Toy Story: The (Strangest) Gifts Topping Kids' Lists This Year
Some of this year's "must have" toys leave our columnist scratching her head.
Whoever first used the words "Peace on Earth" to describe Christmastime has probably never stopped by a Toys 'R' Us in December. Every year, new toys top every child's "must-have" list, and others are relegated to the clearance aisles. While shopping recently, I took a gander at some of this year's toys. Here are five that piqued my interest (or horror):
- BigFoot the Monster Robot: Who wouldn't want a walking, talking robot based on the Pacific Northwest's most famous beast? Never mind the fact that a modern, futuristic robot based on a creature of yesteryear seems to be kind of an anachronism. If I was a child, I would put BigFoot on my Christmas list: he can roll over, roar, pound his fists, show emotions and burp! However, I can't imagine that this toy would have a lot of replay value; after he's shown off his tricks, BigFoot might be sent to the back of the closet, and sightings might be as rare as the mythical creature itself. Where to buy it locally: Wal-Mart, Target
- Pillow Pets: Many children I know are clamoring for Pillow Pets, which are stuffed animals and pillows in one (and look just like obese Beanie Babies). I can see why: they're kind of like the Pillow People that were popular in the mid-1980s, only cute and not creepy. I am a bit disturbed by some of the varieties of the Pillow Pet; I can understand why a child might want to rest her head on "Lovable Lamb" or "Snuggly Puppy," but "Buzzy Bumblebee," "Icy Polar Bear" and the various dinosaurs sound more sinister than sleep inducing. Where to buy it locally: Wal-Mart
- Squinkies: Another hot item, Squinkies are tiny, squishy rubber dolls that come in baby and animal varieties and can fit on top of a pencil. In other words, they're small, cute and sure to cause drama on the playground. Much like Silly Bandz (or as I like to call them, "Cutting off Your Circulation Bandz"), they serve no real purpose but to cause obsession among the pint-sized set. Squinkies are not to be confused with their competitor, "Squishies." Where to buy it locally: Wal-Mart, limited availability (some playsets not sold in-store); Target
- Monster High dolls: Since monsters and zombies are the new vampires for the "disaffected 'tweens that shop at Hot Topic" set, the latest doll trend is "Monster High," a series of fashion dolls based on classic horror characters. These toys, which look like a scarier version of Bratz dolls (if that's possible), have names like "Frankie Stein," "Draculaura," and "Clawdeen Wolf." My personal favorite: the "Ken" of Monster High is named "Deuce Gorgon." For the more literary minded, there are Monster High books as well. I applaud the marketing genius that came up with this one. Where to buy it locally: Wal-Mart, limited availability; Target
- Babysitting Mama: By far the most disturbing toy of 2010, Babysitting Mama is a Nintendo Wii game in which you tuck your controller (I'm sorry, "Wiimote") into the back of a plush baby doll and take care of it onscreen as though it were a real baby, feeding it, changing it, etc. I assume this is marketed toward kids that are fan of "Teen Mom." Where to buy it locally: Wal-Mart; Target - apparently this year's hot commodity, Babysitting Mama is out of stock at the Romeoville location but available in limited quantities at other area locations. Check the website for details.