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2014 holiday toy gift guide -- Frozen, Barbie, drones, trucks and more

Posted On Monday, 05 January 2015 19:00 Written by
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The holidays are here again, and amid all of your family obligations, it’s likely the little ones are hinting what they want under the Christmas tree this year. To help you along, following is a list of some of the toys of note available this year.

Fisher Price/Mattel

-- Power Wheels Ford F-150
Kids can get behind the driver’s seat in the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford F150 Ride-On. The blue Power Wheels Ford F150 truck is designed to perform in backyard driving conditions, including wet grass and mud.. The 12-volt battery-powered ride-on features a working FM radio, MP3 jack, truck bed with working lift-and-lower tailgate and pretend seat belts. There is room enough for two in the vehicle and it has two speeds, forward (2.5 and 5 mph maximum) plus reverse (2.5 mph). Maximum weight in the vehicle is 130 pounds, and some assembly is required. Price is $349.99.

-- Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Avalanche Escape Set
In this play set watch as Thomas makes his way up a 30 degree incline before crossing an avalanche gap and racing down the other side; Redesigned TrackMaster engines feature enhanced power and performance; batteries required. $64.99, ages 3+ years

Visit fisher-price.com for more information.

-- Barbie Endless Curls doll 
Barbie fans can curl her entire head of hair with this new doll. Includes Barbie doll dressed in fashion, two no-heat curling iron tools, four no-heat rollers, one brush, two barrettes and three rubber bands with label art. ($25 MSRP)

-- Disney Frozen 2-in-1 Castle and Ice Palace Playset
If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s the year of Disney’s “Frozen,” with seemingly every little girl in the world following the adventures of Elsa and Anna. So one item that is sure to garner some attention from the little ones this year is the Disney Frozen 2-in-1 Castle and Ice Palace Playset. The set features both the Arendelle castle that Anna lives in and the icy palace of Queen Elsa. Olaf can speed down the mountain slide on the back of the palace. In the kitchen at Arendelle, a stovetop can be flipped to make a tabletop, and stairs lead to a room with a vanity, chair and a bottle of perfume.The set comes with an Olaf doll, but be warned that Elsa and Anna dolls are not included and must be purchased separately. Ages 3 and older. Product dimensions (in inches) are 18.2 x 7.6 x 5.6. MSRP: $109.99

Visit www.mattel.com for more information.

Playmates Toys
-- Half Shell Heroes: Sized for preschool hands, the Half Shell Heroes lineup allows little ones to enjoy adventures with the whole family of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles heroes and mutants.

-- 12-inch Mega Mutant Leonardo: Kids can practice ninja training with Leonardo as they control his moves, chops and kicks. The figure features over 100 phrases and karate sound effects. Recommended Age: 3+; $39.99.

Visit playmatestoys.com for more information.

Sunset Skateboards
Sunset Skateboards feature the original Flare LED wheel, are motion-powered, and their multi-colored wheels light up via kinetic energy, not batteries, and last up to 100,000 hours. Starting at $99.99.

Visit sunsetskateboards.com for more information.

VTech offers a camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch,.
Features include a 1.4 inch color touch screen, camera for taking photos and recording videos, voice recorder with 5 voice changing effects, special effects including customized photo frames, color filters and distortion effects; fun video frames, kid-durable design to withstand drops and bumps, splash proof and sweat proof, alarm clock, timer and stopwatch, rechargeable battery, micro USB cable for data transfer and battery recharging, and access to Learning Lodge to download more games and watch displays 
The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for ages 4 and up and has an MSRP of $59.99.
Visit www.vtechkids.com for more information.

Baden Sports

-- Axe Phenom Youth Baseball Bat ($79.99); Danielle Lawrie Fastpitch Bat ($79.99)
For the baseball/softball players in your family: The Axe Bat is a new bat for baseball and softball. Unlike conventional bats with round knobs and handles, the Axe Bat features an oval-shaped lower handle, an angled knob and a flush backside. The bat has been approved for play at all levels – from Little League to MLB.

-- Messi Soccer Ball: This gold soccer ball is new for the 2014 holiday season. It features the name, number and signature of international soccer star Lionel “Leo” Messi. The ball is designed to resemble FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award, given annually to the player deemed to have performed best the previous year. Messi won the award in 2010, ’11 and ’12. Proceeds from the sale of this ball benefit the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps youth get better access to education and health care.

-- Baden Color Your Ball ($18): Children can create their own, one-of-a-kind soccer ball with the Baden Color Your Ball! set. The plain-white ball features a cushioned, synthetic cover that can be drawn or colored on, allowing kids to create unlimited looks. Three colored markers are included in the box.

Visit badensports.com for more information.

Other toys

-- Sky Viper Camera Drone
A new area of technology that is making its way to toys, this is not your traditional remote control copter. This hobby-grade quadcopter comes equipped with a camera, and can take videos and photos from the sky (up to 25,000 pictures or 30 minutes of video). 
MSRP: $79.99

-- Disney Princess Palace Pets: Magic Dance Pumpkin
This interactive, remote-controlled version of Cinderella’s puppy, Pumpkin, can dance, speak and follow commands from the light-up magic wand. It’s a rare remote-controlled toy that is aimed at girls, so it should get some attention this holiday season. MSRP: $59.99

-- Hello Kitty Dance Time
From Blip Toys, this sound-activated Hello Kitty clings to any smooth surface and dances along to music. 
MSRP: $39.99

-- Lite-Brite: Vibrant pictures come to life with this new edition of the classic illumination toy, with fresh new features and enhancements including peg shapes. $19.99

-- Puppy Surprise: the ‘90s phenomenon that features a mommy dog with a surprise number of puppies in her litter (three, four or five). $24.99

-- Doc McStuffins: The cartoon TV doctor now heals patients on the go with her mobile clinic, and little docs-in-training can do the same with the latest additions to the award-winning toy line based on the top-rated Disney Junior series – including Better Talking Mobile ($49.99) and Walk N Talk Doll ($39.99)

-- Strawberry Shortcake: the sweet-scented pop culture icon has an all new toy line, including a sparkly musical Stage Playset ($24.99) and the first ever Singing Doll ($29.99)

-- Simon Handheld: The popular memory game Simon has a sleek new design and smaller size; the convenient carabiner clip makes it perfect take along anywhere. $9.99

Lawrence Hall of Science
Offerings from the Lawrence Hall of Science's Discovery Corner Toy & Book Store (which offers educational supplements, science toys, teaching guides, math games, building systems, craft-making kits, and books) include:
-- KEVA Structures
Build a trebuchet, catapult, structure, and more with KEVA box sets. Unleash your inner engineer.
-- Quantumino Puzzle
Brainteasing puzzles/games that will get the mind working. A hands-on educational tool where players learn how shapes can be transformed or arranged into predefined shapes and spaces. 
-- Chemistry Kits
Give that science wizard you know the gift of easy-to-do and fun science experiments. Learn how chemistry goes far beyond textbooks and laboratories, to explain occurrences that happen around us every day.
-- Sunprint Kit
Developed by educators at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Sunprints encourage an interest in the photographic process using only sun, water, and a bit of imagination. Place a fern, flower, or other object on the special paper and set it in the sun briefly. Then rinse the paper in water and watch as a long-lasting image appears.
Get more information at http://store.lawrencehallofscience.org/

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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