Get ready, get set, the hunt for the hot holiday toys of 2012 is on, Moms and Dads. Whether you're Black Friday shopping (good luck!) or hoping to get it all done online this year, chances are your kid has asked for something that made one of the "must buy" toy lists. But is it worth spending the cash or are you going to spend hours going from store to store to find that one toy only to have your kid abandon it 20 minutes after opening?
Sadly, there are no guarantees. But here at The Stir, we have the next best thing. We gathered 10 of the hottest toys of the various 2012 holiday toys, from the Wii U to the Furby. Then we gathered a group of real kids and let them loose with the whole pile. We wanted to know what they really thought. Are these toys worth the hunt? Are they worth the price?
We gathered one 3-year-old boy, one 5-year-old boy, two 7-year-old girls, one 7-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl. The products were all procured as samples from the manufacturers, and presented to the kids as is. Parents helped only in getting them out of boxes and/or with any set-up that required an adult's touch. They were asked questions about what they thought, but they weren't coached.
Remember, these are the honest opinions of the parents and the kids. The children were allowed to keep the toys they liked, but to protect the integrity of the test, they were not informed of this until after the entire test was over.
So here's what happened with all 10 of them!
Which toys on this list are your kids most excited about?
Image via Jeanne Sager
This is the big one, the new game console from Nintendo! But it just came out this week, so many parents are going to be going into this one blind. Here's what we found out after we let the 12-year-old, a few 7-year-olds, and a rather overgrown (nearly 35-year-old) child loose with this one: they all found something to rave about.
Pros: In addition to the tower, you get a game pad with a pretty incredible HD screen that mirrors the TV. That means you can play many games simply by looking at the game pad, akin to a personal game console. So no more kids monopolizing the TV, because you can change the channel while they play on the pad! That was a hit with the kids and adults both, but especially the 12-year-old who made mention that she was a little tired of battling her parents for TV time.
The game pad seemed to be much easier for our younger testers who could use it to do a lot of the set-up that used to require very precise hand movements with a Wii-mote. If you already own a Wii and/or Wii games, good news, this is "backward compatible" with the original console's games and peripherals. It also offers an HDMI connection, meaning video is significantly better looking on an HD TV than its predecessor.
Cons: The console is brand new, and still pretty pricey (prices range from $300 for the basic on up, and the deluxe is even more). Plus, if you don't already have a Wii, you will need to buy a new Wiimote for many of the games. I was also uneasy watching the younger kids handle the game pad. While the pad itself is solidly built, the screen itself seems dangerously exposed. Nintendo assured us it was built with durability in mind, but I'd hope a third party is going to come up with a screen protector.