Toy Wishes "Hot Dozen" Loaded with Good Choices for 2007

Every year I try to report on the Toy Wishes Hot Dozen list of top toys. This year I think that the editors of Toy Wishes have found a group of toys that will entertain a wide range of kids and adults. The toys on this year's list are:

  • American Idol Talent Challenge: This is one of those games that I think could be fun if played after dinner at family parties. The game consists of a computerized DVD player that you can hook up to your television and use to play karaoke. The DVD that comes with the game contains 12 songs recorded by the winners of American Idol, and additional DVDs are available.
  • Barbie Girls MP3 Players and Accessories: Imagine an MP3 player shaped like a Barbie Doll that comes in one of several fashionable colors, and you've got the Barbie Girls concept. Accessories to decorate the MP3 player are available (of course). The cost per megabyte of flash memory in these players is probably higher than in the iPod Touch, but that's not the point, is it?
  • EyeClops Bionic Eye: Another classic faux-tech gadget from Jakks Pacific. This is a 1:200 video microscope that hooks up to your television. This has all of the science project feel of a magnifying glass of days gone by, except that you won't be able to take it out on the driveway on a Summer day and set bugs on fire. Nevertheless, the EyeClops will be a hot toy.
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock: Here's the latest in a line of smash hit video games for the PlayStation2 and a number of other game consoles and computers. This time more than 70 classic songs from the hard rock era are brought back for your enjoyment including Barracuda, Rock and Roll All Night, and Paint It Black. Check out the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock page on Wikipedia for even more information about this game.
  • Hannah Montana Singing Doll Collection and In Concert Pop Stage: A whole range of reasonably priced dolls and accessories celebrating the Hannah Montana phenomenon. I was surprised that these products weren't more expensive, but the prices will probably get ridiculous if any of them sell out and end up on Ebay.
  • Nerf N-Strike Disc Shot: This is a Nerf gun shooting game involving moving targets, probably similar to either skeet or trap shooting. (I don't know exactly which one.) This is the kind of thing that school-aged kids might like to play in the garage during the winter. I thought it looked like fun, but a game like this will never get the seal of approval from my wife the pediatrician.
  • Rubik's Revolution: An inexpensive cube-based electronic game with 6 different challenges. One of the games included is called "pattern panic" and requires you to memorize the sequence in which the center button on each side lights up. This makes it similar in some respects to the game Simon from the mid-1980s.
  • Smart Cycle: This may be my favorite toy for the preschool age group. Smart Cycle is a video game for kids who are three and older that combines learning activities, video game playing, and stationary bike riding. I'd want to see several of the games in action to make sure they were interesting to my kids, but if they were, I'd buy it. I think we will have to wait a year or two before this is appropriate for my son Jimmy, but we could end up with one of these in our living room then.
  • Spotz Creator Machine: When I was a kid, we got a button maker one year so we could make our own campaign-style buttons. The Spotz Creator Machine is a similar concept, although the Spotz themselves are much smaller. Spotz are the size of very large clothes buttons and can be created with photos or artwork inside. Spotz can be combined to form craft items. This activity will probably appeal most to girls in their pre-teen and early-teen years, but this is just a guess on my part.
  • Swypeout Racing Starter Set: A multiplayer on-line racing game that adds a card reader to your PC which allows you to add features to your vehicle during the race. This is supposed to be a combination of multiplayer gaming and card collecting. Swypeout seems like it's going to be given as a gift, we'll see how much it's played after New Year's. I'm not sure how it will do from what I've seen so far.
  • Transformers Arm Blasters & Transformers Movie Ultimate Bumblebee: Two toys representing the Transformers movie franchise. The Arm Blasters shoot foam darts. The Ultimate Bumblebee is one of the most complicated model cars I've ever seen. It converts into a robot, as you would expect if you've seen any Transformers TV program or movie. But the Ultimate Bumblebee has animatronic capabilities. It has a series of moves that it can perform on command and also responds to some noises in the room.

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