Gayle Anderson was live in Valencia to learn about the HOT HOLIDAY TOYS 2014 according to TIME TO PLAY MAGAZINE toy expert Chris Byrne and to preview the December 5th and 6th MAGIC MOUNTAIN TOYS FOR THE HOLIDAYS toy drive.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that there will be a 4.1% increase in holiday spending from 2013, when spending on holiday trimmings, gifts, and more, averaged $767.27 per person for a holiday total of $592,660. While many stores are open Thanksgiving Day this year, not everyone is eager to shop during the holiday. Generational differences exist! Forty-three per cent of Millenials (ages 18-34) say they shopped Thanksgiving Day 2013, which is up from 36% in 2012.
Did you know? Four out of 10 holiday shoppers began shopping for holiday gifts before Halloween last year, according to the 2013 NRF Consumer Spending Survey.
While traditional toys still top the lists for boys and girls each holiday season, the top toy purchased for boys in 2013 was Legos, while the top toy purchased for girls was an iPad/tablet.
Not sure what to buy for the young and young at heart on your holiday gift list? Chris Byrne, The Toy Guy, from TIME TO PLAY MAGAZINE, has selected some of the best new toys for this holiday season to help give you some ideas of what’s popular this year.
HOT HOLIDAY TOYS 2014:
AIR STORM FIRETEK BOW
Light up the day or night with the new Firetek Bow from Zing Brand Toys! The latest addition to the Air Storm line of “parent-approved” launchers is the ultimate foam bow and arrow archery toy – now with blazing LED light-up power for an illuminating effect for any type of target practice! Just hook the Zonic Blaze whistle-screaming arrow into the fast-load loops, a safe-and-secure pulley system that can only sling the soft-foam arrows, then pull back and it’s “Ready, Aim Fire!” Watch as the Firetek Bow lights up the sky and sends arrows screaming through the air up to 145 feet – a thrill factor for kids ages 8-and-up and parents alike. Comes with three Zonic Blaze glowing whistle-screaming arrows, included in packaging.
Players collect and win in this new magnetic game. The Bungees are brightly colored characters that are part earthly and part alien with an inner magnetism that helps them secure new territory. The different play pattern gives users multiple ways to play by aiming their Bungees at scoring targets; a flick of the finger is all it takes to compete.
$9.99 (single) $19.99 (3 pack)
Collect eight different palm-sized interactive, colorful birds that sing different tunes. One is fun, but the real magic is building a choir of many birds together.
DISNEY INFINITY: MARVEL SUPER HEROES
$74.99 (individual characters $13.99)
A follow-up to last year’s hybrid toy/video game for PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox, The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack features the 2.0 game software, the Disney Infinity 2.0 Base, Marvel’s The Avengers Play Set with three character figures (Iron Man, Black Widow and Thor), two Toy Box Game Discs, a web code card and countless hours of creative play in the all-‐new Toy Box 2.0. The new game introduces interactive Super Hero figures from across the Marvel universe with original Play Set storylines written with the help of award-‐winning Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis. Each new character brings a variety of super-‐powered and unique gameplay mechanics such as flying, web slinging, wall crawling, wall smashing and more.
DISNEY STORE’S FROZEN ANNA & ELSA ROLE PLAY DRESSES
Disney Consumer Products
One of the year’s hottest properties, the Elsa and Anna dresses from Frozen are designed with complete authenticity. Elsa’s dress recreates the aqua blue gown with all the glittering sequins, snowflakes, and tulle. Anna’s dress’s colorful layers of satin and organza cover a black velvet bodice decorated with glittering screen art flowers and a detachable cape with faux fur trim.
DESPICABLE ME 2 BEE-DO FIREMAN MINION STUART
Press the soft and huggable Fireman Minion’s tummy to hear his original voice, SFX, and “Bee-Do” siren with flashing headgear. Squeeze his left hand for normal chat mode and echo SFX.
GIRL MAZING RADIO CONTROL
Have you always wanted a Lamborghini? Here’s your chance! Girlmazing is a fun, bright and colorful line of licensed, customizable R/C cars that girls will love. Choose a vehicle that best suits your personality and express your style with customizable stickers (20 stickers included).
GRAPHIC SKINZ DESIGN STUDIO
Mega Brands America
Customize and create like never before with the new Graphic Skinz Design Studio. The battery-operated super-suction vacuum chamber applies full-color graphics to 3D objects such as toys, models, cell phone cases, jewelry, and just about any object that fits into the chamber.
$19.99 (cars), $24.99 (trucks)
No more batteries! This new R/C line includes built-in, rechargeable batteries with a USB cable for multiple charging options. Simply plug the USB adapter into any powered USB port like on a desktop computer, laptop, gaming console, car charger, smart phone adaptor, or wall unit. A 90-minute quick-charge provides 20 minutes of run time.
The fourth generation of kids’ learning tablets features its fastest processor yet with up to six times the processing power and a 7” high-resolution multi-touch screen display. It gives kids the best of both learning worlds with a huge existing library of age-appropriate, educator-supported learning apps.
KIDIZOOM SMART WATCH
A smart watch for kids with camera, video, and photo effect features as well as built-in learning games and a clock on an easy-to-use 1.4” color touch screen. It’s PC and Mac compatible and comes in four vibrant colors.
Gaming just got smarter with LeapTV active video gaming system. Kids can learn through motion as they jump, dance and more. With a library of 100+ LeapFrog educator‐approved game cartridges, game downloads and videos, kids will never run out of fun! The LeapTV system gets kids into the action while teaching core skills across reading, mathematics, science and problem solving. Games adapt to each child’s level—starting with age, and then automatically adjusting the learning for just the right challenge.
MEGA BLOKS FIRST BUILDERS FAST TRACKS RACEWAY
Drivers, start your engines! Gear up and get ready for some high-‐speed adventures with the Fast Tracks Racing Team by Mega Bloks First Builders. Your littlest racecar driver can build with the tracks and blocks and mix and match the racecars for endless play. Use the colorful stickers to create even more imaginary fun.
POKEMON BATTLE READY PIKACHU
Pikachu launches foam discs either off your shoulder or on a tabletop or floor. Includes Pikachu, an adjustable backpack harness with storage compartment, 12 foam discs and batteries. Let the battle begin!
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE STAGE PLAYSET & SINGING DOLL
The Bridge Direct
$29.99 (doll); $24.99 (playset)
Strawberry Shortcake and Cherry Jam take center stage as they put on a rockin’ live performance. The stage sparkles with berry bright lights and plays musical clips of two popular Sweet Beats songs – “Invincible” and “The Real Music in You” – from the TV series, Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures that airs on The Hub network. Glammed-up 6-inch Strawberry and Cherry dolls are included, along with Cherry’s guitar and a microphone with stand. Other Sweet Beats dolls, such as Plum Pudding and Raspberry Torte, are sold separately. Another doll in the line is an 11-inch singing Strawberry dressed in a sparkly ensemble with a guitar, microphone, comb and a wear & share hair bow that girls can wear too. When Strawberry’s microphone is raised to her mouth, she sings and gives “shout-outs” to the audience. Girls can also hear her strum the guitar, play some rockin' riffs and hum along with the push of a button.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 GIANT WEB SLINGING SPIDER-MAN FIGURE
Disney Consumer Products
This 14-inch scale figure blasts either Spidey Web Fluid (included) or water by activating the button on Spidey’s back. Kids will have a blast slinging webs and defeating villains just like their favorite Marvel Super Hero.
THE AMAZING ZHU MAGICIAN PETS
These special Zhus are motorized pets that perform magic tricks and gravity-defying stunts. They can correctly guess the answers to the Magician's Cards - without even looking, follow the Magic Wand wherever you lead them, or predict the pea's location in the Shell Game trick – every time. These talented pets can also perform stunts – including the High Dive and High Wire acts as well as the disappearing box!
Share the spirit of the holidays, help spread some joy to children all over Southern California AND spend a day enjoying the largest collection of coasters in town at the 2014 TOYS FOR THE HOLIDAYS TOY DRIVE at Six Flags Magic Mountain Saturday, December 6th and Sunday, December 7th. Bring a new, unwrapped toy (valued at $20 or more) to the donation booth at Six Flags Magic Mountain and receive a FREE general admission ticket for the day.
Toys must be new, unwrapped, and in their original packaging with the price tag or receipt attached. Books, movies, CDs and videogames do not qualify as toys.
In the more than 28 years since Six Flags Magic Mountain has sponsored toy drives, more than 600,000 toys have been collected for Southern California youngsters making it one of the single most successful long running holiday toy drive campaigns in the United States. All toys collected during this year’s two day event will be distributed to thousands of children through local charities including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern California.
Currently, the park is open daily through Sunday, November 30th and then on weekends through Sunday, December 14th. The park will be open Saturday, December 20th through Wednesday, December 31st (except Christmas Day). For more information, about the toy drive and park hours, call (661) 255-4111 or click HERE.
HOT HOLIDAY TOYS 2014 List
Chris Byrne, The Toy Guy
2014 TOYS FOR THE HOLIDAYS TOY DRIVE
Saturday, December 6th
Sunday, December 7th
Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
National Retail Federation
325 7th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004