What's on your wish list this holiday season?

In mid-October, the Consumer Electronics Association issued a news release proclaiming that more than $22 billion in consumer electronics would be sold before the holiday season is over.

In mid-October, the Consumer Electronics Association issued a news release proclaiming that more than $22 billion in consumer electronics would be sold before the holiday season is over.

Based on Black Friday reports from both Best Buy and RadioShack in Willmar, that prophecy may not be far-fetched.

"We had people lined up, starting the day before, at about 10 p.m.," Best Buy store manager Jeremy Winter said, explaining the store's ticket system for permitting customers entry on Nov. 23. "We had people lined up, I think, in the morning all the way out to Cub (Foods). They wanted to get in and get their electronics."

While it could be likely that half of the Association's prediction was spent on Black Friday just a week ago, have no fear -- there is still time for consumers to pick up that cutting-edge gadget which is etched in bold-faced print on their loved one's wish list. So without further ado, here's a list compiled by the Tribune of 10 electronics items desired by all the "big boys and girls" this season:

GPS receivers


More than 20 years ago, the first commercial Global Positional System receiver was created. Fast-forward to Holiday Season 2007, and a GPS receiver is one of the hottest things in stores, according to Best Buy's and RadioShack's Willmar stores. Both franchises sold out all of their GPS receivers in stock during Black Friday.

"Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, we sold one like every six seconds," Winter said. He said the new desire for them results from the receiver prices dropping into the "market price" of $100 to $300.

And why wouldn't consumers want one? With the capabilities of instant traffic updates and a media player included in these devices, the new GPS receivers are like mixing Elvis Presley with Tour Guide Barbie into one handheld gadget. Two of the most in-demand receivers are the Garmin Nuvi 350 and the TomTom One receiver.

Nintendo Wii game console

With the bonus of actual physical exertion during play, the Nintendo Wii video game console has become a highly desired gift by both children and adults.

"The learning curve is easy," Winter said, citing just one of the reasons for the console's popularity. Winter mentioned he had even heard of some nursing homes purchasing the Nintendo Wii for their residents to play.

As the Wii controller forces gamers to stand up and actually move to play the games, Wii users can bowl, play tennis or even ride cattle with this innovative game console.

Digital picture frames


"I bought one for my grandma," said Travis Orth, an employee of the Willmar RadioShack. "Instead of having everyone's picture around there, you can have a nice little scroll screen."

The digital picture frames come in an assortment of sizes and allow consumers to plug in any size of memory card to display digital photographs in a slide show format. Orth and co-worker Ryan Ostendorf said RadioShack sold out of its biggest frames on Black Friday, and people are always coming to the store to purchase them.

Apple iPod digital players

Apple's iPods continue to be a big seller during the holiday season; this time in the form of the iPod Touch and the third-generation iPod Nano. Both can play music, videos and hold files while the Touch has the added bonus of a touch screen.

Both Willmar stores indicated that iPods continue to be their No. 1 sellers during the holiday season. Orth also said that RadioShack makes a lot of sales on iPod accessories, including cases or FM tuners that allow users to listen to their iPod in their vehicle.

HD digital video recorder by TiVo

As people become more on the go, their entertainment has to keep up. Cue the TiVo.

Since its creation in 1997, the TiVo has become an Emmy Award-winning digital video recorder that allows consumers to watch their programs when they want to.


The new TiVo models are designed for high-definition television and prepared for the end of analog signal broadcasting in February 2009. The recorders are compatible with cable and satellite service and allow its owners to even schedule recorded programming via the Internet when out of the house.

Digital SLR cameras

While the digital camera has definitely made its entrance over the last few years, the digital single-lens reflex camera is starting to push it aside this holiday season. According to Winter, digital SLR cameras have been Best Buy's No. 2 seller for the holiday season.

Like the point-and-shoot style of digital cameras, the SLRs easily transfer their media and have the bonus of producing more artistic, finer-quality photographs. Two of the most in demand SLRs are the Canon Digital Rebel Xti and the Nikon 10.2MP Digital.

Slingbox AV Internet TV broadcaster

Similar to the TiVo, the Slingbox AV allows consumers to watch their favorite TV shows on their schedule ... on their laptop computer or mobile device. And at a price ranging between $100 and $200, why not try watching a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show while ice fishing on Lake Mille Lacs?

The Slingbox is compatible with DVRs, cable boxes and satellite receivers and has no monthly fees for usage.

Microsoft Zune media player


A competitor to Apple's iPod, the Microsoft Zune is gaining more attention, according to Orth.

"We had a big sale on these the day after Thanksgiving and we sold out of the bigger one (30GB model)," Orth said. RadioShack had been getting calls about them all week too, Ostendorf said.

While the Zune has become a little more affordable compared to its Apple competitor, the one bonus to the new generation of Zune media players, Orth said, is its ability to transfer media files via wireless Internet to another Zune without plugging into a computer unlike the iPod.


Desktop personal computers are starting to clear the way for laptops, according to Winter.

"We've seen more of a transition to ... these large, 17-inch screens (laptops)," Winter said. "We're seeing more of these enter the market than before for the simple reason that its media on the go and having the portability of your desktop computer is really a key."

Winter also said that the popularity of laptops has also grown because the market is made up of three different buyer tiers -- expensive, middle-of-the-road and economical -- that reach a wider base of consumer needs. Two of the most popular laptops this year have been the Apple MacBook and the Dell XPS 1710 models.

Canon PowerShot SD1000 digital camera


If holiday shoppers haven't seen the numerous commercials for the PowerShot that feature tennis star Maria Sharapova, then they probably haven't watched over an hour of television at a time. Canon has really marketed this product and it has seemingly ended up on a majority of wish lists.

This item has become a "must buy" because of its sleek, slim design, its 7.1 megapixel digital picture quality, and the "face detection technology" that allows the sharpest focus on numerous faces in a photograph.

Activision Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock

For those who wish to jam like their favorite rock star but don't have the musical talent, the interactive Guitar Hero is back in a third edition for multiple video game platforms.

With a stylish guitar for a controller, gamers are able to play all the music of their idols by mashing on the controllers buttons like their fretting notes while watching the button sequences on the TV screen.

The big seller for this item has been the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Nintendo Wii bundle that comes with the game and a wireless guitar controller designed like a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

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