If you have children in your life who are not isolated from society, then chances are they’re going to want one of the toys on this list. Even the most astute parents’ intentions to steer their kids towards more educational toys are stymied when the children go to school, watch television, and play with the neighbors.
This is not the worst thing in the world, as long as it is in moderation. I see no problem with spoiling a child with what they want for a holiday present, even if they’ll probably enjoy the toy for only a few months.
Here’s the “Hot Dozen” toys this year:
* Princess Genevieve Barbie from Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses at $24.99 each. For that price, those dolls better be made out of silver.
* Bratz Forever Diamondz at $29.99. Oooh, sparkly. The dolls come with real-person jewelry, too. Have no fear, this is also apparently a video game.
* Butterscotch My Furreal Friends Pony at $299.99. If you can’t get a real pony, go animatronic like Chuck-E-Cheese.
* Digi Makeover at $59.99. It’s a sophisticated electronic toy for pretending to wear make-up. There are some things I’ll never understand.
* Fly Wheels XPV at $59.99. This is a radio-controlled vehicle that flies. It’s guaranteed to get stuck on the roof within five minutes.
* Kid Tough Digital Camera at $69.99. This has better resolution and more storage capacity than my first digital camera.
* LEGO Mindstorms NXT at $249.99. LEGO is a classic brand. I’m surprised they’ve held up so well as toys get more electronic. Who doesn’t like building robots?
* Magtastik at $29.99. This one sounds educational as it involves building, thinking, and math. I can’t imagine it will go over well with most kids.
* Monopoly Here & Now at $29.99. Atlantic City is no longer the basis of the game, but the new locations should be more familiar to children.
* Speed Stacks Stackpack at $39.99. Say that ten times, fast. Can’t you do this with regular plastic cups, at 100 count for $2.99? Honestly, how is this a hot toy? Stacking cups?
* T.M.X. Elmo at $39.99. It’s (Tickle Me) Extreme! Can’t we get over Elmo, the downfall of Sesame Street?
* Wii at $250. This one will be the winner. It attracts 10-year-old kids as well as 30-year-old kids.
What are you getting your kids for the holidays? (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the surprise.)
Updated June 17, 2014 and originally published October 4, 2006.