Written by Buzz Bishop for Babble.com
What's on the Christmas wish list for kids this year? Nothing, it would seem.
Well, nothing in the sense that there is no "top toy" for 2013.
"There are no hot toys this year; there really aren't," said Gerrick Johnson, a toy industry analyst at BMO Capital Markets. "We don't have a Tickle Me Elmo or a Zhu Zhu Pet or a Cabbage Patch Kid -- nothing that is approaching phenomenon status."
"In the 12 years I've been covering toys, we've always had something selling for a premium on eBay," Johnson said, referring to the online auction site. "This is the first time we're not seeing that."
This is GOOD NEWS people! Our kids get to be individuals. There's no playground competition to keep up with the other kids and be the first to have the biggest and best, or feel left out because Mama couldn't get off work in time to get the last hot toy from the shelf.
This year, the kids want the classics.
"The nostalgia surrounding some of the oldest toys will never go away," said Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. "A lot of kids are still growing up on traditional toys."
The classic is tops for boys this year. As we wandered the store doing up my boys' wish list for Santa, we stopped multiple times for LEGO sets, including the big giant minifig head.
Race car. Dump Truck. Fire truck. It doesn't matter what it is as long as it can be pushed on the floor while making a vrrrrooom sound.
These are mine. We keep them at Nana's house with the old Fisher Price sets. Whenever we go grocery shopping, the boys always seem to stop and linger at the aisle end-cap with the collection of toys. The ones they always pick up? The Hot Wheels.
"Doll. Just a doll please, Santa," is what many girls will be asking for. As a friend or a chance to model their mom's behavior, dolls are centuries old and still popular.
The giants of Skylander may not be vintage, but they're not new, either. As the toy line branches out into other genres (like these bricks), the boys still want to play with them.
Remote-controlled vehicles have been around since the '60s. I can't make them work for the life of me, but in the hands of a child, the chance to drive a motorcycle, car, helicopter or boat is magical.
When you have an action figure in your hand, it's a chance to be a superhero, a star or a movie character. In this case, my son is Han Solo, recently crashed on Hoth and looking for Luke.
This was supposed to be my son's Christmas present when I snagged it at an end-of-summer sale in August. But, alas, I couldn't keep a secret and he has been riding it. Still, the best Christmas memory I have is running into the living room one morning and seeing a bright orange bike -- with my brother's name on the tag.
There will always be Barbie on this list, near the top of the list or ruling it all. For 54 years, she has defined doll play and shows no signs of slowing down.
The new consoles are on kids' wish lists too, don't worry. BUT, if you've got an older gaming system, know the kids are happy with new games to be added to the roster.
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