Posts tagged toys

What’s Hot: Toys for holiday season 2010

Like it or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us.  Latest reports say that times may be tough, but shoppers will be buying toys and clothes for kids this holiday season, and only a few things for themselves.  They’ll also be looking for a good value and lower priced items.  Says Lisa Harnisch, Toys R Us VP, there are continued concerns about the economy, but toys for kids are “the last thing they [parents and caregivers] will cut from their budgets”.

Our family is no exception.  While we are fortunate to have income coming in, we’re watching every penny, nickel, and dime.  Christmas in the past usually meant a wii, Nintendo DSi, or iPod, along with a bunch of toys.  Last year, and this year, we are spending much less. 

Every gift has to count – it’s a delicate balance between bringing joy to your child’s heart, and not overtaxing your wallet.  Since we’ll be buying less toys overall, getting the “right” toy – one your child is wishing for, and that you can afford – is important.

With that in mind, and to give you a few ideas, here’s a look at the top and bestselling toys lists from Toys R Us, eBayAmazon, and CNNMoney.

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 – best new toys of the holiday 2010 season:

  1. Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse
  2. Cuponk
  3. Disney Princess & Me dolls
  4. Toys Story 3 Imaginext Tri County Landfill
  5. Fast Land Wild Fire RC
  6. Fisher Price Imaginext Bigfoot Monster
  7. Leapster Explorer
  8. Loopz
  9. Lego Minotaurus
  10. Monster High dolls
  11. Nerf Stampede
  12. Pillow Pets
  13. Sing-a-ma-jigs!
  14. Squinkies Cupcake Surpise! Bake Shop
  15. TOMY Tomica Hypercity Mega Station Set

Toys R Us Holiday Hot Toys List 2010 – by age group:

Baby’s First Christmas

  1. Go Baby Go™ Stride-to-Ride™ Dino from Fisher-Price®
  2. Ocean Wonders™ Deep Blue Sea™ Table from Fisher-Price®

13 months to 2 years

  1. 1-2-3 Large Zoo from Playmobil®
  2. Disney Dance Star Mickey from Fisher-Price®
  3. Lil’ Zoomers™ Spinnin’ Sounds Speedway™ from Fisher-Price®
  4. Ladybug Smart Trike

2 to 4 years

  1. Baby Alive Bouncin’ Babbles from Hasbro®
  2. Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse from International Playthings
  3. Disney-Pixar® “Toy Story 3” Imaginext™ Tri-County Landfill from Fisher-Price®
  4. Geotrax™ Transportation System Christmas in Toy Town RC Set from Fisher-Price®
  5. Imaginext™ Bigfoot the Monster from Fisher-Price®
  6. Lalaloopsy™ from MGA Entertainment®
  7. Pillow Pets™ from Ontel Products Corp.
  8. Small Schoolhouse from Playmobil®
  9. Sing-a-ma-jigs!™ from Mattel®
  10. Squinkies™ Cupcake Surprise! Bake Shop from blip® toys
  11. Thomas & Friends® Thomas’ Mountain Adventure by MEGA Bloks ®
  12. Tomica Hypercity Mega Station Set from TOMY®

5 to 7 years

  1. Disney-Pixar® “Toy Story 3” U-COMMAND Buzz Lightyear from Thinkway®
  2. Disney® Princess & Me™ dolls from JAKKS Pacific®
  3. Fan’s Choice City Public Transport from LEGO® Systems, Inc.
  4. Fast Lane® Wild Fire RC from Toys”R”Us®
  5. Leapster Explorer™ from LeapFrog®
  6. Loopz™ from Mattel®
  7. Monster High™ Cleo DeNile™ and Deuce Gorgon™ doll set from Mattel®
  8. Magic Orbeez Maker from Maya Group
  9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back AT-AT™ in vintage packaging from Hasbro®

8 – 11 years

  1. Air Hogs® Pocket Copter™ from Spin Master™
  2. CSI Junior Investigator Kit from Toys”R”Us®
  3. Cuponk™ from Hasbro® Games
  4. Ground Force® Drifter from Razor®
  5. Minotaurus from LEGO® Systems, Inc.
  6. NERF N-Strike™ Stampede ECS™ from Hasbro®

Big Kids

  1. Kinect for Xbox 360 from Microsoft®  
  2. PlayStation® Move Bundle with Sports Champions™ from Sony PlayStation®
  3. SCRABBLE FLASH from Hasbro® Games

eBay, Most Popular Searches, Toys:

  1. Transformers
  2. Lego
  3. Lego Star Wars
  4. Star Wars
  5. Nerf
  6. Wonder Woman invisible jet (a Comic Con 2010 inside joke)
  7. Hot wheels
  8. Predator
  9. Power Wheels
  10. Bakugan

Amazon bestselling toys:

  1. Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
  2. Disney’s Toy Story Buzz Lightyear inflatable Jet Pack
  3. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
  4. Syma R/C Helicopter
  5. Bananagrams
  6. Uncle Milton Moon In My Room
  7. Baby Einstein Bendy Ball
  8. Playskool Alphie
  9. Fisher Price Sesame Street Silly Sounds Remote
  10. Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
  11. Multi Voice Changer by Toysmith
  12. Lego Ultimate Building Set – 6166
  13. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel
  14. Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit
  15. Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit
  16. Lego Hogwarts game – 3862
  17. LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table
  18. LeapFrog Scribble and Write
  19. Buddy Bands
  20. Silly Bandz (sea creatures, princess, pets)
  21. Loopz Game
  22. Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle – 4842
  23. Melissa & Doug See & Spell
  24. Qwirkle Board Game
  25. Lego Hagrid’s Hut – 4738
  26. Nerf N-Strike Stampede
  27. Scrabble Flash Cubes
  28. Uncle Milton Rainbow in My Room
  29. Lego Quidditch match – 4737
  30. Fisher-Price Sing-A-Ma-Jigs, Pink
  31. Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock
  32. LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System
  33. Squinkies Cupcake Surprise Bakeshop
  34. Lego City Advent Calendar – 2824
  35. Settlers of Catan Board Game
  36. Lego Creationary Game – 3844
  37. Bakugan Dragonoid Colossus
  38. Yookidoo Flow ‘N’Fill Spout
  39. Squinkies Bubble Pack, Series 1

CNNMoney – Hottest toys of 2010:

  1. Air Hogs MotoFrenzy
  2. Hot Wheels Stealth Rides
  3. Paper Jamz
  4. Nerf N-Strike Stampede Blaster
  5. Sing-A-Ma-Jigs
  6. Monster High dolls
  7. Disney Princess & Me dolls
  8. Loopz game
  9. Scrabble Flash game
  10. Leapster Explorer
  11. V. Reader
  12. Real Construction
  13. Lego games
  14. Squinkies
  15. Zoobles
  16. Tonka Chuck & Friends Chuck’s Stunt Park

There you have it – lots of great gift ideas, lots of price ranges, and lots of boy or girl targeted items to choose from.  Start your planning!

Photo by plindberg.

P.S.  In the next week or so, I’ll be updating my What’s Hot:  E rated video games for kids list.  One recently released game sure to make the list is Kirby’s Epic Yarn – here’s a teaser:

 

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What’s Hot: Furreal Friends Furry Frenzies or Zhu Zhu Pets?

Christmas is only a little more than 3 months away.  I know – scary, isn’t it?  Pretty soon it will be Halloween, and then *BAM*, it’ll be Christmas in every store.  It gets a bit overwhelming.  Since every dollar counts in this economy, each year I try to be sure to get a few select toys that my kids really want.

Last year, around November, I found myself desperately seeking Zhu Zhu Pets, with none to be found.  After searching every store in town, one night I went on eBay, and around 1 a.m., found myself bidding $160 for 4 pets.  $160!  For 4 small, furry toys, that I knew would make my kid smile on Christmas morning.  And then, I panicked.  What in heaven was I doing bidding that much for some cheap, little toys that retailed for only $9 each?  Was I insane?  Amazingly, during the middle of my panic attack, I was outbid (by some other sleep-deprived crazed parent, no doubt).  In the end, no Zhu Zhu pets came for Christmas.

I just did a review of Furry Frenzies Cruisin’ Carrier, and I’m trying to guess ahead of time, which will be more popular this Christmas – Furry Frenzies or Zhu Zhu Pets?

Furry Frenzies:

Furry Frenzies are essentially Zhu Zhu Pet clones, but come in a wider variety of animal types – dog, cat, rabbit, hedgehog, raccoon, and chipmunk.  Other differences include:

  • Shorter, thicker bodies, and slightly taller (3.9 x 5.4 x 5.1 inches)
  • Nose button is bigger, and looks more like a normal nose
  • Have ears, and tails
  • Fur is tight fitting on body
  • Stuffed animal type eyes (colored with black center)
  • Recommended for ages 4 and  up
  • More cuddly and cute*

Best selling Furry Frenzies include:  City Center Play Set, Buster Bow Wow (dog), Senorita Scamps (cat), Whirl Around Playground, and Flurry in a Hurry (rabbit).  Pets are typically between $7.99 and $11.99.

Zhu Zhu Pets

It’ll be hard for Furry Frenzies to catch up to and compete with Zhu Zhu Pets.  Zhu Zhu Pets has released many different pets and building sets, including a new line of girl-targeted pets (hamsters and rabbits) in girly colors, plus a new line of Kung Zhu to appeal to boys, with warriors, ninjas, armors and a battle arena.  With Zhu Zhu Pets, not only can you collect all the different pets released (like Beanie Babies), but you can build your Hamster City and continually add different items to your metropolis.  Another notable difference – Zhu Zhu Pets have a website, and hamster blog, and Furry Frenzies have nothing.  Differences include:

  • Pets are primarily hamsters
  • Longer, thinner bodies (2.4 x 5.9 x 2.2 inches)
  • Smaller button on the nose
  • Fur is looser fitting on body
  • Black dot eyes
  • Recommended for ages 5 – 10 years

Best selling Zhu Zhu Pets include:  Jilly, Mr. Squiggles, Funhouse, Kung Zhu Special Forces Hamster set of 4, Nugget, Adventure Ball, Add On hamster wheel, Hamster House Starter Set, Pipsqueak, Wild Bunch set of 4, Sweetie, Scoodles, Kung Zhu Battle Arena, Add On ramp and slide, Carrier and blanket, Funhouse set with hamster, Blanket and bed, Convertible sports car, Rocky, Fluffy, Tex, Carly, Moo, and Justice.  Pets are typically between $8.99 and $11.99, but can be as high as $20 or more depending on popularity and scarcity.

Although there doesn’t appear to be any of last year’s Zhu Zhu Pet craziness yet, on eBay several items – the Giant Hamster City Playset, a Kung Zhu Battle Arena lot (along with Ninja and Warrior hamsters and armor), an Airport, Pizza Parlor, and Beauty Salon set lot, and a set of the girlie pets (Jilly, Pinkie, Sweetie, Roxie, Carly, and Peaches) are in high demand and going for $100-$180.

Similarities between Furry Frenzies and Zhu Zhu Pets include:

  • Both are activated by pressing on pet’s back or nose
  • Both make a variety of sounds
  • Both are on rubberized wheels
  • Both – have to watch don’t get caught in hair

In summary, Furry Frenzies are a relatively new toy, and at this point, they are not even close to Zhu Zhu Pets in sales or popularity.  There is only a very limited selection currently available – 3 playsets, 6 pets – and they are barely offered anywhere; Target online only has the Cruisin’ Carrier and City Center, although in-store they also have the individual pets.  Even though Furry Frenzies are well designed, and *my daughter prefers them over her Zhu Zhu pets, I imagine they will not sell as well as Zhu Zhu Pets, but will probably continue to be in short supply anyway this holiday season.

For Christmas, I’m planning to get my daughter the Furry Frenzies City Center Play Set, and will NOT be waiting until November to order it this year.

What about you?  We only have a small number of Zhu Zhu Pets – I’m interested to hear from people that have the whole hamster habitat-city-metroplis set up.  What do you like best?  Do you feel it was worth the money you spent on it?

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