The best toys of 2013

If you’re clueless about what to get kids for the holidays this year, look no further than The Toy Industry Association’s list of the best toys of the year.

The TIA breaks down the top 84 toys across 12 categories, making picking out the perfect gift much easier than walking aimlessly around a crowded Toys “R” Us. More than 520 toys were nominated and the top picks were chosen by 60 academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and toy retailers. For a complete list and vote for your favorite, head to  toyawards.org. Metro highlights a few favorites here.

 

Kids can make and play with Hot Wheels with this awesome car-making kit.
Kids can make and play with Hot Wheels with this awesome car-making kit.

Hot Wheels Car Marker, $49.99, ages 8+
Nominated for Activity Toy of the Year, this toy lets kids make their own Hot Wheels cars. The kit comes with a car mold and different colored wax, so kids can choose what color they want their Hot Wheels to be. After molding – which is surprisingly easy – kids can stick special decals (included) on their car, add the wheels and then they’re ready to roll. With enough wax to make 10 cars, this toy is a great deal.

 

 

 

"Planes" fans will love this new toy from Disney.
“Planes” fans will love this new toy from Disney.

Disney Planes U-Command Supercharged Dusty, $49.99, ages 4+
Disney “Planes” lovers will enjoy this toy, nominated for Boy Toy of the Year. Kids can control Dusty the plane with a remote control joystick, featuring over 1,000 action combo sequences. Kids can make Dusty talk, move and turn with the press of a button. The toy also talks any makes all the fun flight sounds you hear in the movie.

 

You just never know when it's going to pop!
You just never know when it’s going to pop!

Boom Boom Ballon, $19.99, ages 8+
This Game of the Year nominated toy is fun for kids and adults. It comes with 12 balloons and the way you play is by putting a balloon in a contraption surrounded by with plastic sticks. Players roll the dice to see how many “clicks” they have to press a stick into the balloon. You lose when – boom! – you pop the balloon.

 

 

 

GoldieBlox flexes girls' problem-solving skills.
GoldieBlox flexes girls’ problem-solving skills.

Goldieblox And The Spinning Machine, $30, ages 4-9
Nominated for Innovative Toy of the Year, Goldieblox is an engineering-based toy for girls, teaching problem solving skills. The toy comes with a book and construction kit. The book stars Goldie, a kid inventor, and girls use the construction kit to make the concepts they read about in the book as Goldie and her friends go on various adventures.

 

 

LazerMaze tests kids' strategizing skills.
LazerMaze tests kids’ strategizing skills.

Laser Maze, $29.99, ages 8+

Lazer Maze, nominated for Specialty Toy of the Year, this is the first logic game with a real laser. Players use the lasers and mirrors to beam through a series of mind games. It’s definitely a challenge! Seeing the laser light beam off the mirrors seems like magic, which kids will love.


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