While holiday toy advertisements might seem flashily attractive, its hard to know what kids will really like. SoCafeMom did a little research to help everyone out this holiday season.
They gathered ten of the hottest toys of the various 2012 holiday catalogs, from the Wii U to the Furby. Then, they gathered a group of kids and let them loose with the loot.
Amongst the group were one 3-year-old boy, two 7-year-old girls, one 7-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl. The products were all samples from manufacturers, and presented to the kids as is. Parents were allowed to help open packages and get things set up, but no one was allowed to coach the kids about which toy was best.
So, here’s what the kids had to say about five of the top ten toys of 2012:
1. The Wii U – Nintendo’s latest game console, was a raving success with the 12-year-old and 7-year-olds. Since the console is relatively new on the market, it’s a hard one for parents to get information about. According to the kids, the game pad had a “pretty incredible” HD screen that mirrors the TV. So, according to the 12-year-old, no more fighting with mom and dad for screen control. The younger kids notices that the Wii U was easier to control than the regular Wii, which sometimes misses smaller movements. The only negative about this one seemed to be parents’ concern over the screen. While Nintendo insists that its built for durability, parents were concerned that it might break or crack without a protector. Also, at $300 for the basic setup, it’s one of the pricier gifts of the year. Plus, if you don’t already own a Wii console, you have to buy the basic set up to connect to the Wii U.
2. Micro Chargers Time Track kept the kids attention the longest, regardless of gender. Although the directions wee sparse, set up was easy. The ease of use seemed to be attractive to kids, too. Just “wind everything up, push a button, and the cars are off and ready.” On the down side, although the track has four lanes, it comes with only two small cars that parents were concerned could easily be lost. Also, there is no way to turn the cars off once they get going.
3. The Gelarti Designer Studio was a big hit with boys and girls, although it kept the girls’ attention longest. The kit allows kids to make their own stickers, which can be applied and re-applied to their clothes, walls, etc. However, the kids ran through the six provided sticker sheets quickly, and additional sticker sheets cost $16.99 on top of the $24.99 for the initial kit.
4. The Y-Volution YFliker Scooter was initially described by the 12-year-old as “weird,” but once she got used to it she didn’t want to stop. This scooter is different from others in that it has two footrests instead of just one. While it takes some getting used to, its a toy the whole family can enjoy, since it’s built for kids and adults alike. One the con side, it’s bulkier than the usual slender scooter, and some of the kids had a hard time getting used to two footrests.
5. Doc McStuffins Time For Your Checkup Doll was at the top of the Toys R Us list this year, and the little girl testers loved the doll and stuffed lamb set. One little girl tester said she loves to play with Doc but was much more interested in Lambie, saying “she’s cuddly, and I can take her to bed.” The whole set, which is really two toys in one, retails for about $30. On the pro or con list, depending on how you look at it, both Doc and Lambie talk. For little ones, watch out. Doc comes with lots of little medical tools. While they come with a doctor’s bag to keep them in, the are still likely to end up in the vacuum.
For the full list of toys, click here.