By Laurie Schacht - Toy Insider Mom
A walk down the toy aisle will bring back some favorite memories this holiday season. This year you will want to share playtime with your kids because you'll remember playing with the original versions yourself What's old is definitely new again…but even better. Of course while I may say it's better, chances are you will compare to the toy you played with as a kid. I hope to hear your thoughts on the "new vs. the original."
Power Rangers BattleFire Megazord (Bandai)
It was 20 years ago when we were introduced to the Power Rangers. And now, whenever villains get too strong, the Rangers summon all of their Zords together to morph into this powerful weapon. This is a pretty awesome Megazord. The BattleFire Megazord will fire up to 15 Zord missiles utilizing voice recognition technology. Depending on the phrase spoken, the BattleFire Megazord fires off a different number of missiles. There is also a manual trigger which allows kids to fire missiles themselves. The BattleFire also has light and sound effects and if for kids ages 4+ for $44.99.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutage Ooze Action Figures and Ooze canisters (Playmates)
It's an Oozapalooza! The Turtles we loved in the 80's came back to TV with a new series this past fall and everyone will love them outfitted in their Ooze Bustin' gear. The Turtles have discovered a way to safely handle the Ooze) and fling it back at the Kraang and the many mutants. Each Turtle is fully articulated and comes with a backpack and scoop that kids can load up with Mutagenic Ooze (Ooze sold separately). Figures included are Ooze Chuckin' Mikey, Ooze Launchin' Leo, Ooze Scoopin' Donnie and Ooze Tossin' Raph. Perfect for kids 4+ at $8.99 each.
STAR WARS® ANAKIN TO DARTH VADER™ ACTION FIGURE (Hasbro)
Hasbro introduces a breakthrough action figure innovation to celebrate the rise of DARTH VADER with the STAR WARS ANAKIN TO DARTH VADER figure. Standing at 13-inches tall, this figure changes from ANAKIN SKYWALKER to DARTH VADER by attaching the helmet and armor, and includes iconic movie phrases, sound effects, and a LIGHTSABER that changes from blue to red. For kids 4+, but the collectors will go wild for this one. MSRP is $24.99. The intro to Star Wars goes back to 1977.
Smurf Beach (Mega Bloks)
They're back! We saw them first in the 90's and Smurf 2 movie came out this summer and Smurfs™ from all over the Smurf™ village can enjoy building sand castles on the beach, relaxing on the patio, lounging in the leaf hammock, or sliding down into the river with a big splash with this 99 piece set. Smurfette hangs ten riding the waves on her surfboard while a Smurf™ lifeguard keeps an eye on the fun. For ages 4+ (thought I think older kids will enjoy this more) at a MSRP of $29.99.
TINKERTOY: 100 Piece Essentials Building Set (K'nex)
We all remember Tinkertoys (actually our grandparents remember Tinkertoys too)…first introduced in the early 1900's, now you can build whatever you can imagine with your favorite TINKERTOY parts! The TINKERTOY 100 Piece Essential building set features the most familiar TINKERTOY parts including spools, rods, flags, washers end caps and more. The set is perfect for first-time builders and comes with a colorful instruction sheet that features building tips and ideas. Package doubles as a sturdy, storage box complete with a lid for portability. For ages: 3+ with a MSRP: $34.99.
Horseshoe Hill Station (K'NEX)
Almost 100 years later, now you can saddle up to the LINCOLN LOGS Horseshoe Hill Station! This building set features 83 pieces including real wood logs, a cowboy, a horse, a roof and a door. The set also comes with colorful, step-by-step building instructions. When playtime is over, put the parts back into the handy storage container for a quick and easy clean-up. Ages 3+ with a MSRP of $27.99.
Remember Rock em Sock em Robots…we'll here's the 2.0 version, complete with wireless remote controls. Battroborg is the first battling micro robot brand of its kind, leveraging advanced motion-control technology in combination with hugely popular robot and combat action. Battroborg takes players center ring, with two-handed motion-controlled nun chucks (similar to Wii controllers) that let opponents dictate the robot's every move with their jabs. Simply charge your Battroborg and pair up your tech controller to your Borg(s) to create real-time action and reaction. The powerful signal operates at distances of up to 50 feet and automatically records damage level via an LED light on each robot that changes color every time the robot gets punched. Five punches signals the end of the battle, or defeat your opponents by KO—a knock over! Perfect for one-on-one competitions or large Battle Royals of up to 10 robots in the 3-in-1 Battle Arena. Kids age 7 to 99 will love to be in the ring. The retail is $79.99 and includes 2 robots and a 3-in-1 battle arena.
Fisher-Price Corn Popper Pop 'N Race Game (TCG)
Who can forget the iconic Corn Popper, after all, we all had one! But now it becomes a floor or tabletop game for preschoolers. Encouraging team play with challenging activities or shared role-play interactions, this fun 2-in-1 game fosters close relationships through shared learning experiences. For ages 2 and up, and for 2 to 4 players, the retail price is $19.99
Furby Boom (Hasbro)
Forget the baby boom…let's talk about the Furby Boom!! When my kids were little there was certainly no app for Furby…oh wait..there was no app for anything…my how things change. This Furby features all the magic and personality of Furby and combines physical and digital play. As kids play with Furby Boom they earn colorful virtual eggs that will hatch and become a Furbling virtual friend. Both kids and Furby Boom can interact with Furblings, and they can feed, play, and speak English and Furbish to the creatures. There are more than 50 eggs to collect with the Furby Boom app and kids can eventually build a Furby Boom city. Kids ages 6+ will love Furby at a retail price of $64.99.
A personal favorite when I was a kid, the original Spirograph is back! This was first launched in 1965 by Kenner and was the Toy of the Year in 1967. Great for eye/hand coordination, creativity and based on mathematical principles to create images using holes and gears. Teachers even use in the classroom. ‘Spirograph' is a cultural icon that kids 8 and older will love. Depending on the size set MRSP from $14.99 to $24.99.
EASY-BAKE Ultimate Oven (Hasbro)
Kids will love to get creative in the kitchen with the EASY-BAKE Ultimate Oven. This oven has a stylish look and modern functions perfect for today's tweens! We know that it's not just girls in the kitchen, so for all Chefs-in-training, they will love to gather with their friends to bake and decorate sweet and savory snacks in this oven which features a heating element similar to a conventional oven and that does not require a light bulb. This easy to use oven features a larger cooking chamber and big baking pans. This fall, to commemorate its 50th anniversary, the EASY-BAKE brand will release a new color scheme for the EASY-BAKE Ultimate Oven, a sleek silver, blue and black model. Great for kids 8+ with a MSRP of $54.99.
85th Anniversary Mickey and Minnie Collector's Plush (Just Play)
Two of the most beloved animated characters of all time, that we all know and love, are celebrating big birthdays in 2013! To mark Mickey and Minnie's 85th anniversary, Just Play is releasing two very special deluxe collector's plush featuring distinctly retro 1930s looks. Presented in gorgeous window box packages with elegant foil details, each comes with certificates of authenticity and feature commemorative embroidery on their feet. For ages 3+, MSRP is $29.99 each.