Hot Holiday Toys of 2014 Put to the Test (PHOTOS)

Jeanne Sager | Nov 28, 2014 Big Kid
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  • Cabbage Patch Kids Twinkle Toes ($34.99)


    Image via Target

    They're baaaaaack. The hot toy of the '80s is a hit with a whole new generation, and she's got a hip pair of light up shoes to match.

    What the kids thought: Our 9-year-old girl testers were not impressed, but the littler ones were all over the light up shoes which work by pressing down on her feet (and don't require extra batteries).

    What the moms thought: She's so CUTE! (OK, so nostalgia may have played a role here)

  • Air Hogs Roller Copter ($39.99)


    Image via Wal-Mart

    This remote control helicopter comes in a roll cage.

    What the kids thought: A hit with all ages and genders, the kids had a lot of fun making the helicopter "climb" the walls as the roll cage rolled up and skimmed the ceiling.

    What the moms thought: Typically toy helicopters are a pass because the rotors get broken, but the cage around this one seems to help. But be warned that this copter not only requires batteries that aren't included but should be charged for several hours before use, so take it out of the box and do your prep work if you don't want a disappointed child on Christmas morning.

  • Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack ($49.99)


    Image via Target

    The latest version of the popular series lets kids play as captured villains.

    What the kids thought: Playing as villains was a big hit, but there was nothing new to do with existing Skylanders, which was kind of a bummer.


  • Little Live Pets ($14.99)


    Image via Toys R Us

    A line of animals that act like the real thing but don't require feeding or cage cleaning, the Little Live Pets come with a cage for resting and will come to "life" in your hand.

    What the kids thought: Our 5-year-old tester immediately screamed "I want it!" when he saw the little butterfly come to "life" and spent a good half hour walking around with the creature on his hand. He later added the pet to his Christmas list, saying he wanted to be able to have his own butterfly. Our older testers were intrigued as well, but had to do battle with the 5-year-old for a turn holding the critter to see if it would flutter for them.

    What the moms thought: Although we worried that the butterfly's delicate wings might not stand up to a 5-year-old's wear and tear, they fared better than expected. Be warned the pet requires charging to work its magic, and it will come to "life" at various times while resting on the charger -- so if you have a light sleeper, don't keep this toy in your child's room.

  • Doh Vinci Anywhere Art Studio ($15.99)


    Image via Toys R Us

    From the makers of Play Doh, this art set comes with "doh" in little tubes which can be squeezed out using an extruder gun (included) to make designs.

    What the kids thought: Although every child wanted to give it a go, none put this on their Christmas list. The "doh" doesn't stick well to the accompanying cardboard "canvasses," and while making their own designs was exciting, only two blank "canvasses" are included.

    What the moms thought: A cute idea, but not worth the mess and aggravation.

  • Nerf Mega Thunderbow ($29.99)


    Image via Toys R Us

    Is it really Christmas if you aren't shooting your brother or sister with a foam dart?

    What the kids thought: As one 9-year-old girl tester put it: "EPIC!" The bow promises to shoot 100 feet, and it seemed to live up to the claims (more or less). For little guys who have a bow-hunting dad, the toy was a chance to be like Daddy without the danger.

    What the moms thought: Oh brother. At least it only shoots five darts at a time before they have to reload!

  • LEGO FUSION Town Master ($34.99)


    Image via Toys R Us

    A LEGO set that interfaces with the iPad via a (free) app, this allows your kids to play "city" with a mayor mini figure and shops to build (with real bricks and virtual ones).

    What the kids thought: The chance to play with LEGO AND Mom's iPad? The kids were all over this "fusion" toy.

    What the moms thought: A nice idea if you have an iPad already, but if you don't and don't want to shell out for an expensive gadget this holiday, the LEGO Creator Bike Shop and Cafe ($89.99) might be a better way to let your kids play "city."

  • GoldieBlox and the Zip Line ($22.95)


    Image via Fat Brain Toys

    The popular STEM toy line aimed at little girls has put out their very first "action figure," and she comes with a rope and pulley system for kids to put together. The zip line includes suction cups, so it can be rigged up anywhere in the house.

    What the kids thought: It might be a "girly" action figure, but the little boys were just as engaged in figuring out the best way to rig up the zipline and send Goldie flying. The girls declared themselves "obsessed with GoldieBlox" and said she'd be on their Christmas list for sure.

    What the moms thought: Kids excited about an educational toy? What's not to love?


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