Jingle All The Way

Media Type: Film Clips Topic: Elasticity

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This amusing comedy features two fathers who procrastinate until Christmas Eve to try to buy a Turbo Man action figure for their children for Christmas morning.  It’s the only present that their kids truly want from Santa. The problem is that almost every child in America feels the same way. Thus, the Turbo Man toys are in short supply due to strong demand. However, related items, like Turbo Man’s pet, Booster, are readily available.

Based on this description, what can we say about the price elasticity of demand for Turbo Man and Booster?

Turbo Man – Since the toy is needed immediately, no good substitutes exist. Also, because the amount this toy costs (the share of the budget) is relatively small, people are not as concerned about getting a good deal and demand is, therefore, relatively inelastic. We see this in the movie when a toy store receives a last minute shipment of the action figure and a crowd of shoppers shows up.

Booster – If you cannot find a Turbo Man action figure you are not likely to want his pet, Booster. Therefore the demand for Booster is much more elastic than Turbo Man since there are many good substitutes for Booster. We see this in the movie when a toy store sales associate informs the crowd of would-be Turbo Man buyers that the store has plenty of Boosters available, and the throng yells back, “we don’t want it.”

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