Holiday Toy Guides 2012

Holiday toy guides are a saving grace. It’s difficult to pay attention to the massive amounts of toy commercials that our children watch, but we know that the little ones are receiving those messages loud and clear. Sure, they mention the toys in their letters to Santa, but how do you translate that adorable chicken scratch into a shopping list? That’s when holiday toy guides come in to save us! Several kid-friendly retailers publish gift guides for the eager shopper, so we’ve compiled a brief list of toys that seem to pop up on several retailers’ lists.

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - Crayola Digital Light Designer

Officially my new favorite way to color

Crayola Digital Light Designer - $59

Crayola products never fail to boggle my mind every toy-shopping season. The light designer is especially cool because it opens our tiny artists’ minds to art beyond coloring with paints, markers and crayons. My hope is that this toy inspires some kid with a digital mind to be an expert lighting designer or the next big animator!

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - LaLaloopsy Silly Hair Star Doll

LaLaloopsy’s newest doll

Lalaloopsy: Silly Hair Star Doll - $49.99

Billed as “the first ever talking, singing, dancing Lalaloopsy doll,” the Silly Hair Star Doll is big with doll-lovers this year. I know what you’re thinking: for 50 bucks that spinning hair better be made out of strands of gold! But the doll actually looks like a lot of fun, and it comes with multiple hair attachments and a kitty (so this isn’t for your younger, more-eager-to-eat-their-toys children). LaLaloopsy’s slogan is “Sew magical! Sew cute!” so pun-hating parents might hate this brand…

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - Furby

They see you when you’re sleeping…they know when you’re awake…

Furby – $54

While it’s not with the rage of the late 90s, Furbys are back…with a vengeance. The 2012 Furby is more expressive, more emotional, smarter, more adaptable, and better linked with technology. Absolutely frightening. I totally want one.

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - LeapFrog LeapPad2

Will your child receive a tablet from Santa this year?

Tablets: LeapFrog LeapPad2, tabeo, Meep!, InnoTab 2S, nabi 2 $99-199

Tablets, tablets, tablets. You cannot outrun the “tablet-for-kids” conversation. There are more on the market this year than in year’s past, so you have your pick of the litter. There are a lot of factors involved: How much are you willing to spend? How much content control do you want? Is the tablet intended to be shared with the whole family? Or just the individual child? I ask the last questions because I don’t love the idea of  sitting in my favorite cafe, sipping my latte, and browsing the web on my nephew’s bright green chunky electronic. But that’s just personal preference talking.

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - Nerf Hail-Fire

Nerf Blasters are the company’s bestselling products

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blaster – $44.99

I love that Nerf continues to redesign their popular Blasters every year. We just can’t shoot enough foam darts! Also, John Brenkus endorses them. That has to convince the “Sport Science” loving parents to grab a couple of Nerf guns for their kids.

Holiday Toy Guides 2012 - Nintendo Wii U

Yet another adventure for our old pal Mario

Nintendo Wii U – $299.99

And what holiday season would be complete without a must-have video game console? Check out that new GamePad controller! I can control my game with a touchscreen and a stylus? I can play with up to 5 players using my Wii Remote controllers? And is that dubstep in the commercial? Wii U is so 2012.

By now you’ve noticed that these recurring products aren’t the cheapest, but at least they give you a sense of what’s trending with kids and their crazy toys. Click on the toy guides below to get a feel for other toy options that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Happy Holiday Shopping!


VanessaZui is the Content Manager at She’s obsessed with everything pop culture, can’t go a day without completing at least two crossword puzzles, and probably laughs more often than she breathes.

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