Some of the first toys of the Christmas season hit store shelves this week, including BattleStrikers, a Canadian innovation aimed at helping pull troubled Mega Brands Inc. back from the brink.

One thing many of them will have in common this year is a lower price point as retailers and manufacturers try to address consumers’ concerns about spending, experts said.

“Once you get up to $200 you’re competing with gaming systems, and more and more families are finding a gaming system is essential,” explained Chris Byrne, a toy industry analyst in New York.

With the toy market expected to be flat, or down one to two per cent, due to parental nervousness, com­panies like Montreal’s Mega Brands are hoping to hit the sweet spot with toys in the $30 to $50 range.