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Kids at Ashmont Moms and Tots participate in a Christmas-themed activity as they cut out pictures of toys for their wishlist last Wednesday morning.
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Elmo, Furby, Lego among the top toys for 2012

Nov 20, 2012 11:15 am | Janice Huser

This holiday season’s crop of popular toys looks as though it could have been a list written up in the 1990s, with already popular names such as Elmo, Furby, Star Wars and Super Mario making the list. The toys have been “reenergized and enhanced for the next generation of kids,” according to the Canadian Toy Association.

Of course there are also some newer names on the list, such as Angry Birds and Skylanders, and electronics for children of all ages are proving to be popular this Christmas.

“This looks like a really fun holiday season coming up, with one of the best selection of toys in years,” says Kerry George, president of the CTA in a press release from the organization. “The quality, innovation and selection are really outstanding.”

According to local parents, the CTA’s predictions seem right on the mark.

Ellie Peters, who is now shopping as a grandparent, says many of the toys her children used to play with are popular with her grandchildren. She points to the original Care Bear toys she bought for her daughter years ago, which she kept, and which is now being enjoyed by her granddaughters.

“Maybe they really don’t need all these electronics that we buy into,” she noted.

When asked what her children have on their Christmas list, Melissa Deschamps, a mother of three young girls, jokes it’s “the entire Sears toy section,” adding the girls seem to be interested in Barbies and the rejuvenated version of Furby.

The always-popular Lego brand is also an item on many kids’ lists this year, and it’s not just for boys anymore.

“Construction targeting girls’ interests made a strong entry into the market last year and is expanding with build-your-own castles, stables and doll houses,” says the CTA. A Lego brand with pink and purple building blocks has made its way onto store shelves recently.

Technology remains a strong component in many of the CTA’s toy categories. Smart phones and touch screens, built-in cameras/microphones and downloadable apps and links to iPads are now being incorporated into toys for children of all ages.

Along with asking for a Furby and Barbies, Jayme Jeffery’s five-year-old daughter has also included an iPhone on her Christmas wish list. Meanwhile, Corinne Lotoski says her eight-year-old daughter has left the toys off the list and is hoping for new bedding, slippers and a housecoat. But, she did include one fun item on her list – an iPod touch.

“It’s quite the combination,” says Lotoski.

Video games will also be a sure shot this year, with the new Nintendo Wii U set for release this month, and just in time for the holiday season.

Alma Noel says that when she does her Christmas shopping for her young daughters, she tries to follow a rule she found online. The rule states, “one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing they wear, and one thing they read” and Noel has found it useful advice.

The CTA’s annual showcase of Hot Toys features 100 toys, games and activities from more than 50 Canadian toy distributors, according to the press release. The hot toys are posted online at www.cdntoyassn.com.

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