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North Hills Monthly

Elmo and Legos Make Kids’ Top Toy Lists this Year

Dec 01, 2014 10:21AM ● By Shelly Tower Rushe
The ‘wish books’ are arriving. The lists are being made. The words “I want that” are becoming more and more frequent as holiday toy ads air during cartoon time. So how exactly does a parent, grandparent, favorite aunt or uncle or even Santa sort through the overwhelming choices to find the right gift?

Every brick-and-mortar and online toy store is making a list of their top toys of the season, and while they’re all a little different, there are some toys that are making ALL the lists. We’ll help you identify the 10 most popular toys for kids this holiday, and while we’re at it, ask a few of our own local ‘experts’ what toys are on their wish lists.

0-2 Years old
While in some ways, the 0-2 age group is the easiest to please, it’s also the time when you want to provide toys that not only engage your little one but also teach them. Fischer Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair ($29.95) has buttons to press, books to flip and a big kid seat. There’s not too much more a toddler could want.

Elmo is back in Let’s Imagine Elmo ($29.95), and now he’s dressing up and pretending to be a prince, a cowboy and a sea captain. He sings, counts and plays pretend games along with your toddler.

Preschool 3-5
The preschool category of toys is almost overwhelming.  The top four gifts across the board in this category include Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa, which retails for about $35, but pricing is already getting competitive. It’s no surprise that Frozen is huge this Christmas, but why is THIS toy so popular? “Because it sings Let it Go,” explains Aven, 4, of Cranberry Township who has this on her list. (Hint: If you see this one for a reasonable price, grab it, because it’s already selling out online.)

Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile, which retails for $44.97, comes complete with a sticker dispenser, working CB and a gurney. After all, every stuffed animal doctor needs his or her own portable ambulance, right?

The Zoomer Interactive Dino, which retails for $79.88, has ‘real dinosaur movements’ that interact with kids’ movements or by remote control. Jake, 4, of Cranberry Township, likes Zoomer because, “You get to pull his tail and then he gets angry.” Zoomer is recommended for older preschoolers.

The VTech Kidzoom Smartwatch, which retails for $49.95, takes photos, records audio and has four preloaded games, all in a cool watch that comes in four colors. It made the top of 4-year-old Jake’s list, “because it has video games on it. And you get to take pictures.”

Grade School Ages 6-8
These kids are starting to transition out of toys and are more interested in games and more dynamic activities. Wish list items include:

Skylander’s Trap Team Starter Pack, which retails for $75-$99 depending on your gaming system. The Skylander’s franchise continues with Kaos freeing the villains of Skylands. The players’ mission is to trap these villains using special pieces that fit into a brand new portal. “I think it’s cool ‘cause when you get a bad guy, he goes over onto your team,” explained second-grader Nate of Cranberry Township.

Airstorm Firetek Bow, which retails for $19.99, is one of the most reasonably priced items on the top toys lists. This soft foam bow and arrow set come with a special feature; the set lights up and arrows can reach up to 125 feet in the air.

Tween (9+)
While toys at this age are less popular than electronics and other big-ticket items, there are a couple tried-and-true items that are still in demand.

Lego Star Wars (retail price varies by set). Every list we reviewed mentioned Lego Star Wars, but there are many different sets from which to choose. From Rebels the Ghost to Rebels Command Star Destroyer, bottom line is that if you have a Star Wars fan, Lego has you covered.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. This second edition of Disney Infinity, which retails for $74.99, allows players to travel through the Marvel Universe as their favorite superhero.  

Happy holidays and happy shopping!