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Is Thanksgiving Day the new Black Friday?

Some retailers will be opening as early as 8 p.m. on Turkey Day, and one "guarantees" the best Black Friday ever.

A few of the deals Target will be offering Thanksgiving night.
Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Forget Black Friday and be sure to slam a Red Bull at the Thanksgiving table this year. You'll need it to offset the effects of that turkey's tryptophan and be primed for some serious shopping following the feast.

That's right. Black Friday is now Black Thursday.

Toys "R" Us is among the retailers that will call employees in on Thanksgiving evening to open its nationwide locations at 8 p.m. and help fulfill shoppers' "hot toy needs," according to a release. HDTVs and tablets like the Tabeo for kids and Samsung Galaxy Tab series are just a few of the hot digital toys the stores will be pushing for a possible second dessert on Thanksgiving night.

Those are fighting words to the likes of the titanic deity of all retailers, Wal-Mart.

The biggest thing to ever come out of Arkansas (with apologies to the Clintons) is also opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and "guaranteeing" customers the best Black Friday (or whatever day it is) ever.

"We know it's frustrating for customers to shop on Black Friday and not get the items they want, Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Wal-Mart's U.S. operation, said in a statement. "This year, for the first time ever, customers that shop during Wal-Mart's one-hour event will be guaranteed to have three of the most popular items under their tree at a great low price."

In case you're wondering, those three items are a 16GB iPad 2 (for $399, plus get a $75 Wal-Mart gift card); an Emerson 32-inch 720p LCD TV ($148); and an LG Blu-ray player ($38). OK, so I'd deem only one of those products "popular," but that's a pretty great deal on an iPad. And Wal-Mart guarantees that if you're in the checkout line by 11 p.m., you'll get that iPad 2 at the advertised price, or get a guarantee card for the item (that you'll still have to pay for at the time) to be shipped to the store and picked up later.

Target employees get an extra hour to digest their pumpkin pie before opening stores at 9 p.m. to offer deals on a Canon T3 DSLR bundle, the Nook Simple Touch, and a 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle, among others.

Sears also opens at 8 p.m. with plenty of TVs on sale, and other retailers, including some Best Buy stores, will open up at midnight, the official start to Black Friday.

Of course, if that just seems like too long to wait, Amazon is already in on the game, with its Black Friday "countdown" deals available now.