Even before the frost is on the pumpkin, the hot holiday toys are flying off the shelves.
And major toy sellers like Wal-Mart and Toys R Us say it's an encouraging economic sign when shoppers peel off big bucks to get their hands on the expected must-have gifts.
Retailers say they're scrambling to get more of TMX Elmo and other hot sellers. Wal-Mart's chief toy officer notes even toys scraping the 250-dollar price ceiling are selling fast early -- something he says he hasn't seen in five years.
As recently as this summer, retailers were worrying about modest holiday sales. Now they say sales -- even in September -- could be up by as much as four percent when the latest report comes out this week.