Seriously, its like gladiators duking it out in a victory or death competition.
Lets go down the list of "hot buys for 2012" shall we?
If you have small children you should already be aware that giving electronics to children under the age of 9 is basically just guaranteeing that said electronic will BREAK within the first month. I've seen it happen. Little kids are careless. They don't realize how easily these things break and manufacturers seem to be making devices that break easily, thus guaranteeing that you either have to come back and buy another one... or give up completely.
My advice? Don't trust an 8 year old or younger with anything electronic. If you can't trust the kid not to pull a cat's tail (another thing I've seen little kids do regularly), then you definitely cannot trust them with electronics.
Now I admit, some parents out there just love to spoil their kids. They believe it is their god-given-right to spend and spoil their kids as they see fit. But all I am saying is HAVE FUN with the replacement bills when the electronics gets wet, smashed or otherwise broken. Or lost. Misplaced at school. Left on a park bench. Dropped on the subway. You name it, kids will do it.
What is a smarter buy is VTech InnoTab 2 and LeapFrog LeapPad 2. They're educational tablets that are made to be more durable. A much smarter buy than buying an iPad Mini.
NOTE: If you do decide to get an iPad Mini for xmas, remember to get protective stuff for it. eg. Screen shields and a protective case. Your kids will probably still manage to break it eventually (or lose it, get it stolen, etc), but at least it won't be for lack of trying on your part. If you can't trust your kid to feed a puppy, walk ait and not lose it somehow, you probably can't trust them not to set down their gadget in a toystore and promptly forget about it.
After being gone for over a decade this idiotic stuffed toy is back and ready to be a hot selling item. Updated from the original version, this Furby 2.0 has an app connection, softer fur to hide touch sensors and more realistic expressions. The eyes have been completely changed to backlit LCD screens in order to allow the Furby to better look around the room and respond to noises.
This company understands that kids are inherently rough on their toys. I have several stuffed animals in a box in my parents' attic which can testify to the abuse children put their toys through. This Premium German sigikid Baby Toys for Canada. The company in question, which you can visit at http://www.mylittlemousie.ca/, sells everything from high durability backpacks, stuffed animals, old fashioned wooden toys, rattles and even toys for nurseries. Its really marketing at the 0 to 2 years old market, but it is certainly a market that is unexploited thus far. See the company quote below:
"Children develop a deep relationship with their toys. They are a child's first love. That's why at My Little Mousie, we believe in high-quality toys that are built to last, well-designed and functional. We specialize in hard-to-find German premium toys. Right now, we offer a unique collection of sigikid products. We offer a unique collection of German premium sigikid baby toys. My Little Mousie is a Vancouver based boutique online store for Canada."
I actually think this will be a dud.
The tree-huggers (or those people trying to appease them) are pushing green garbage trucks made of plastic. What kids wants a garbage truck for xmas? Get real people.
Want to give the boy (I presume it is a little boy if you're buying them a truck) something they will actually like? Buy a whole collection of Hot Wheels cars. They're classics and always popular. Some of them change colour in water or heat, can be used on a track (like a roller coaster), etc.
Or find one that has a wind-up function. One of my favourite cars when I was that age was a wind-up car that you pulled back two or three times, set it down and then pressed the button on the back and it zoomed off. No batteries required. And it still works even today.
#5. Web Shooting Motorized Spider Man
Say what? Actual webs?
No, not actual webs. Just a piece of white plastic and it doesn't go that far. Still, it will probably sell.
#6. Nintendo 3DS XL
I have a friend who bought her 7-year-old one of these. He broke it in the first month. So she got him another one, but this time she got it second-hand... and he broke it too.
Seriously. You're just throwing your money away on these electronics.
Seriously, boys or girls, get them Lego. Doesn't break easily. Hours of fun. A classic toy. Get them a Lego train set with a wind-up motor.
Seriously, you can never have too much Lego. (Unless you step on a Lego brick on the stairs with your bare feet...)
My parents once split up the shopping and they both accidentally got me the exact same Lego spaceship. I thought it was the most awesome thing ever that I had TWO of the same spaceship. (Seriously, one for each hand...) They thought they had goofed and even wanted to return and exchange one of the boxes, but I gleefully ripped them both open and started building.
Seriously, best xmas ever. :)