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NORFOLK -- Hours before the scheduled Thanksgiving Day opening of Toys 'R' Us, customers wrapped around the building on North Military Highway.

People began entering the store at about 8:00 p.m. (the opening time). Within minutes, some emerged from inside, bags in hand.

'I came yesterday and did a pre-through, so I knew where they were,' said Debi Ratliffe, referring to the Monster High dolls she bought. 'It feels good. It was really fast, and my sister's done, so we're cool. We're moving on to the next go.'

Alicia Frye circled the toy store several times. She wasn't looking for deals, but working the crowd, selling beverages and snacks to raise money for her sons' Cub Scout Pack in Chesapeake.

'We've got 3 parents from the troop out here,' explained Frye. 'I mean, we figured people are out here. They're getting cold, so hot cocoa, coffee, what's better than that?'

At Target on North Military, Cindy and Taylor Wilkinson prepared for the shop-until-daylight outing that has become a mother-daughter tradition.

'We went to visit in-laws, yes, we did, and, then, we came home and sat down and strategically looked through the paper, trying to figure out where we wanted to go and what we were gonna try to get when we get inside,' Cindy Wilkinson told 13News. 'She'll go hit one item, and I'll go the other way to get the other one so that we can try to get there, and we never grab a cart, 'cause that slows you down.'

Wilkinson began laughing, as her daughter, Taylor, added, 'It's all about strategy.'

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