Best Bet Toys for 2009

by DaniGirl on November 15, 2008 · 6 comments

in Consumer culture, Life, the Universe and Everything

[Edited to add: Click this link for information on the most recent CTTC Toy Report for 2010.]

Apparently, I’m a creature of habit and tradition. (Who knew?) Each year since 2005, I’ve blogged about the Canadian Toy Testing Council’s annual Toy Reports. I love these reports because they aren’t sponsored by any company or store; toys are tested and rated by Canadian kids and families. You can search for a particular toy to see how it ranks and what families did and did not like about the toy, or you can peruse the Best Bet listings for the best-ranked toys of the year. There’s also a “children’s choice” category, and breakdowns by age group.

This year’s Best Bet toys include old standards like playdough (in this case a Diego/Backyardigans combo), Brio trains, Lego, and a handful of Crayola sets. They also recommend a Musical Bingo game which sounds kind of intriguing and an indoor Scavenger Hunt game from Pazow that I might just have to pick up for my little scavengers.

If you’re looking for recommendations for great kids’ books, you can get that from the CTTC site, or you can hop over to Mad Hatter’s blog and take a look at her ongoing series on the subject.

This year, our Christmas gifts to the boys will skew toward their current obsessions with Lego, Pokemon (choke), and Star Wars. Simon loves board games as much as I do, so we’ll add to our family collection of those, too. And while I’m guessing Lucas would be just as content to play with the wrappings as the toys inside, I’ve got one of these classic FP telephones stashed away for him, too. Some toys never go out of style!

Got a favourite toy or gift to recommend?


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Treemama November 15, 2008 at 11:23 am

We have the Scavenger hunt game and the girls love it! We haven’t hit the Pokemon fascination yet, but Em’s went on the Neopets website to day and I am 36 years old but it baffled me.

2 Mad November 15, 2008 at 11:53 am

I went over to the site after watching the awards on the news last night. There were a couple of items my daughter might like and the scavenger hunt was one. The dry erase board with templates was the other. What she wants for Christmas is a kids digital camera but, every time I start reading reviews about how crappy their images are, I cringe. I don’t suppose you own one and could give me either a thumbs up or down?

Also, thanks for the link. I hope to have the next post in the series up for Monday.

3 DaniGirl November 15, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Why, Mad, as a matter of fact I *do* and I *can*! Tristan got the Little Tykes digital camera for Christmas last year, and he loves it. The images are not so stellar as my fancy-ass Nikon, but also not so poor as the previous mini-digital camera (with a Disney logo on it) that we’d got him before.

It has a flash, which makes for much nicer indoor shots, but it’s also a battery whore. Beloved, the digital arts professional, says they’re pretty much a glorified webcam — good for online but not so great for prints. (We haven’t tried to print any, but they make decent pix for viewing online.)

I tried to get a few pix off our camera, but the batteries are currently dead. I’ve been meaning to replace them for a while, so when I do I’ll post a few pix. Tristan seems to enjoy the taking of the photos far more than looking at them on the computer anyway, and there’s a nice little viewscreen on the camera itself. In general, I’d give it an easy thumbs up for the price we paid for it — around $35.

4 snackmommy2 November 16, 2008 at 12:38 am

I saw the article on the toy list in today’s paper and thought. Hmmmm, I wonder why Dani didn’t blog on it this year…I should have known.

We have the travel addition of the Pazow Scavenger Hunt and it was good for about 1 hr in the car….seriously. I look forward to picking up the indoor version.

Thanks Dani!

5 mrsgryphon November 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Our Bean has the classic Fisher Price phone you linked to… and a couple of months ago she asked me what it was!! When I told her it was a phone, she said “But Mommy, it not have any buttons! It need buttons!” Oh, to be born in the digital age. We had rotary phones and a party-line when I was growing up!!

Thanks for the link to the toy guide, I’ll be checking it out!!

6 Mad Hatter November 17, 2008 at 10:41 am

Cool. You’re a peach.

Also, I hope to comment on your latest post but not before I bleed out that next post in my series. I MUST GET IT DONE.

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