Holiday Gifts 2012: The most popular kids' toys
Master Moves Mickey
This guy would put 1997's it-toy Tickle Mr Elmo's moves to shame. While Rosie O'Donnell's favorite furry red monster could only giggle and shake, Master Moves Mickey here has 15 dance skills in his repertoire. Each one is pretty elaborate, too—like his one-handed hand stand and 360 degree spin. He knows his limit, though: When the plush rodent tips over, he admits that he's "over-extended" himself and asks for help up.
FISHER-PRICE MASTER MOVES MICKEY, $49.97, WALMART.COM
Suspend Family Game
Jenga fans will LOVE this game—it has a very similar concept. However, instead of using blocks to build something, players balance metal rods in mid air. When someone breaks the suspended structure, he or she loses.
SUSPEND FAMILY GAME, $16.99, MELISSAANDOUG.COM
As a participant of the original Furby craze, I can attest: those models were not nearly as interactive as promised. The newest version however, is supposedly a vast improvement on its 1998 ancestor. It has many new features such as burping, farting and reacting to human voices. But it doesn't scratch or poop on anything, so it's good compromise for parents who refuse to put puppies and kittens under the tree/menorah.
TEAL FURBY, $71.48, AMAZON.COM
LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer
Sort of like an iPad for children, this handheld gaming device has a built in camera, video recorder and microphone. It also comes with four pre-loaded apps, but there's an additional 2 GB memory and a 1.5 MB download capacity in case you'd like to store more. All the games have an educational slant like the responsibility-teaching "Pet Pad" program or spelling quizzes, so you don't have to feel guilty when your kid is transfixed for hours. Especially when said hours are quietly spent in the back your car while driving home from a vacation.
LEAPFROG LEAPPAD2 EXPLORER, $99, AMAZON.COM
If you crossed a normal Ugly Doll with a kangaroo, this is what would happen. Each creepy-cute character has a smaller, equally physically unfortunate "buddy" you can stuff in his (Or her? I can't tell.) belly pouch.
OX and ICE-BAT, $20, UGLYDOLLS.COM