It’s really hard to tell sometimes.

Are the toys that end up under the Christmas tree really what the child wants or are they there because the parent(s) are living vicariously through their kids or even harkening back to their own childhood.

It could explain why Easy-Bake Ovens and Hot Wheels are still among the top selling toys just about every holiday season.

Then again, maybe the kids themselves yearn to have toys that their parents loved as kids.

“We hear from children, teachers and experts that although high-tech toys continue to be the most popular with kids of all ages, retro is making a comeback,” said Sara Sinek, of, in July to the Meeglo Stocks Investment blog. “Kids are discovering toys and crafts from their parent’s era and are adding them to their holiday wish lists this year.”

This year’s top selling toys are expected to have a good mix of high-tech and retro, along with blockbuster movies like “The Avengers” and “Transformers” cashing in on a few more bucks before the next commercially-driven silver screen hit infiltrates the minds of the little ones like a not-so-subliminal message.

Here are some that top this year’s list:

• Mini-tablets. The three main ones are the Tabeo Tablet for Kids, LeapPad 2 and Inno Tab, but others are available as well. All virtually do the same thing — keep the little ones off the adult tablets — while educating and entertaining at the same time.

• Furby. It’s back. Remember the odd furry figure that responded to voice commands? It needs to be fed and taken care of and now can be synced with iPad apps.

• Master Moves Mickey (M3). Think of a break-dancing Mickey Mouse with eight original tracks that kids will find catchy, but not as fun as all of Mickey’s dance moves.

• Hot Wheels Remote Control Terrain Twister. Consider it a challenge. It’s called an all-terrain vehicle. So give it a shot. Try the rocks, dirt and sand of South Mountain. Or take it to the green way in the neighborhood and see how it does there.

• Gadget The Robot. Another Vtech product that loves to sing and dance that will teach children of all ages when fed energy chips.


Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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