Hottest Holiday Toys Reviewed by Real Toddlers

The hot holiday toys list is a round-up of the toys that are sure to be on all kids' wish lists. They vary from place to place and store to store, but generally speaking, fads come in and fads go out (Cabbage Patch Kids, anyone?), and some years, all children want the same toy.

The Stir took some toys off the various hot holiday toy lists and asked real kids to tell us what they think of them. I got the 3-5 age group and tested toys with a 5-year-old girl (my daughter, Samara) and a 3-year-old boy (my son, Alan). Here are the results:





Fisher-Price Disney's Rock Star Mickey; $39.97

This is one of those toys your kids will love and you, mom, will likely hate. Rock Star Mickey gives an "energetic performance" of the classic rock tune, "You Really Got Me." He slides and does the splits.

The bad: He doesn't have a huge repertoire. He's loud and he sings, which is a bad for most parents automatically. My 3-year-old son got bored of him almost immediately and my 5-year-old daughter wasn't interested at all.

The good: He taught my son how to rock out with the guitar and head bang and tap his foot. Also, he has ushered in a new interest in music that my son didn't have before Mickey came into the house. Pretty cool.

Fisher-Price Disney's Mickey's Rock Star Guitar; $21.99

This toy plays Mickey's songs and goes perfectly with the plush Rock Star Mickey. Your child can use the guitar to interact with Mickey musically.

The bad: So, so, so loud. And plastic. And not pretty to look at for the parents.

The good: My son loved this. My 5-year-old daughter did, too. My son slept with it for three nights. This guitar was a massive hit and made my son want to play a real one. If you have a 3-year-old boy and you can stand the noise, this is a huge treat for them.

Matchbox Smokey The Fire Truck; $39.99

This is a fire truck that talks, shoots water balls, dances, and stands up.

The bad: It farts, which is funny but gross. The balls are also hard to shoot and it took me 20 minutes to take Smokey out of his box.

The good: If you have a son who likes firemen, this one will be a big hit. My 3-year-old son couldn't get enough of Smokey and he loved shooting the balls and making him talk.

Ickee Stickeez; $7.50

These little monsters come in little pods and would make great stocking stuffers for kids who like to collect them.

The bad: They get boring fast. Once you take them out of their balls, they just kind of sit there. For a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, they aren't that much fun.

The good: They are fun and collectibles and older kids always like that.

Enchanting Disney Princess Costume Wardrobe Set for Girls -- 12-Pieces; $129.50

Every single princess dress comes in this bag along with a pretty little tulle skirt to make them all longer. There is also a hanger, metallic gloves, a cape, and a boa.

The bad: Glitter was everywhere after we opened this.

The good: My 5-year-old daughter screamed, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!" when we opened this. She has worn them every single day since and by far this has been her favorite toy ever. There is no doubt that for any girl 5 or under who is into princesses at all, this is the best gift out there.

Disney Singing Tangled Rapunzel Doll -- 17''; $51.50

This doll sings with Mandy Moore's voice if you touch her hand. She feels very well made and the song is from the movie Tangled.

The bad: She is so loud. My kids wanted to listen to the song again and again. No volume means you could hear it everywhere all over our house.

The good: My 5-year-old daughter adores her and that adoration has endured. Even now, weeks after opening, she still sleeps with her and plays with her. This is a toy with staying power.

Wii Console Bundle; $165.96

Wii has been around for a while and is one of the most popular gaming systems for players of all ages. It's an active game console and most of the fun is in being able to play games actively.

The bad: For the 3-5 age range, there may be games that are better than Mario Kart, but the Wii bundle only comes with Mario Kart. Both of my kids liked it for about 10 minutes, but lost interest quickly when they couldn't figure it out on their own.

The good: Wii has plenty of games for the younger set, so while older kids may enjoy Mario Kart more than younger ones, the younger ones don't have to be completely left out and the general fun is for kids of all ages. It's a great gift for the whole family.

Mind Putty Evolution; $10.99

Mind putty evolution is basically silly putty in better packaging.

The bad: It's boring for younger kids. My children touched it and grew tired of it rather quickly.

The good: It's a great, creative stocking stuffer and, for older kids, would probably provide a good 20 minutes of fun. Creative, tactile kids will go nuts for it and it's a nice way to build strength in the hands.

FyrFlyz Set of 3 Cyclone, Nytfyr, and Blue Angel; $21.99

Like the modern version of a yo-yo, only cooler, the FyrFlyz light up at night and are small enough to go anywhere.

The bad: My 3-year-old couldn't figure these out and grew frustrated and hit himself in the eye. He also got bored.

The good: My 5-year-old loved these and played for a long time with them. Even better, my husband and I loved them. They are easy to figure out and fun to play with. They are also a great stocking stuffer.

What do your kids want this holiday season?


Disclosure: The toys tested were provided to The Stir in sample form. In order to protect the integrity of the test, the children were not told they could keep any of the toys until after they'd completed the entire event.

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