I began preparing for Christmas last week. And though my children are selective of what they ask for gifts, they both have a considerable list for Santa before the dishes are cleared from our Thanksgiving feast. With their lists, and a little research help from Walmart , Toys R’ Us , and K-Mart and their hot toys projections, I had time to investigate what might be good value for my consumer dollar and what will most likely prove to be worthless no matter the commercial hype. To this end, I have put together a list of the top 10 hottest toys for the gift giving season. Come December, my kids will be looking for these, and with proper planning, I should already have them wrapped up in the attic for a stress-free holiday.
Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo
Elmo has always been a hot toy for the holidays, and this year will be no exception. This battery operated snuggle-monster has 50 unique phrases to engage a child with songs and games. Expect to pay around $50 for this furry red play-time buddy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Control RC Shell Racer
Even when I was a kid, nothing was cooler than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With the success of their new television shows, a new generation is learning how much fun Turtle Power can be. This RC Shell Racer not only moves at your child’s command, but it also shoots rapid-fire sewer covers across the room! Look for this hip subway car to be priced at around $45.
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Phoenix Bow Blaster
This one seems like it’s out of left field, as the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Phoenix Bow is a toy weapon marketed toward girls, but make no mistake — with the success of The Hunger Games and Disney’s Brave, little girls are going to be pretending to be their favorite heroine for years to come after unwrapping this pink and purple gem on Christmas morning. This toy is a great bargain, coming in at around $15.
Furby Boom Figure with Multiple Patterns
Yes, the adorable, electronic friend is back, this time with the capability to learn directly from its owner. The more interaction the Furby receives, the more English it can speak, and the way your child interacts with their new pet actually shapes its developing personality. This toy is so hot, store shelves began running dry in late September. The new Furby toys are priced between $50-$60 each.
Flutterbye Fairy Pink Flying Flower Fairies
This battery powered toy will provide hours of imaginative play for your special young someone. The Flutterbye Failry dolls actually hover like real fairies, providing a wonderful opportunity for their new friends to explore creativity and rich fantasy play. Expect to find these toys in the $25-$30 range.
Shimmer N’ Sparkle Cra-Z-Loom Rubber Band Bracelet Maker
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already seen these wonderfully colorful fashion accessories. These are so popular, many stores sold out of their first shipment within days of receiving them, prompting back-orders and waiting lists that took the manufacturer by surprise. For around $15, this craft toy will keep your budding artists busy for hours at a time.
Despicable Me 2 Talking 9″ Dave Figure
Despicable Me 2 was a sensational sequel, and it’s no surprise the line of associated toys are a huge success. Not only is talking minion Dave a big hit, but also look for Agnes and Gru to be flying off the shelves as well. These collectable figures run from $55-$70 each.
Skylanders Swap Force Starter Kit
The Skylanders video game phenom continues with the release of their newest expansion, Swap Force. The starter kit comes with a portal of power, three Skylanders figures, and a whole host of bonus extras including stickers and trading cards. This game kit is priced at around $75.
Disney Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center
Not to be outdone, Disney has released a play set for the budding ‘stuffie’ vet in your life. This imagination station comes with a talking book of boo-boos, a lab coat for dress-up, a first-aid kit, and plenty of accessories. Look for this toy to be priced at around $65.
Disney Sofia the First Royal Talking Enchanted Vanity
Sophia is the newest charmer on the Disney block and a princess in training. This exclusive Toys R’ Us dress-up play set comes with a matching stool, and plays six magical lessons in the art of being a princess. Loaded with accessories, you can expect to find this toy for around $80.
As a note, all of the stores listed are offering layaway this season. Be sure to take advantage of this program even if you are not cash strapped as a way to ensure you have the right toy for that child in your life without having to hide it at home until Christmas morning. Have fun this holiday season!