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Anyone put Mr. Potato Head or a Slinky on their Christmas wish list this year? Didn’t think so.

Toys nowadays are just far cooler than they were 40-50 years ago. Not to say there’s anything wrong with a classic, but if you have the choice between “Silly Putty” and a “Star Wars Spinning Electric Lightsaber”, I’m thinking you’re going to take the latter.

So to help you decide on the best toys for 2011, we got the lowdown on the coolest new gadgets, games, and action figures for the upcoming year. (Ages 5-12, and maybe up... I guess it all depends)


Star Wars Spinning Electronic Lightsaber

Summary: As we said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with a classic—especially when it comes with an extremely cool modern day twist. The Star Wars Spinning Electric Lightsaber is the latest lightsaber to hit the market, and it may be the best one yet. The lightsaber is modeled after General Grievous’ lightsaber, who any Star Wars knows is the master of the double-bladed lightsaber.

Features
• Glows different colours
• Makes battle noises
• Spinning capabilities
• 4 different configuration possibilities

Maker: Hasbro

Price: $34.99

Verdict: A must have for any Star Wars fan. It’s quite hard to imagine a better lightsaber than this one and the price is more than fair.


Text and Chat Walkie-Talkies

Summary: Much like a cell phone, actually using your walkie-talkie to talk is completely out of style. VTech’s Text and Chat Walkie-Talkies allow for kids to communicate in three different ways: Voice chat, text message, and e-cards. The Canadian Toy Testing Council awarded its Top Toy Award to VTech for their innovative gadget, and it’s sure to be a hot seller come Christmas time.

Features
• Voice chat, text message, and e-card capabilities
• Bulit in games
• Standard range of 1km

Maker: VTech

Price: $29.99

Verdict: In the age where cell phones are used for everything but the phone feature, it’s fitting now that walkie-talkies have gone a similar route. Taking a classic toy and making it better is generally a recipe for success, and VTech appears to have it a home run with their latest kids gadget.


SmartLab Toys’ All Natural Spa Lab

Summary: A gift geared for girls, this toy allows for girls to get their hands dirty and make chemical-free products while learning the science behind the interacting ingredients. This toy has the best of both worlds, as it combines science and beauty and allows for the girls to create delightful smelling spa treatments from home.

Features
• Cosmetic-grade glitter
• 24 page full colour book that helps you understand the science behind the spa products
• 4 bath bomb molds

Maker: SmartLab

Price: $19.99

Verdict: Any toy that’s fun and educational is generally a plus. The toy was awarded the Children’s Choice Award in the “8+” category and was among the finalists for the Top Toy Award by the Canadian Toy Testing Council. At $19.99, there are definitely worse things to spend your money on.


Playmobil’s Heavy Duty Mobile Crane 4036

Summary: A toy for ages 4 and up, this mobile crane can seemingly do it all. The crane has an extendable arm that can reach up to 640mm, larger than any other mobile crane on the market. Also, the supplied ropes help lift the large boulders, while the supporting legs stop the crane tipping over whilst in use.

Features
• 2 Playmobil workmen
• 2 flashing beacons

Maker: Playmobil

Price: $64.99

Verdict: This is definitely the priciest item on the list so far. While the toy has received excellent reviews from nearly everyone who has tried it, it does cost quite a bit for a toy that’s designed for younger kids. The toy looks like a lot of fun, but whether or not it is worth the price remains to be seen.


Manhattan Toy Company Automoblox Minis

Summary: Does it get more classic than a toy car? The Automoblox Minis are scaled down version of the full-sized cars. The toy fits perfectly into the palm of your hand and boasts a universal connector system that enables the rapid interchange of parts, and conveniently sized for on-the-go car designers.

Features
• Changeable parts
• Several cars in the series including sports cars, mini vans, and sedans

Maker: Manhattan Toys

Price: $9.99

Verdict: These toys are an absolute classic and fall under the category of a “can’t go wrong gift”. While obtaining the whole set would be ideal, each car on its own is sure to provide plenty of fun for the user. Our personal favourite is the Automoblox Mini M9 Sports Van, as it’s a nice change from the classic toy sports car that can be found in every toy store shelf.






2 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    everything on here is stupid

  2. Admin says:

    Wow, that was not at all a constructive comment.

    The Good News is... it is responses like yours that remind us of why we love what we do :)

    All the best Mrs/Mrs Anonymous

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