If you are looking for the best toys on the market in 2012, then the Toy of the Year categories are the place to go. Categories of the year’s Top Toys range from best overall to age-appropriate toys. You’ll also find the best toys by gender and the greatest toys for special purposes, including educational toys and outdoor items. Choosing the best toys from any of these categories assures you’ll pick toys that have withstood the rigors of shoppers worldwide. Also, these toys have ultimately reached the top of the lists of the majority of children, making them by far the most sought after toys on the market.
Toy of the Year (overall)
LeapFrog presents the LeapPad Explorer, a highly prized computer tablet made for children. Featuring more than 100 educational Leapster Explorer games and applications, the LeapPad Explorer is also an e-Book reader. On the 5-inch touch screen face, this tablet provides several other capabilities including a video camera and camera for your youngster to capture memories and create home movies. Using the 4 included apps, which are Art Studio, Pet Pad, Story Studio, and one of your choice, your child will be able to use his imagination in a variety of ways. The LeapPad Explorer is recommended for ages 4 to 9. Learning has never been so much fun!
Activity Toy of the Year
LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple
A part of the LEGO Ninjago collection, the LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple set is one of the most interactive from the Spinjitzu series. Featuring 7 minifigures including Spinjitzu Master Sensei Wu, Nya, Kai, Zane, Lord Garmadon, Kruncha, and Samukai, you’ll have plenty of characters for battles. As part of the 1174-piece set, which includes 14 weapons, the Fire Temple transforms into the fierce Fire Dragon with spitting fireball action. This 17-inch fire breathing dragon adds a whole new level of action to the battle between the Skeleton Army and the Spinjitzu ninjas. Ideal for children ages 8 to 14, the LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple takes the fight between good and evil from the sand to the skies for hours of endless play.
Boy Toy of the Year
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks All-In-One Track Pack
If you are looking for the ultimate in Hot Wheels racing tracks, the Wall Tracks All-In-One Track Pack is ideal for you. Turn tricks, make flips, and zoom at top speed around this dizzying race track, which has taken Hot Wheels car racing to a new height. Mount the track play system on your wall for hours of endless play where up to 10 cars can fly around the tracks. Included in this set are 10 Hot Wheels Cars, 3 stunt tracks, 2 display racks, and a starter track set. Suitable for ages 4 to 8, this race track set uses 3M Command Strips, which are also included, to attach the wall-mounted units.
Girl Toy of the Year
Fijit Friends Interactive Figures
Cute and cuddly, what’s not to love about the FIJIT Friends Willa? Every girl wants to snuggle and squeeze the plush skin of the Fijit, and when they do, they are in for a real treat. The Fijit Willa features tactile skin that responds to touch through lifelike movements and voice recognition. Willa can even speak! She knows more than 100 phrases and will even tell you funny jokes. Watch Willa dance to different songs until she’s ready to go to sleep, at which point she’ll light up like a nightlight and nod off to la-la land. The Fijit Friends collection features four different friends including Willa; they are all appropriate for children 6 and up.
Educational Toy of the Year
The LeapPad Explorer is truly an explorer of the technological age. Ideal as an educational toy for children ages 4 to 9, this learning tablet features digital books and flash cards available from Leapster. It features a thorough curriculum for this age group with personalized skill levels that keep up with a young learner’s progress. Thanks to 2GB of memory, you can rest assured that the LeapPad Explorer will have plenty of space to store all of your child’s data, which can include pictures, videos, and stories all created by your little learner.
Game of the Year
Angry Birds Knock On Wood Game
The ϋber popular Angry Birds has finally created a board game version of the phone app game called Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game. This real-life version allows you to construct, launch, and destruct with friends and family. Included with the game are 3 Angry Birds, 4 green pigs, a slingshot-style bird launcher, and playing cards. Flip the Angry Birds at the wooden castles of the egg-stealing pigs as they take out their anger. The Knock On Wood game is suitable for 2 or 4 players ages 5 and up.
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year
Elefun Busy Ball Popper
Shooting balls out of an elephant’s trunk can only mean one thing–fun! The Playskool Poppin’ Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper features nearly a dozen musical tunes that beat along as your toddler waits for the 5 included balls to come flying out. Keep your child entertained and active with this fun toy. The toy’s design is made especially for youngsters who are fine-tuning their fine motor skills. Teach your child how to grab the balls from elephant’s tummy so they can drop the balls into the elephant’s large ears. Best-suited for ages 9 months and up, the Elefun Busy Ball Popper will keep your child busy for hours.
Innovative Toy of the Year
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks
The latest innovation in the Hot Wheels arsenal is the wall-mounted Wall Tracks, which places the racing Hot Wheels at eye level. Kids ages 4 to 8 will be thrilled to find their track play situated at this dizzy point of view. Using the 10 included Hot Wheels Cars, your child will spend hours crashing cars and racing at top speeds around this awesome track. Featuring 360 loops, jump tracks, and speed boosters, once she is tired of racing cars in one way, she’ll love being able to interchange the stunts and rearrange the tracks with ease.
Outdoor Toy of the Year
Check out the coolest new creation in the scooter group–the Rockboard Scooter. Turn heads everywhere you roll with the oversized scooter wheels and rocking board base. A reinforced handlebar features hand brakes for a safer ride, while a 2-position locking joint allows you to fold the scooter up for ease of transport. A top of the line product, the Rockboard is a two in one scooter that is designed for riders 8 years and up. Thanks to propulsion technology, your child will be able to shred pavement with no problems. On the flip side, if he wants to have a kick scooter, the locking joint is easy to use for transforming the scooter in seconds. Built to last a lifetime, the Rockboard scooter is made from aluminum so it’s as lightweight as it is durable.
Preschool Toy of the Year
Preschoolers can join in the fun of computer tablets thanks to the LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog. Perfect for a learning tool that is as fun as it is educational, the unit gives you access to more than 100 e-Books and educational games. Introduce your preschooler to school subjects including science, math, and reading in an exciting format. The LeapPad also features a rugged exterior and touch screen that is made to withstand dirty fingers and loose grips. In fact, this tablet encourages movement, as seen with the tilt sensor that is used as a game control. The Explorer is ideal for ages 4 and up.
Specialty Toy of the Year
HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat
This Innovation First Hexbug Hive Play set provides you with the perfect habitat for your nanos. Featuring a platform of 35 pieces with a plethora of interactive spaces that allow your nanos to scoot and skitter about, this play set is also foldable for portability. You will also get 2 hexbug nanos to get your collection started, and so you can get started playing with the set right out of the box. Of course, the Hive Playset is also interchangeable with other nanos, as well as other track pieces. This toy is perfect for ages 3 and up.
All of the toys on this list are noted for their entertainment value, as well as their durability. While they were voted at the top of the Toy of the Year lists for 2012, you can rest assured that these toys will be at the top of many children’s wish lists for years to come.