published Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Tech toys: Toys R Us, Family Fun rank this season’s hot toys

The Toys ‘R’Us

“Fabulous 15”

(In alphabetical order)

• Big Hugs Elmo from Hasbro

• Despicable Me 2 Minion Dave, Agnes and Gru Collector’s Edition Figures from Thinkway Toys

• Doc McStuffins Deluxe Get Better Check-Up Center from Just Play

• Sofia the First Royal Talking Vanity from JAKKS Pacific

• Flutterbye Flying Fairy from Spin Master

• FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet from Hasbro

• LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog

• Skylanders SWAP Force from Activision

• tabeo e2 from Toys ‘R’ Us

• The Ugglys from Moose Toys

• Ever After High Royal & Rebel Dolls from Mattel

• LEGO Legends of Chima The Lion CHI Temple from LEGO

• Shimmer ‘N Sparkle Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker from Cra-Z-Art

• Xbox One from Microsoft

• Crazy Cart from Razor

Poll
Will you go shopping today?
  • photo
    Zoomer sits, stays, barks, rolls over and plays dead. This pup got top honors in the toy testing “for doing just about everything a real dog does, right down to requiring a bit of training to follow commands.” Spin Master Ltd., $99.99. Ages 5 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Rev up the John Deere Monster Treads Radio Control Tractor, and it will careen over anything in its path — when it’s not popping wheelies or spinning out in circles. Tomy, $99.99. Ages 6 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    With Hot Wheels Carcade, you can run your race car fast and furious around a pinball machine-like speedway. The goal — and the fun — is crashing cars through lit- up targets, up a ramp and through a hoop in 60 seconds. Mattel, $79.99. Ages 5 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Furreal Friends Cuddles is a plush monkey playmate who squeals, blinks, swivels, sighs and drinks from a banana bottle — and there’s 95 more actions among its 100 programmed responses. Hasbro, $79.99. Ages 4 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Battroborg is a modern spin on the old toy, Rock’em Sock’em Robots (“You knocked my block off!”). This boxing match between two robots uses handheld Wii controllers. Tomy, $79.99. Ages 6 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Combining science and play, this Air-Stream Machines kit teaches the power of air through the construction of 10 air-powered gadgets. Thames & Kosmos, $69.95. Ages 8 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Big enough for multiple kids to play together, this 20-inch-tall R.V. Seeing You Camper is part of the gear for Our Generation dolls. The RV features a foldaway bed and kitchenette. Battat, $59.99. Ages 3-10.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    The B-Daman Crossfire Break Bomber Battlefield is a companion to the anime TV series, “B-Daman Crossfire,” where two players face off with humanoid launchers to send marbles flying. Hasbro, $29.99. Ages 6 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    With Pom-Pom Puppies, little girls’ imaginations are required to make poufy pups from pom- poms in this yarn kit. Klutz, $19.99. Ages 8 and up.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    With 2-In-1 Shop & Cook, preschoolers can fill up this grocery cart with play food, then flip down its sides to transform the buggy into a stovetop. Singalong music and interactive learning prompts also are part of the toy. VTech, $49.99. Ages 3-5.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Barbie is having a mid-life crisis.

The 54-year-old fashion doll doesn’t make the cut on either Toys R Us’ or FamilyFun magazine’s lists of the hottest toys for Christmas 2013. Instead, tech toys top both lists — a robotic pup named Zoomer, an animatronic monkey called Cuddles programmed with more than 100 responses, and Xbox One, which just hit stores on Nov. 22.

“Xbox One and Playstation 4 are in high demand, and the Doc McStuffins Check-Up Center is hard to keep in stock,” says Shaun Duncan, manager of the Hamilton Place Toys R Us.

FamilyFun magazine, which has a circulation of 2.1 million, annually presents its Toy of the Year Award to 10 toys that have been tested by its readers for play value. This is the 22nd year that parents and their children have picked the best of what’s new in children’s play for ages 12 and under.

“Our pool of FamilyFun readers tests approximately 350 toys in total,” says Mary Giles, deputy editor of FamilyFun. “They rate each toy on a one to 10 scale, and each family chooses their top three toys overall. Editors analyze this information to select the Top 10 Toys of the Year.”

Keep FamilyFun’s list handy if you’re shopping on Black Friday.

1. Zoomer. Man’s best robotic friend sits, stays, barks, rolls over and plays dead. This pup got top honors in the toy testing “for doing just about everything a real dog does, right down to requiring a bit of training to follow commands.” Spin Master Ltd., $99.99. Ages 5 and up.

2. John Deere Monster Treads Radio Control Tractor. Rev it up and it will careen over anything in its path, when it’s not popping wheelies or spinning out in circles. Tomy, $99.99. Ages 6 and up.

3. Hot Wheels Carcade. Run your race car fast and furious around a pinball machine-like speedway. The goal — and the fun— is crashing cars through lit-up targets, up a ramp and through a hoop in 60 seconds. Mattel, $79.99. Ages 5 and up.

4. FurReal Friends Cuddles. A plush monkey playmate who squeals, blinks, swivels, sighs and drinks from a banana bottle — and there’s 95 more actions among its 100 responses programmed in the toy. Hasbro, $79.99. Ages 4 and up.

5. Battroborg. A modern spin on the old toy, “You Knocked My Block Off,” this boxing match between two robots uses handheld Wii controllers. Tomy, $79.99. Ages 6 and up.

6. Air-Stream Machines. Combining science and play, this kit teaches the power of air through the construction of 10 air-powered gadgets. Thames & Kosmos, $69.95. Ages 8 and up.

7. R.V. Seeing You Camper. Big enough for multiple kids to play together, this 20-inch-tall camper is part of the gear for Our Generation dolls. The RV features a foldaway bed and kitchenette. Battat, $59.99. Ages 3-10.

8. B-Daman Crossfire Break Bomber Battlefield. A companion to the anime TV series, two-players face off with humanoid launchers to send marbles flying. Hasbro, $29.99. Ages 6 and up.

9. Pom-Pom Puppies. Little girls’ imaginations will run wild making poufy pups from pom-poms in this yarn kit. Klutz, $19.99. Ages 8 and up

10. 2-in-1 Shop & Cook. Preschoolers can fill up this grocery cart with play food, then flip down its sides to transform their buggy into a stovetop for kitchen play. Whether in cart or kitchen mode, sing-along music and interactive learning prompts make shopping and cooking fun. VTech, $49.99. Ages 3-5.

Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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