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Hot Toys for the Holidays 2008

Every year, we anticipate the new Holiday Toys list at Amazon. The list of most wanted, wished for, and hottest toy ideas is categorized into children’s age groups and interests. This year’s list is a little more Web 2.0 with its video component and sliders–great fun! You can see the top toys for Christmas (and other holidays of the winter season) here: Amazon’s Holiday Toy List 2008. Hyperdash is selected as the number one holiday toy for 2008, and it’s no wonder. We love the game that has kids thinking on their feet–literally. It’s an Edutaining Kids Top Pick as well, as it fits perfectly into our expectations for a quality “edutaining” toy. Hyper Dash puts a new spin on the term “active learning”–it promotes listening, memory, and math skills, as well as giving kids a little workout. Intense fun! For more information about this fun and educational toy, see Wild Planet Hyper Dash. More toys that appear on both Amazon’s list and our Edutaining Kids Holiday Gift Guides include Fisher-Price Smart Cycle, EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles,LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table, and...

Teenagers (and many adults) will love GelaSkins

GelaSkins are stylish, trendy, and they protect your laptop, portable gaming device, iPod, and phone too! They make a unique gift for teenagers and young adults. GelaSkins are artist-designed skins designed to protect and spiff up laptops, iPhones, iPods, PSPs, Nintendo DS Lite, select cell phones, and Touch. They truly are delightful to look at, and extremely functional at the same time. They peel off and stick on, so that you can reuse them; and, if you have more than one GelaSkin, you can change the look of your device whenever you’re in the mood. The designs are a must-see–truly creative and inspiring. GelaSkins Inc. has recently added a line of gorgeous wallpapers for the iPhone, Touch, and PSP that you can use on the screens of these devices, downloadable for free at the GelaSkins website. There is a selection of GelaScreens designed to match each GelaSkin. GelaSkins include a wide variety of styles and artwork. While some are straightforward (such as Golfer), most are alternative. Teens are sure to find something they like. In fact, they’re sure to find many skins they love! You’ll have to take a look at the GelaSkins gallery in order to get an idea of the sheer quantity and impressive quality of skins available. Skins can be purchased offline, but the best selection can be found at the GelaSkins site. Because we’re talking art–and a lot of it–it’s probably best to let your teens decide which ones they like best, so if you’re planning on giving GelaSkins as a gift, your best bet is to buy a gift card, also available at the...

A look at Order Up! Video game for the Nintendo Wii

Kids are rookie chefs in a fun and engaging new game for the Wii, Order Up!. Rookie chefs need to start at the bottom, and in Order Up!, they begin their cooking adventure at a greasy spoon, Burger Face. As kids progress, their goal is to eventually become world-class chefs. What’s special about this game is that it not only allows kids to work with ingredients and recipes, it is also a restaurant management game. Children prepare and present food, and the focus is not only on mixing the right ingredients, but also adding the special finishing touches that make a meal a masterpiece. New recipes and equipment are unlocked along the way. In comparison to Cooking Mama for the Wii, Order Up is richer in gameplay, offering definite goals and a management angle that older kids will enjoy more. Its controls are a little trickier, however. This game is missing a multi-player mode, which would have boosted our ratings of the game considerably. For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Order...

Flytech Dragonfly and Butterfly by WowWee

WowWee Robotic DragonFly – Green (49 MHz) The FlyTech DragonFly by WowWee is sure to delight kids ages 7 and up. It’s a radio-controlled flying “robot” that flaps its wings quite realistically. Kids use a remote to control the robotic insect, and it’s really quite a wonder to see–the Dragonfly is actually very dainty as it glides smoothly in the air and lands with finesse as well. Although kids can fly the insect outside, the weather has to be just right for it–forget about doing it on a windy day. It’s better to play with the Dragonfly indoors. The charge doesn’t last long–approximately 5 to 8 minutes total–which actually keeps kids from overdosing on the toy and anxious for it to charge again. Here’s a video of the toy in action: Kids can easily see when the dragonfly is running out of steam, simply by checking its status through the LED-lit eyes. There is also a butterfly version of the toy, the Wow Wee Butterfly Indoor Outdoor Flyer: Pink, which is likely to appeal to girls as well. This one is also quite dainty, quiet, and fun to watch in action. See our Edutaining Kids review of the toys here: Edutaining Kids Gift Guides for Kids Ages...

Elmo Live – the most interactive Elmo plushie to date

Elmo Live – Available November 1, 2008, Pre-Order Now. Elmo Live is a plush toy of Elmo, who, from his sitting position, crosses his legs, bobbles his head from side to side, tells jokes as his mouth flaps right on cue, sings songs, and even plays games. Kids activate this extraordinarily true-to-life plushie by squeezing his hands, nose, or feet. Elmo Live is, of course, expected to be at least as popular as its predecessors (such as Elmo TMX and Tickle Me Elmo). This one is the most advanced interactive Elmo we have seen yet. Here’s Elmo Live in action: Elmo Live can be pre-ordered now (and will be released on November 1, 2008). Many families are getting a jump on this in case there is a shortage later: Preorder at Amazon: Fisher-Price Elmo...

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