Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Hottest Toys of the Season - 2009 Guide for Suffolk County, Long Island


   It's that time of year again. Before you step inside the mall or wrack your brain trying to come up with the perfect holiday gift idea for your little one, read on. We spoke to managers of Suffolk toy stores for their recommendations this holiday season.

   Rose Marie Kurt, manager of Learning Tower Toys ( in Port Jefferson Station says that items made out of cloth are hot this year. She recommends Pockets of Learning, which makes a variety of cloth products for children up to 3 years old, including wall hangings and cloth books "that kids carry with them so parents can start reading with them everywhere they go," she says. The books come with zippered pockets and handles for easy carrying, and is filled with pages of learning activities. For kids 18 months and up, the company makes cloth Press & Dress Dolls, modeled after paper dolls. Kids interchange clothes that feature Velcro for easy pressing and dressing. Kurt also recommends soft books shaped like animals by Jelly Cat.

   For girls, mosaics and anything by Klutz, including jewelry-making, knitting, croqueting, and embroidery, are popular, while both girls and boys will enjoy science experiment kits to explore volcanoes, test their DNA, or create video recorders and FM radios with Snap Circuit kits by Elenco. Games like Double Shutter by Blue Orange Games, which utilizes math probability and strategy, and the anagram game, Bananagrams, are also selling.

   April Jager, owner of Chosen One Collectible Toys in West Babylon (631-669-3169) ‎ specializes in selling action figures and says the hottest toys this year are Star Wars figures and the chrome wars and Halo action figures. All types of Tokidoki toys are popular, particularly the cactus pups for little girls. Jager says the Christmas Peanuts figures are a hit item for ages 6 and up.

   Read on for top recommendations by Jonathan Samet and Laurie Schacht, copublishers of The Toy Insider.



Ages 0-2

Elmo Tickle HandsElmo Tickle Hands, 18 mos+

Touch a surface with Elmo's interactive hand and it will vibrate. Kids will hear silly sound effects and fun phrases. In dance mode, the hands recognize movements and guide kids through Elmo's new dance. $29.99 Fisher-Price, 


Mega Bloks Play N Go TableMega Bloks Play 'N Go Table, 1+

Kids can build right on top of this table and store pieces inside. With fold-up legs and a carry handle, it's great for travel. Comes with 20 Maxi Mega Bloks, four scenes, stickers, a figure, and a vehicle. $39.99 Mega Brands, 


My Pal Scout and My Pal VioletMy Pal Scout & My Pal Violet, 6 mos+

These plush puppies can be personalized with the child's name and favorite things, which are then incorporated into activities, songs, and dialogue. Parents can customize Scout's playlist online. $19.99 LeapFrog, 


Tonka Chuck My Talking TruckTonka Chuck My Talking Truck, 2+

This friendly truck is fully interactive and will roll forward when called. Chuck has over 40 onboard phrases to encourage play, such as "We've got work to do!" $29.99 Tonka, 



Ages 3-5

1-2-3 Stomp! 1-2-3 Stomp!, 3+

Kids stomp their feet to send numbers flying, then run to retrieve them. It can be played solo or in teams, indoors or out. Starts with color and number recognition, advances to more complex commands. $19.99 Wild Planet,



Liv DollsLiv Dolls, 5+

Each Liv doll opens an online world featuring the doll's daily diaries, fashions in their virtual closet, webisodes, games, and more. Dolls are easy to pose, and interchangeable wigs allow for easy, fun hair play! $17.99 Spin Master,



Rocky the Robot TruckRocky the Robot Truck, 3+

This fully functional dump truck will have kids laughing as he stands up, squats, shakes, tells jokes, and dances. Rocky has interactive sensors, his lights flash, and he says over 100 phrases. $59.99 Matchbox,



Tightrope TerrorTightrope Terror, 5+

GX Racers are the new standard of insane speed and amazing action. Complete with a tight rope over 10 feet long, Tightrope Terror allows kids to race their car on a thread! $19.99 Jakks Pacific,



Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime, 5+

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Optimus PrimeIn robot mode, this mighty warrior features electronic speech and light-up eyes and chest. In truck mode, get in gear with engine revving, racing and cool conversion sounds that let you know this hero means business! $44.99 Hasbro,,


Zippity Learning SystemZippity Learning System, 3+

LeapFrog and Disney introduce a TV-based gaming system for preschoolers that combines full body movement, music, education, and fun. Kids dance on the foldable mat and use the bopper to play games wirelessly with Disney characters. $79.99 LeapFrog,


Ages 6-8

Air Hogs Zero Gravity LaserAir Hogs Zero Gravity Laser, 8+

The latest evolution in indoor all-surface R/C racing. This fully functional R/C car drives on the floor, up the walls, and even upside down! Its laser guided control allows it to go wherever you point it. $39.99 Spin Master,



Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxuz DragonoidBakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Dragonoid, 5+

Introducing the most incredible Bakugan yet! The Maxus Drago combines six Bakugan Trap and one Dragonoid Bakugan to create the ultimate monster. Package includes one Gate Card and one Ability Card. $39.99 Spin Master,, 



Battle Strikers Turbo Tops Tournament SetBattle Strikers Turbo Tops Tourament Set, 6+

The next generation of battling tops. Rev them up with a Turbo Launcher, then control their movement as you battle with a magnetic finger controller featuring MagNext technology. Set includes two Strikers, two Launchers, two Controllers, and the arena. Starter Set $14.99, Deluxe Set $34.99 Mega Brands,



Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Jewel FactoryGirl Gourmet Sweets Candy Jewel Factory, 8+

Little fashionistas can design, bake, wear, and eat candy necklaces, bracelets, and rings! Just fill the molds with the candy chips and pellets and add sprinkles to decorate. Bake for seven minutes and mold into sweet creations! $29.99 Jakks Pacific,



Moxie GirlzMoxie Girlz, 6+

Moxie Girlz encourage girls to embrace their individuality and "Be True! Be You!" Themes include art and fashion, hair styling, and music, allowing girls to express themselves in a variety of ways. $19.99 MGA Entertainment,



Printies Design Studio KitsPrinties Design Studio Kits, 6+

Turn your own designs into stuffed animals! Design online at, print your creation onto fabric sheets, and fill with stuffing. No sewing, cutting, or ironing required. With millions of combinations, what will you create? $19.99 Techno Source,


Ages 8+

Power Miners Titanium Command RigPower Miners Titanium Command Rig, 8+

Transform the rig from a vertical drilling platform that pulverizes rock with its titanium planetary drill to a powerful escape vehicle! Examine the caged blue rock monster in the lab, but watch out for his partner! $99.99 Lego, 



Star Wars the Force TrainerStar Wars the Force Trainer, 8+

The deeper your concentration and mental focus, the greater your ability to move the Training Sphere up or down the Training Tower. Progress from Padawan to Jedi Master as you use "The Force" through all 15 levels. $84.99 Uncle Milton, 



Style Six Silk ScreenerStyle Six Silk Screener, 8+

Kids can tap into their creative side with the Silk Screener by layering on trendy printed graphics to T-shirts and other fashion pieces! Simply clamp the fabric into the frame, choose a stencil, and roll on the paint. $39.99 Jakks Pacific,

Twilight Scene It? The DVD GameTwilight Scene It? The DVD Game: Deluxe Edition, 13+

Test your Twilight movie knowledge with this Scene It? game! This game features heart-stopping movie clips, questions, and puzzlers from the hugely popular Twilight franchise and includes content from this fall's film, New Moon. $39.99 Screenlife,



Also see:

Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Dolls Galore

Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Toys for Boys