By Lisa Witherspoon, author of The Golden Spoons blog
With the holidays quickly approaching, I started doing some research this week to get some ideas for Christmas lists. I found out that many retailers publish a “Hottest Toys for Christmas 2012” list in September! Since I wasted spent so much time looking over these lists, I thought I would share my findings with you.
I kind of took all the online lists I looked at and compiled them into a slightly more succinct Top 10 list. So according to Amazon.com, Target, Kmart, Walmart, and BestToysGuide.com, here are the 10 toys that every kid is going to want for Christmas this year. (And the ones you and your kids will likely be seeing advertised every time you turn on Disney or Nickelodeon for the next month!)
1) Furby – Remember these things? Apparently, they’re back! Seriously! It’s basically the same toy it used to be, just re-introduced. Believe it or not, this is theonly toy that was on every. single. list! If you think your child is going to want one, you better shop early. If they are popular as predicted, they will be hard to find by Thanksgiving! They retail for $70.
2) Tablets – O.K. Tablets were actually on every list, too, just different ones on different lists. I have lumped them all in together. There are tablets for all ages. The LeapPad seems to be a pretty popular item for preschoolers (suggested ages start at 3 or 4). It is typically compared to the InnoTab by Vtech. The LeapPad retails for around $100 and the InnoTab is slightly less at about $80. Both require cartridges for games. There is also a new product called a MEEP! tablet. It is made by Oregon Scientific and is supposed to be somewhere between the more toddler-like toys and the expensive adult tablets. It is listed for ages 6+, runs on an Android platform, and is wi-fi enabled. There are parental controls that make it child-friendly, but it uses “apps” and does not require the “cartridges” that some of the preschool tablets use. It retails for $149.99. Of course, there is always the full-fledged iPad that will set you back about $500!
3) Legos – This one is a classic! Although, these days it’s not quite as simple as it used to be. The lists I reviewed touted the Ninjago and Minecraft Lego sets. Lego has also developed a product line called Lego Friends that is geared toward girls. So, whether you have boys or girls in your house (or both), Legos will probably be on your list!
4) Nintendo DS – This one has been on the list for quite a few years and is apparently still very popular. Not much has changed about this handheld gaming toy and it will cost you $100-150 depending on which model you buy. You also have to purchase games that will cost $20-40 EACH! Ouch!
5) Action Figures – Superheroes are always popular and this year will be no different. Spiderman, Batman, Toy Story, Star Wars, or any Avengers character in the form of an action figurine will be a hit!
6) Crayola Digital Light Designer – This is a nifty new toy developed by the toy and art geniuses at Crayola. Kids draw on the dome with the included stylus and their drawings light up. Kids can add special effects or save their drawings to display again later. It also has a game mode to keep kids entertained. It sells for around $60.
7) Twister Dance – This one sounds like fun. Imagine the game of Twister set to music. While the music console plays a tune, you step on colored discs as you follow the lights. It comes with 5 songs, but can also connect to an Mp3 player so you can dance to your own favorite music. It is recommended for ages 8-10 (according to Toys R Us) and retails for $35.
8) Disney Princesses – Dolls, dress-up, kitchen sets, board games, ride-on toys, jewelry sets – you name it. If it’s got a Disney Princess on it, there’s a little girl somewhere that wants it! (Since Disney recently re-rleased the Cinderella movie, Cinderella toys are predicted to be particularly popular.)
9) Wii U – I hadn’t heard of this one until I did this research. From what I gather, if the Wii and the Nintendo DS had a baby, this would be it. It is a hand-held device that works with your existing Wii console and is compatible with all Wii games. Instead of playing them on the t.v. screen, however, you can now pay them on this hand-held console. It won’t actually be available for purchase until November 18, 2012, but you can pre-order it through most retail websites or the Nintendo website. The basic version is $299.99 and the deluxe version is $349.99.
10) Remote Control Toys – There were several different remote control/robotic items on the lists I reviewed including Hexbugs, an Air Hogs helicopter, and Hot Wheels vehicles.
Although that rounds out my Top Ten compilation, here are a few additional toys that I think deserve an honorable mention:
~ Jake and the Neverland Pirates toys (A popular Disney Jr. character)
~ Doc McStuffins toys (Another popular Disney Jr. character)
~ Monster High Dolls – (These were on several lists as well. I refused to mention them in my Top Ten based on principle. Personally, I think the concept – scantily clad high school monster girls – is a bit ridiculous and far from lady-like. But, that’s just my opinion. If you have a daughter or female relative who enjoys them, you are certainly not alone. )
~ Lalaloopsy dolls – (I don’t get the hype with these and my girls have never shown any interest in them. But, they were on a few of the lists and, again, if your child likes them, you are not alone!)
~ Ride-ons – Bikes, Razor scooters, skateboards, and powered ride on toys are always popular.
~ Master Moves Mickey – (Think Tickle Me Elmo – except it’s Mickey Mouse and it dances.)
There you have it – my very unofficial “Top Ten Hottest Toys for the 2012 Holiday Season.” Ironically, after all that “research,” I only see two items on this list that might actually make it to a spot under the tree at our house this year.
So, what do you think? Will any of these toys on these lists be on your kids’ holiday lists? Are there others that I missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
*Top Photo Courtesy of Kathy Miller with One Shot Photography