of their favourite Millennium items into their wardrobe as an accessory.

Once again, be sure to check out last year's Holiday Geek Gift Guide for more shopping ideas, as most fandoms on last year's list can be applied to gift giving this year as well!

Do you consider yourself a geek? What are some of the best or worst gifts you've received from loved ones trying to support your fandom? Let us know in the comments!

Black Friday

Black Friday Mall Hours Across Canada 2016

By Kate Musgrove

Black Friday is coming, which means it’s time to start changing your sleep habits, because come November 25, you’ll want to wake up early if you want to snag the best deals. How early should you set your alarms? We have you covered, as we've compiled a full list with the Black Friday hours of many malls across Canada!

Eagle-eyed RFDers may notice some omissions, such as Toronto’s prestigious Galleria Mall, as some malls don’t have designated Black Friday hours. However, since Black Friday technically isn’t an official holiday, we expect standard operating hours in these cases.

Click on a province to expand and view a list of cities and malls! Note that all times reflect the time zone in which each mall is located. Also note that some large anchor stores located within malls may have different hours.

+ Alberta - Alberta

Calgary
Chinook Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Crossiron Mills, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Market Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunridge Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Edmonton
Kingsway Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Londonderry Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Southgate Centre, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
West Edmonton Mall, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Lethbridge
Park Place Mall, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Rocky View
Crossiron Mills, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

+ British Columbia - British Columbia

Burnaby
Lougheed Town Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Metropolis at Metrotown, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Coquitlam
Coquitlam Centre, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Nanaimo
Woodgrove Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Richmond
Richmond Centre, 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Surrey
Guildford Town Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Vancouver
Oakridge Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Pacific Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

West Vancouver
Park Royal, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

+ Manitoba - Manitoba

Winnipeg
Kildonan Place, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Polo Park, 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM
St. Vital Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

+ New Brunswick - New Brunswick

Dieppe
Champlain Place, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Saint John
Lancaster Mall, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

+ Newfoundland - Newfoundland

St. John's
Avalon Mall, 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM

+ Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia

Dartmouth
Mic Mac Mall, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

+ Ontario - Ontario

Belleville
Quinte Mall, 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Brampton
Bramalea City Centre, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Shoppers World Brampton, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Burlington
Burlington Mall, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Mapleview Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Cambridge
Cambridge Centre, 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Etobicoke
Woodbine Centre and Fantasy Fair, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Guelph
Stone Road Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Hamilton
Lime Ridge Mall, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Kingston
Cataraqui Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Kitchener
Fairview Park Mall, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

London
Masonville Place, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
White Oaks Mall, 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Markham
Markville Shopping Centre, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Mississauga
Dixie Outlet Mall, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Erin Mills Town Centre, 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM


Sheridan Centre, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Square One Shopping Centre, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Newmarket
Upper Canada Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

North Bay
Northgate Square Shopping Centre, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Ottawa

Bayshore Shopping Centre, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Place D’Orleans, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Rideau Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
St. Laurent Centre, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Pickering
Pickering Town Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Richmond Hill
Hillcrest Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sarnia
Lambtown Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Sault Ste. Marie Station Mall, 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Scarborough
Scarborough Town Centre, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

St. Catharines
The Pen Centre, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sudbury
New Sudbury Centre, 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Thornhill
The Promenade Shopping Centre, 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Toronto
Cedarbrae Mall, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Centerpoint Mall, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Dufferin Mall, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Eaton Centre, 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Fairview Mall, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sherway Gardens, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Vaughan
Vaughan Mills, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Waterloo
Conestoga Mall, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Welland
Seaway Mall, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Windsor
Devonshire Mall, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

+ Quebec - Quebec

Laval
Carrefour Laval, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Montreal
Centre Eaton, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Les Galeries D'Anjou, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Pointe-Claire
Fairview Pointe-Claire, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Saint-Bruno
Promenades Saint-Bruno, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

+ Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan

Regina
Cornwall Centre, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Saskatoon
The Centre, 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM
The Mall at Lawson Heights, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Check back often, as we’ll be updating this list frequently to update times and include those big omissions as we inch closer to the big day.

Did we miss a mall? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it to our list as soon as possible! Happy shopping!

Black Friday

US Black Friday 2016 Flyers for Best Buy, Costco, Target and Walmart

US Black Friday 2016 Flyers for Best Buy, Costco, Target and Walmart

By Simon Hung

Start saving and play Rebecca Black's “Friday” on repeat, because Black Friday is nearly here and we’ve uploaded a few US Black Friday flyers from Best Buy, Costco, Target and Walmart to give you a peek at some of the wild, wacky and wonderful deals our American friends get to shop for on November 25!

We’ve listed ten notable deals from each flyer to give you a rough idea of the offers we may expect from Canadian stores. Note that all pricing is listed in US Dollars.

Best Buy

  • $125.00 off all Apple iPad Air 2 and 9.7" iPad Pro models
  • Apple 27” 5K iMac with Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM and 1TB Hard Drive - $1599.99 (regularly $1799.99)
  • Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum - $299.99 (regularly $499.99)
  • iRobot Roomba 655 Robot Vacuum - $279.99 (regularly $429.99)
  • LG 43” 4K Smart TV - $299.99 (regularly $499.99)
  • PlayStation 4 500GB Slim Console with Uncharted 4 and Two FREE Games - $249.99 (regularly $299.99)
  • Samsung 50” 4K Smart TV - $397.99 (regularly $649.99)
  • Sharp 55” 1080p Smart TV - $249.99 (regularly $499.99)
  • Toshiba 55” 4K Smart TV with PlayStation 4 Pro - $749.98 (regularly $949.98)
  • Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Bundle - $249.99 (regularly $299.99)

Costco

  • $40.00 off UE Boom Bluetooth Portable Speaker
  • $50.00 off Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Bundle
  • $50.00 off PlayStation 4 500GB Slim Console with Uncharted 4 and Two DualShock 4 Controllers
  • $60.00 off VIZIO SmartCast Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
  • $70.00 off Netgear AC3000 WiFi Router
  • $105.00 off Dyson V6 Motorhead+ Cordless Rechargeable Stick Vacuum
  • $150.00 off HP Pavilion 23.8” 1080p Touchscreen All-in-One Desktop with Intel Core i5 Processor
  • $160.00 off Dyson Ball Complete Upright Vacuum
  • $250.00 off Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Bundle with Intel Core i5 Processor, Surface Pen and Surface Pro Type Cover
  • $300.00 off Dell XPS 13.3” QHD Laptop with Intel Core i7 Processor

Target

  • Apple iPad Air 2 - From $274.00 (regularly from $399.99)
  • Apple iPad Pro, 9.7” - From $449.00 (regularly from $599.99)
  • Beats PowerBeats Wireless Earphones - $89.99 (regularly $199.99)
  • Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones - $119.99 (regularly $299.99)
  • Dyson Ball Origin Upright Vacuum - $199.99 (regularly $349.99)
  • Hisense 50” 4K TV - $249.99
  • Hoover Quest 700 Robotic Vacuum - $199.99 (regularly $349.99)
  • PlayStation 4 500GB Slim Console with Uncharted 4 - $249.99 (regularly $299.99)
  • Samsung 55” 4K Curved Smart TV - $697.99 with FREE $70.00 Target Gift Card (regularly $1099.99)
  • Xbox One S 500GB Battlefield 1 or Minecraft Bundle - $249.99 with FREE $40.00 Target Gift Card (regularly $299.99)

Walmart

  • Apple iPad mini 2, Wi-Fi, 32GB - $199.00 (regularly $269.00)
  • Dyson V6 Slim Cordless Vacuum - $196.00 (regularly $269.00)
  • Hitachi 65” 4K TV - $599.00 (regularly $999.00)
  • Philips 55” 4K Smart TV - $298.00
  • PlayStation 4 500GB Slim Console with Uncharted 4 - $249.00 with FREE $30.00 Walmart Gift Card (regularly $299.00)
  • Samsung 50” 4K Smart TV - $398.00 (regularly $628.00)
  • Samsung 65” 1080p Smart TV - $798.00 (regularly $998.00)
  • Xbox One S 500GB Battlefield 1 Bundle - $249.00 (regularly $299.00)
  • Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Bundle with Bonus Controller - $279.00 (regularly $299.00)
  • WD My Passport 2TB External Hard Drive - $69.00

Observations

  • Console savings appear to be the similar, with some bonuses like gift cards or extra games
  • No standalone PlayStation 4 Pro deals, aside from the television bundle at Best Buy
  • Minimal deals on Apple products -- Apple Watch Series 1 and iPad Air 2 are on sale at multiple stores
  • LOTS of offers on CD, Blu-ray and DVD entertainment
  • An unusually high number of vacuum deals -- perhaps a sign that the deals suck?

Big-ticket items like televisions still dominate the flyers, but the overall trend seems to be having quantity over quality as three of four flyers are upwards of 50 pages. The best deals worth considering are mostly televisions -- for example, the Samsung 50" 4K Smart TV is available for $397.99 (approximately $550.00 CAD) at Best Buy and Walmart, while similar models in Canada hover around $800.00 CAD when they're on sale.

With the sagging dollar, precarious market conditions and crazy crowds, it may be better to shop in Canada this Black Friday to protect your wallet (and your sanity).

We'll get a clearer picture on the value of shopping in the US once Canadian Black Friday flyers are released, but in the meantime, vote in our poll or leave a comment with your thoughts on these American Black Friday flyers and stay tuned to RedFlagDeals for more Black Friday news, flyers and tips!

Costco Officially Opens Three New Stores in Canada

Costco Officially Opens Three New Stores in Canada

By Simon Hung

Costco is gearing up for the holidays this week and channeling the Canadian Olympic women's hockey team, because they’re going back-to-back-to-back and opening three new stores in Canada on consecutive days!

Residents of the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Saskatoon regions can now experience the joy of shopping in one of RFD’s favourite stores with the grand opening of Costco's 92nd, 93rd and 94th Canadian locations! We’ve listed the opening dates and addresses for each new warehouse below.

In addition to ribbon-cutting and other opening festivities, visitors can also find in-store only deals that are exclusive to these stores along with the usual assortment of Costco amenities and services including gas stations, pharmacies, $1.50 hot dog/pop meals and more!

A look at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Barrhaven store.

The new store openings are a welcome sign for many and a glimpse of things to come, as the company plans to open seven new stores in 2017.

If you’re planning a visit to any of these stores, be sure to stop by the Costco store page on RedFlagDeals every week to view the weekly in-store coupons along with an exclusive look at some of the in-store offers available in Costco West and East locations!

Where do you want to see Costco open next? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to RedFlagDeals on November 24, because Costco is scheduled to release their highly-anticipated Black Friday in-store coupons!

Nintendo Announces New Nintendo 3DS Special Edition Systems Available on Black Friday

Nintendo Announces New Nintendo 3DS Special Edition Systems Available on Black Friday

By Simon Hung

Savvy shoppers and video game aficionados across Canada are eagerly waiting for Black Friday 2016 deals, but Nintendo has jumped the gun by announcing two new Nintendo 3DS special edition handhelds that will be released this Black Friday, November 25, for $139.99 CAD!

The sleek new handhelds will be available in black or white and feature artwork from the iconic Mario franchise on the exterior. The form factor will be identical to the original Nintendo 3DS (not the larger Nintendo 3DS XL) and will be able to play all 3DS titles along with upcoming games including Pokémon Sun and Moon, Super Mario Maker 3DS and more.

The new systems will retail for just $139.99 CAD.

For comparison, the most affordable 3DS system currently available is the Nintendo 3DS Super Mario 3D Land Bundle which retails for $199.99, while the new Nintendo 3DS XL retails for $239.99. The Nintendo 2DS is also available for $109.99, though this handheld loses the popular clamshell design and is not capable of running games in 3D.

At up to $100.00 less than current Nintendo 3DS handhelds, these new special edition systems are priced at a very attractive price-point for parents or those looking to enter the Nintendo 3DS ecosystem and will surely be a popular gift for kids this holiday season.

Let us know if you like the designs of these new handhelds or if you plan on buying one when they come out! Plus, stay tuned to RedFlagDeals for the latest Black Friday news, flyers, tips and more as we inch closer to one of the biggest shopping days of the year!

Black Friday

Black Friday 2016 Predictions: What to Expect and What to Buy

Black Friday 2016 Predictions: What to Expect and What to Buy

By Simon Hung

Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like a banana.

It feels like summer was just yesterday, but it’s already November and our American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving on November 24 -- or as we in Canada like to call it: Thursday.

That means Black Friday 2016 is almost here and shoppers may be wondering what to look for this year. Unfortunately, we haven’t mastered the art of time travel and we frittered away our time machine budget on Häagen-Dazs and Hatchimals.

To make up for it, we’ve listed a few RFD Bold Predictions™ with some products that we may see on sale come November 25 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Store Initiatives

  • Amazon Prime -- it’s no secret that Amazon has made moves to increase Prime subscribers (Exhibit A, Exhibit B) and we could see some Prime-exclusive deals on Black Friday
  • Currency -- our dollar hasn't been performing well and we could see slightly inflated sale pricing with the sagging dollar as the main reason
  • Fewer lava hot deals -- as stores become more stringent on pricing to avoid wild price errors and the “RFD Effect,” we may see a decline in deals of the “lava hot” variety and more mild deals
Dear retailers, stop this.
  • In-store only deals -- with the rise of online shopping, it’s less common to see people line up on the Thursday before Black Friday. To get people into stores, we may see more in-store only offers, including the dreaded “this price is too hot to print” price tag

Cell Phones

  • Android -- those who use Android should be able to find the Nexus 5X or 6P on sale with the recent release of Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL
  • iPhone -- if you want an iPhone with a headphone jack, you may be in luck, as the iPhone 6 and 6s should see increased discounts with a contract or include bonuses like a gift card from carriers and major stores
  • Other -- phones running Windows 10 Mobile or Blackberry are almost guaranteed to see discounts, as these mobile operating systems are struggling to stay afloat in a market dominated by Android and iOS

Computers and Tablets

  • Apple iPad -- in early September, Apple doubled iPad storage and reduced the prices of the iPad Pro by up to $150.00. iPads with 16GB or 64GB of storage were discontinued, so stores with excess stock may slash prices to get rid of them
  • Apple MacBook -- Apple recently introduced new MacBook Pro laptops and discontinued the 11.6” MacBook Air. As a result, expect to see modest discounts on last year’s MacBook Pro and 11.6” MacBook Air as stores clear inventory
  • Microsoft Surface -- similarly, with Microsoft’s announcement of updated Surface products, older models should see a price cut
  • Other computers -- computers with Intel’s new seventh-generation processors (codenamed Kaby Lake) are currently rolling out, so we should see some discounts on computers with previous-generation Skylake, Haswell or Broadwell processors

Home Audio and Entertainment

  • Apple Music -- there have been reports that Apple is “seriously considering” a 20% price cut to Apple Music. While it’s reportedly likely to happen before Christmas, we could get lucky and see a discount on Black Friday so Apple can gauge the interest of a cheaper price to their streaming music service
  • Beats headphones -- older Beats headphones without Apple’s new W1 chip should see modest price cuts. Sound quality aside, if you’re looking to snag a pair of these trendy headphones, Black Friday may be the perfect time
  • Bluetooth headphones -- Bluetooth headphones have steadily decreased in price as the technology becomes popular. Specifically, JayBird X2 headphones should see price cuts with the release of the new JayBird X3. In fact, the X3 launched at a lower MSRP than the previous generation, so either model should provide a great value for those looking for a set of well-regarded wireless headphones
  • Media streamers -- as more televisions become “smart” and integrate apps into their interface, media streamers like the Chromecast, Roku Stick and Apple TV have become slightly redundant, so we expect sales on a few of them
  • Physical media -- with the decline of physical discs and the rise of streaming, we should see a plethora of sales on DVD and Blu-ray sets across a number of stores
Many users love pointing out the Black Friday price of Sennheiser's HD 598 headphones.
  • Wired headphones -- the popular Sennheiser HD 598 headphones are usually priced around $100.00 on Amazon.ca during Black Friday. In fact, many forum members are quick to quip “Wait until Black Friday” whenever the headphones are posted to the Hot Deals forum outside of the marquee shopping season

Peripherals and Accessories

  • Cameras -- GoPro HERO3+ and HERO4 action cameras should be priced lower after GoPro recently released their new HERO5 line
  • External hard drives -- Western Digital recently unveiled re-designed, higher capacity external hard drives, which mean previous generation models with the old design should drop in price
  • Gaming peripherals -- RGB lighting has become a popular trend with many manufacturers including Logitech and Razer, which also gives them a convenient excuse to raise prices on headsets, keyboards and mice with multi-coloured lighting. If you don’t care about fancy lighting (Who needs lighting on a headset anyways?), you’ll likely find the standard models for significantly less

Televisions

  • Dumb televisions -- with the growing popularity of smart TVs, “dumb” TVs should see discounts during Black Friday
  • HD televisions -- a very popular item during any marquee holiday sale, we should see savings on a number of 720p and 1080p televisions with 4K growing in popularity

Toys

  • LEGO -- Walmart’s legendary 1500-piece LEGO Creative box may reappear, as they’ve had the same popular set on sale for the past two years. Past sales aren’t necessarily an indicator of future sales, but many LEGO enthusiasts are hoping history repeats itself with this particular set
You could save on toys from The Force Awakens with Rogue One taking the spotlight this year.
  • Star Wars -- many Star Wars fans have already boarded the hype train for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, including toy manufacturers, as tie-in toys were released in September. As a result, toys from Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be discounted in addition to Jar Jar Binks figures (in fairness, all Jar Jar toys have been priced-to-clear since 1999)

Video Games

  • Controllers -- both Microsoft and Sony include new, tweaked controllers with their new consoles, so look for older models to be priced lower
  • LEGO Dimensions -- older LEGO Dimensions expansion packs from last year may be reduced by 50% at a number of stores as newer level packs have been released
  • Microsoft -- the very pretty, very sleek Xbox One S will likely see some discounts, as many stores have been occasionally holding sales on the console with savings of $50.00 on many bundles. “Fat” Xbox One bundles will almost certainly be discounted as stores will try to clear inventory of the older model
  • Nintendo -- following the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, there have been unconfirmed reports that Nintendo will stop production of Wii U consoles this year, so expect to see sales on the console if you want one to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 2017
  • Sony -- the PlayStation 4 Pro is finally launching on November 10, so don’t expect to see any discounts on their latest flagship console. However, there’s a good chance we’ll see discounts on standard slim PS4 bundles as well as older “fat” PS4 bundles if stores have stock
Steam users can expect to spend a little money during the Black Friday Steam sale.
  • Steam -- PC gamers should expect to see a Steam sale, as Steam has historically held massive storewide sales in recent years on Black Friday

Wearables

  • Apple Watch -- with the Apple Watch Series 2 release in September, we could see the Series 1 and “Series 0” models discounted as the wearables market has yet to take off. “Series 0” is the unofficial name of the original single-core Apple Watch, as Apple upgraded the processors and gave the updated models the Series 1 moniker
  • Fitbit -- new Fitbits were released earlier this year, which means older Fitbit fitness trackers should be priced lower at a number of stores
  • Pebble -- Pebble recently released the Pebble 2, the new iteration of the popular Pebble smartwatch. As a result, you could see sales on the original Pebble and Pebble Time

Are there any products you're looking to buy this Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Leave a comment with the products you think we'll see on sale this year and stay tuned to RedFlagDeals for the latest in Black Friday news, flyers, tips and more as we inch closer to one of the biggest shopping days of the year!

What's Wrong With LCBO Home Delivery or: How I Learned to Stop Waiting and Walk Down the Street

What's Wrong With LCBO Home Delivery or: How I Learned to Stop Waiting and Walk Down the Street

By Vincent Lui

The LCBO announced today that their alcohol delivery service, launched at the end of July, is only getting 80 orders a day… which has amounted to the equivalent of about 10 percent of what they lose to theft annually. This is quite surprising, as I actually expected the number of online orders to be lower and the cost of theft to be much higher. Pessimistic? Sure, but here is why it's just not generating sales:

Who LCBO’s home delivery is good for:
  • People looking for hard to find bottles of alcohol not carried in most stores.
  • People who live in the middle of nowhere.
  • People throwing a party who have the foresight to plan ahead and/or don’t want to carry a box of booze on the TTC.
Who it’s terrible for:
  • Everyone else.

If you live in the city, aren’t looking to get your hands on small batch bottles/vintages, and aren’t throwing a party where your guests don’t bring alcohol themselves cause they’re terrible/lazy people, you have no reason to use the LCBO delivery service.

Why? Cause the LCBO home delivery has a $50 order minimum, costs $12, and takes up to three days to get to you. Yes, three days. You can order a crate of diapers from Amazon and have it ship across the country cheaper and faster than a case of beer from down the street. Let’s break down each of the issues.

$50 minimum: If you are consistently spending $50 on alcohol every week, you’re probably running an underground bar. It's easy to run up a $50 bill at a bar or restaurant but you get a lot more bang for your buck buying alcohol retail and most people will buy a case of beer or a couple bottles of wine a week, which isn’t enough to even be eligible for this service. Sure, for special occasions you'll buy more, but banking on people who throw parties nonstop and alcoholics to be your regulars seems like a terrible business plan.

Delivery fee: The $12 fee is huge, considering you still have to hit the minimum. That’s the cost of an extra six-pack on top of the two-four you ordered, when all you really wanted was a couple beers. And it’s not even a flat $12, there’s tax on it.

Up to three day wait: Seriously, three days. If the $50 minimum and $12 fee haven’t swayed you from the impulse buy, this certain stops it cold. There have been times where I would have been more than willing to pay $12 extra for an extra bottle of alcohol because no one wants to leave a party for a booze run or, you know, put on pants to leave the house to get a few more beers. This three-day delay effectively cuts out the most lucrative market for alcohol sales -- people who are looking for alcohol now. Let’s be honest, most of us wouldn’t pass the marshmallow test sober on a good day and we continuously shell out good money for convenience. Three days later isn’t convenient for anybody.

Home delivery for booze isn’t a new thing. A quick google search will show a ridiculous amount of services. There’s even an app (Thirstie) that lets you order delivery from your phone. They charge around $10 and usually deliver within a couple hours. That's less than $12, no minimum prder, and not three days later. This is on top of all the food delivery places that can be talked into swinging by a liquor store on the way over for an extra fiver in tips. Is there any wonder why the LCBO home delivery sales are slow?

The main problem seems to be that the LCBO is modeling themselves after other e-com sites without realizing that they are not like other retailers. I do most of my shopping online because the closest Canadian Tire/Home Depot/clothing store is at least half an hour out of my way. However, I pass two liquor stores on my daily commute, and I only live a fifteen minute walk away. Add in the fact that grocery stores have started stocking beer and wine and there are now four places on my walk home from work where I can buy booze for $12 cheaper and have it three days sooner than this home delivery.

If the LCBO wants this to take off, they’ll need to cut the delivery time down to same-day delivery and eliminate either the $50 minimum or $12 delivery charge. I mean, even Walmart waives the shipping charges on $50+ orders. To make it worthwhile to use, you either have to have a wide range of exclusive items, a savings of sorts, or enough of a convenience to justify the cost, none of which is being offered right now for 99% of their target market. When you have less of a unique selling proposition than walking down the street, it's amazing that there are even 80 orders a day.

My advice for the LCBO: Get on Ritual. Seriously. If I could order my alcohol from my phone and be in and out of the LCBO in under five minutes, I would gladly pay a premium for not having to hunt around the aisles or deal with the 30 min+ line ups on weekends. A few beer stores are already doing it since it makes sense, and, you know, actually serves a need.

Three days. SMH.

Select Ontario Grocery Stores Start Selling Wine Today

Select Ontario Grocery Stores Start Selling Wine Today

By Kate Musgrove

Starting today, select grocery stores across Ontario will be allowed to sell wine! There are some restrictions around the sale of wine in grocery stores, including:
  • Wine, beer and cider can only be sold between 9 AM and 11 PM, Monday to Saturday and between 11 AM and 6 PM on Sunday
  • Alcohol content by volume must be limited to 18% for wine and 7.1% for beer and cider
  • Wine can be sold in a maximum container size of four litres
  • Grocers are restricted to selling wine with a retail price of $10.75 or higher

A full list of the stores carrying wine can be found here. The locations include select Loblaws, FreshCo, Metro, Real Canadian Superstore, Sobeys and Walmart stores.

10 Easy Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Lazy People

10 Easy Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Lazy People

By Ambia Staley

With Halloween just days away, you may be scrambling for a last minute costume for all the weekend parties or just looking for a no-fuss costume to wear when you accompany the kids trick-or-treating.

No matter if you're on a budget or just pressed for time, you want a great costume so you can avoid being that guy/gal who was too lazy to put any effort into a Halloween costume -- even if that's really the case. There's no need to worry, as your closet holds a treasure trove of costume ideas within it! So with a little few accessories and very little effort, you can come up with something great to show off this weekend.

So sit back and be lazy! Go ahead and watch another few episodes of your favourite show, or take a nice long nap, as we've got you covered with our 10 ideas for easy and low budget last minute costumes!

1. Pineapple Pen
Requirements: Yellow clothing, construction paper, pen

If you want to be clever and dress up as something that is quintessentially 2016, then dress up as Pineapple Pen! Taken from the viral video by Piko Taro, you won't need to put much effort into this idea. Just don your favourite yellow clothing, and cut out a crown for your head to represent the pineapple leaves. Once you've completed your outfit, just carry around a pen for the rest of the night and you're done! Pro-tip: use that pen to write on the back of your pictures what you were dressed up as this year, since you're sure to forget when the song loses relevance a few months from now.

2. Ladybug
Requirements: Red clothing, black felt/construction paper
Optional: Headband, black pipe cleaner

Dress up as everyone's favourite insect this Halloween by making a super cute ladybug costume. Save yourself a trip to the costume store, and instead look in your closet for a great red dress or other red clothing. Then using either felt or black construction paper, cut out some black spots and attach them to your clothing. If you want to put even more effort into your costume, head to the dollar store, where you can pick up some pipe cleaner and attach a few pieces to a headband in order to make your antenna.

3. Waldo
Requirements: Red and white striped shirt, jeans, red or red and white toque, black rimmed glasses

Dress up as the title character from the popular "Where's Waldo?" book series with a simple red and white striped tee, jeans, a toque and some black rimmed glasses. Once you're dressed up, take your costume to the next level by vanishing into the crowd at the party and making your friends search for you.

4. Thief
Requirements: Black and white striped shirt, black pants, black toque, black mask
Optional: Jewellery, a dollar sign loot bag

A black and white stripped shirt can be used for a variety of great costumes, but a classic thief might be the most recognizable. Most wardrobes contain a black and white striped top and black bottoms, so don those garments and finish the look with a black wool cap or toque and a black mask that can easily be picked up from the dollar store. You can also take your costume to the next level by raiding your own, or a friend's accessory collection and wearing your fresh steals, or carrying around a non-suspicious bag with a dollar sign.

5. Wednesday Aadams
Requirements: Black dress, white collared shirt, black shoes
Optional: Black stockings/ socks

Dressing up as everyone's favourite ray of sunshine this Halloween can be easy if you have the right wardrobe pieces hanging in your closet. If you have a black dress with an attached white collar, you're good to go! If not, you can layer a white button-up shirt under your black dress to achieve the same look. Depending on the look you're going for, you can add black stockings or socks along with black shoes for your bottom half. To finish off the look, part your hair down the centre and make twin braids, then head to your party and look unimpressed with everything and you're good to go!

6. Paper Doll
Requirements: Clothing of your choice, white paper

Dressing up as a paper doll this Halloween is as easy as taking your kids' Halloween candy once they go to sleep! Simply walk over to the printer and steal a piece of paper (you can also go for something more sturdy like bristol board), then cut out some rectangular tabs and attach them to any outfit of your choice.

7. Snapchat Filter
Requirements: Artificial flowers or construction paper, makeup

Ever wish you could look as good in real life as you do in Snapchat? Well with a little creative work, you can be a real life snapchat filter version of yourself all night long! Dress up as the adorable dog filter by painting a dog snout over your nose and cutting out some fake ears using construction paper. Alternatively, you can head to the dollar store and pick up some fake flowers to make a flower crown (or just buy one from an accessory store), and then add some rosy lips, cheeks and sparkle to your normal makeup to achieve the look of one of the most popular filters around.

8. Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service
Requirements: Black dress, brown purse or messenger bag, red bow
Optional: Broom, black cat

Why dress up as a classic witch this Halloween when you can dress as the adorable Kiki of the classic Ghibli film, Kiki's Delivery Service? Dressing as Kiki takes less effort that you'd think. Just grab a knee-length flowy black dress from your closet, and using a headband or some spare material, tie a large red bow at the top of your head, put on a brown messenger bag or or purse and you're ready to fly out the door! If you've got a straw broom and a black cat, be sure to take a few pictures with them before you head out for the night.

9. Tom Cruise in Risky Business
Requirements: Button-up shirt, white socks, candlestick holder, sunglasses, shorts
Optional: Membership to the Church of Scientology

This costume is a timeless classic that people have been donning for years. Most people will instantly recognize your costume, even if they've never watched the film. All you'll need is somewhat long and loose dress shirt (it's light pink in the movie, but many people go with plain white), a pair of white socks, and some strategically worn shorts (unless you have no problem showing off your white briefs in public). You can then accessorize the look with a pair of sunglasses as well as a candlestick holder in order to belt out all your favourite tunes.

10. Cat/Mouse/Bunny
Requirements: Headband with the animal ears of your choice

When in doubt, you can go for the classic lazy costume, a cute animal! Simply pick up a headband from virtually any dollar store or accessory store and search your closet for a monotone outfit that matches your critter of choice. Just be prepared to play "who wore it best" all night as there's bound to be at least 20 similarly dressed people at the party.

Got any other tips for easy last minute costumes? Let us know in the comments! And if you're looking for more Halloween related tips, check out our guide for throwing a Halloween bash on a budget, our list of free pumpkin carving stencils around the internet, and last year's list of low-budget D.I.Y. costume ideas!

Apple Hello Again Event Roundup: New MacBook Pro Models, the 11.6” MacBook Air is Dead + More!

Apple Hello Again Event Roundup: New MacBook Pro Models, the 11.6” MacBook Air is Dead + More!

By Simon Hung

The iPhone and iPad reign supreme in Apple’s product strategy, so much so that their ubiquitous MacBook laptops have been somewhat neglected for the past few years, with incremental spec bumps and no major hardware revamps to their MacBook Pro line since 2012.

That changed today during Apple’s Hello Again Event, where they introduced three new MacBook Pro notebooks, right in time for the holiday season. The new products borrow several cues from the single-port MacBook introduced in 2015, including the butterfly keyboard and all-metal design, while adding some new tricks like Touch ID.

The new MacBook Pro includes a Touch Bar and Touch ID.

We’ve listed some of the notable features for the new MacBook Pro below along with some other tidbits from the keynote.

Product updates and Apple TV

The keynote began with Apple tooting their own horn, with updates on the success of the iPhone 7 and iOS 10, Apple Pay’s launch in Japan and a new website dedicated to accessibility.

Apple TV was the first product to be featured, with the announcement of Minecraft coming soon along with interactive NFL livestreams through Twitter, though the latter is irrelevant to Canadians (thanks, Rogers).

A new TV app was also demoed, with the ability to consolidate video from your media apps into a single interface, with curated suggestions and Siri functionality to provide what Apple calls a “unified TV experience.” The app is also available on iOS and will be available later this year via a free update in the United States with no mention of a Canadian release.

Mac

Apple’s three new MacBook Pro laptops were unveiled next, with a new design, some interesting omissions and an obligatory video narrated by Jony Ive. We’ve listed the key features and prices for each one below along with more details about the biggest new upgrades afterwards.

The new MacBook Pro is available in 13.3" or 15.4" sizes.

13.3” MacBook Pro with Traditional Function Keys (Starting at $1899.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch)
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 17% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD and integrated Intel Iris graphics

13.3” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Starting at $2299.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch)
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 17% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD and integrated Intel Iris graphics

15.4” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Starting at $2999.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2880 x 1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch)
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 14% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i7 processors, 16GB RAM, up to 2TB SSD and discrete AMD Radeon Pro with integrated Intel HD 530 graphics

That Touch Bar

The biggest change was the long-rumoured removal of the function keys for the new Touch Bar. Apple stated that they chose to replace antiquated function keys with an input method that can dynamically change depending on the app.

Apple removed the function keys to add more functionality and Touch ID.

The Touch Bar can display things such as system controls, typing suggestions and more, depending on the program and usage scenario. You can display the function and escape keys on the Touch Bar if needed and the entry-level MacBook Pro includes traditional physical function keys.

Touch ID is also integrated on the right side of the Touch Bar, which serves as the power button and as a method to quickly switch user accounts or pay for items using Apple Pay.

The Ports (or lack thereof)

The new MacBook Pro includes up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports (via a USB Type-C connector) and a headphone jack. While Thunderbolt 3 is versatile and can be used for power (any of the ports can be used for charging), display output and more, the new model loses the magnetic MagSafe power connector, standard USB ports, native HDMI output and SD card reader found in the previous generation and owners will likely need adapters to use accessories.

While versatile, new MacBook Pro owners will likely need adapters to use accessories.

You’ll need a dongle to charge an iPhone. You’ll need a dongle to access a USB hard drive. You’ll need a dongle to plug in an SD card. You’ll need a dongle to use an external display. You’ll need a dongle to get wired internet. You’ll need a dongle to use a mouse. You’ll need a dongle to use a USB hub so you can charge an iPhone, access a USB hard drive, plug in an SD card and use a mouse at the same time.

It’s a messy solution to solve problems that really shouldn’t exist with a product at this price, but it’s a route that Apple has unequivocally taken with their products in recent years.

No MacBook Air updates

Much to the disappointment of average consumers and college students, Apple made no updates to their cheapest and most popular laptop, the MacBook Air. Instead, they chose to quietly discontinue the 11.6” MacBook Air and made a mention of positioning the new entry-level MacBook Pro alongside the 13.3” MacBook Air, despite the $700.00 price difference.

Apple will only carry the 13.3” MacBook Air moving forward, retaining the same design, last-generation processors and lacklustre 1440 x 900 display.

With the announcement of the new MacBook Pro models, expect to see modest discounts on 2015 MacBook Pro hardware as well as the 11.6” MacBook Air during the upcoming holiday shopping season as retailers try to clear excess inventory. While steep discounts are unlikely, be sure to keep your eyes open if you’ve been in the market for a MacBook Pro or if you just want a MacBook laptop that includes standard USB ports.

Excited to see a new MacBook design? Disappointed in the announcement? Wished there was a MacBook Air update? Sick of needing a million dongles? Let us know how you feel about the new MacBook Pro or if you plan to get one!

November 2016 Video Game Release Dates

November 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

The year may be winding down, but there are still plenty of new video games to pick up this November! If you're looking for something to pass the time on cold days, check out this month's new titles, including Mario Party Star Rush and Pokemon Sun/Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, and after its last minute delay, Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will finally hit store shelves later in the month.

If you're looking for even more titles to play, you can check out our list of releases for past months including August, September, and October.

Without further ado our list of November's video game releases below:

  • BlazBlue: Central Fiction (PS3/PS4) - November 1
  • Earth’s Dawn (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 1
  • Owlboy (PC) - November 1
  • Root Letter (PS4/PS Vita) - November 1
  • Seraph (PS4) - November 1
  • Super Dungeon Bros (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 1
  • Xanadu Next (PC) - November 3
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 4
  • Football Manager 2017 (PC) - November 4
  • Mario Party Star Rush (3DS) - November 4
  • Moto Racer 4 (PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac) - November 4
  • Trillion: God of Destruction (PC) - November 7
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers (PS4/ XBOX One/ 3DS) - November 8
  • Eagle Flight (PSVR) - November 8
  • Harvest Moon: Skytree Village (3DS) - November 8
  • Lethal VR (Vive) - November 8
  • Robinson: The Journey (PSVR) - November 8
  • Small Radios, Big Televisions (PS4/PC) - November 8
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization (PS4/PS Vita) - November 8
  • Transport Fever (PC) - November 8
  • Motorsport Manager (PC) - November 10
  • Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! Full Course (PC) - November 10
  • Tyranny (PC) - November 10
  • Candle (PC/Mac/Linux) - November 11
  • Dishonored 2 (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 11
  • Assassin's Creed: Ezio Collection (PS4/Xbox One) - November 11
  • Silence (PC) - November 11
  • Watch Dogs 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - November 15
  • Planet Coaster (PC) - November 17
  • Killing Floor 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - November 18
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS) - November 18
  • Yesterday Origins (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 19
  • Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC) - November 29
  • The Crew Calling All Units (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 29
  • Final Fantasy XV (PS4/Xbox One) - November 29
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Rift/Vive/PSVR) - November 29
  • Watch Dogs 2 (PC) - November 29

Release date TBA:

  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC/Mac/iOS/Android)

Looking forward to any of November's releases? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheap Thrills: How to Throw a Halloween Bash on a Budget

Cheap Thrills: How to Throw a Halloween Bash on a Budget

By Amanda Aikman

When it comes to parties, Halloween parties are our favourite. You get to dress up in costumes, transform your home with cool, spooky decor, and eat appetizers that look like body parts. What could be more fun?

If you're looking to throw a Halloween bash to remember, but on a budget you'd rather forget, fear not. We've got a few affordable Halloween party tricks up our sleeves.

1. Dollar Store Decor

Plastic vampire teeth make cute napkin rings, black crows perched on chandeliers and bookshelves add a chic-but-creepy touch, and a couple of bags of cobwebs go a long way to upping the fear factor in your home. Other affordable dollar-store decor includes rubber rats and bats, foam skulls and gravestones, witches hats, and candles.... lots of candles.

2. Host a Haunted Potluck

Feeding hungry Halloween revelers can be pricey. Instead of doing it all on your own, get your guests involved with a potluck party. Make it fun by incorporating a Halloween theme or offering a prize for creepiest concoction. Some fun and festive foods include a pumpkin cheese ball and spider deviled eggs. For something a bit scarier, go for the shrimp brain cocktail!

Photo from SheKnows.com

3. Dress up for Less

Just because you can spend a fortune on a costume in a Halloween store, doesn't mean you have to. Try repurposing old costumes, clothing, and household items or adding low-cost touches from thrift stores to come up with costumes like Derek Zoolander, Wilson from Home Improvement or a contestant on The Price is Right.

Photo from WonderHowTo.com

4. Affordable Fun and Games

If you're looking to break the dry ice at your spooky party, one of these low-cost games might do the trick (or treat). More mature party goers might appreciate a murder-mystery evening or a rousing round of Halloween-themed beer pong, while kids can try their hands at pass the pumpkin or mummy wrap.

5. Check For Coupons

Right now we've got two great Halloween candy coupons -- $2 off $10 at Giant Tiger and $3 off $10 at Bulk Barn!

Now that you've got your home, menu, costume, and activities taken care of, all that's left is to relax, hit play on "Monster Mash" and enjoy the party. Happy Halloween!