Hottest Toys for Christmas 2012

Furby

By Joe Buda

Las Vegas Informer

The holidays are upon us and it is time to find the hottest toys for the 2012 season.  As with every holiday season, some toys prove to be very popular.

On our list this year are three toys that are sequels or updates to prior toys.

Here is our list of the top five toys for the 2012 holiday season.

1.       Furby: The Furby is back and it is hotter than ever.  This toy, which was one of the hottest toys in 1998, sold over 40 million units during its initial run from 1998 – 2001.  The toy resembles an owl with fur.

The Furby speaks its own language, but learns English as time goes on.  The toy can dance and speak.  When it is tired it sleeps.  But its major selling point is that it can learn and adapt new behavior through interaction.

The 2012 revival of the toy comes in sixteen colors and has been quickly selling at major retailers.

Recommended for ages six plus.

The Furby retails for $54 at many major stores.

Wii U

2.       Wii U: Released on Nov. 18 in North America in time for the holiday season, the Wii U is the first of the next generation of video game consoles.

The Wii U features a new type of controller, the Game Pad, which changes the way we play games.  The Game Pad includes its own touchscreen which allows the user to play on the main screen, i.e. a television, or on the Game Pad display.  The video display is greatly improves from the Wii as the Wii U now produces video output up to 1080p. It was released in North America with 29 games, including the much anticipated New Super Mario Bros U.

The console is compatible with existing Wii Remotes.

The Wii U retails for $299.99 for the basic package which includes 8GB of RAM.

FurReal Friends Bouncy

3.       FurReal Friends Bouncy: Much like the Furby, this toy interacts with the user.  The FurReal Friends Bouncy is capable of reacting when you are near it by barking, jumping and turning.  The toy can tell when you are near by using light sensor technology.

Multiple versions of this toy are available, and each has their own type of interactivity.  The pup barks and jumps, while the kitty purrs, meows and kneads its paws.

The variations of this range from the “Bouncy My Happy to See Me Pup” to “Zambi the Baby Elephant.”

Recommended for ages four-to-eight years old.

This line of toys retails starting at $21.99 for the “FurReal Friends Walkin Puppies – King Charles Spaniel” on up.

Tabeo 7 Inch Kids Tablet

4.       Tabeo 7 Inch Kids Tablet: This 7-inch tablet is just for kids.  It comes pre-loaded with 50 apps, including the wildly popular Angry Birds.  7,000 additional apps are available through the Tabeo app store.  For internet browsing, it offers parental controls that can be set for up to eight different users.

While the Tabeo was designed for kids, it is still a powerful tablet. The tablet connects via Wi-Fi and runs on the Android Ice Cream operating system.  It features HDMI output so the contents can be viewed on a monitor.  It also has a front-facing camera.

Recommended for ages five and up.

The Tabeo 7 Inch Kids Tablet retails for $189.95 on Amazon.

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer

5.       LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer: This new version of the LeapPad was released earlier this year and contains a few enhancements over the older model.  It includes a faster processor, 4 GB of memory (double that of the original) and a 2.0 megapixel camera. It includes both front and rear facing cameras which can be used for still photography and video recording.

Five apps are included.  These are Pet Pad, Art Studio, Learning Songs, Cartoon Director and one app chosen by the user.  The Cartoon Director aids in the creation of movies.

Recommended for ages four-to-nine years old.

The LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer retails for 99.99 on Amazon.

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