Top 10 Tech Toys for Kids
Holidays mean many things to many people, but for kids? It's all about the toys. Just ask Santa -- gifts have come a long way since Lincoln Logs and paper dolls first hit the scene. Of course, we think those relics are still pretty fun, but today's toy lists typically contain more technology than a NASA mission. Here are 10 of our favorite tech toys for 2010.
1. Lego MP3 player
Why we like it: This very cool iPod alternative should win an award for Most Descriptive Product Name Ever. It is, indeed, an MP3 player that looks like it was made from LEGO bricks. Note that we said "looks like." While kids can snap more bricks onto the top or the bottom of the device, it can't be taken apart. (Well, not without a hammer. And we don't recommend doing that.) The 2GB of internal memory will hold up to 500 songs, or you can add more with an SD card.
Get it: Amazon, $39.31, ages 7 to 15
Why we like it: "I am a real working video camera!" Barbie declares on her website. While that statement may not be the "I have a Ph.D in physics!" some parents were hoping for, it's a start. This high-tech addition to the classic doll line includes a camera in Barbie's necklace that allows kids to make their own movies. Then they can then watch them on the screen in Barbie's back, or upload the clips to a computer with a USB cable.
Get it: AOL Shopping, $55, ages 5 to 10
Why we like it: Kids are tough on their toys, especially those of the electronic variety, but this camera is built to withstand whatever punishment your little ones can dish out. It comes with everything your budding Spielbergs need to start making movies right away, including a built-in screen so they can preview their cinematic creations. Aaaand ... action!
Get it: Amazon, $45, ages 36 months to 6
Why we like it: The Easy Bake Oven is still around, but Disney's kid-friendly culinary contribution is much cooler. Can your Easy Bake Oven make a cake rise when you wave a magic wand? Hello? We know, way cool. The box includes the all-important ingredients you'll need to get baking, so you can commence with the goodies immediately.
Get it: Toys"R"Us, $25, ages 3 to 5
Why we like it: This interactive truck can talk, stand up and play with your child. Basically, it will do everything but take out the actual trash. And, with a name like Stinky, how can this toy not be tons of fun?
Get it: AOL Shopping, $49, ages 3 and up
Why we like it: A good spy must be a master of disguise, but even 007 gets help from his gadgets sometimes. This latest offering in the Spy Net line lets your junior espionage agent make use of six different voice effects to aid in make-believe missions.
Get it: Amazon, $9.99, ages 8 to 15
Why we like it: Do you have a teenager who has been very, very good? Consider rewarding him or her with the Robonica Roboni - I. This is more than a mere toy -- it's a fully programmable robot. Just don't blame us if it develops a mind of its own and takes over your house.
Get it: Amazon, $147.06, ages 13 and up
Why we like it: The Nintendo Wii proved that playing video games doesn't have to mean parking your butt on the couch. Kinect is the Microsoft Xbox answer to motion-based gaming. Those who already own an Xbox can get connected with a standalone Kinect, or you can pick up a fully-loaded system that comes with everything you need to get in the game.
Get it: AOL Shopping, $149 (just Kinect), $299 (full system with a 4 GB console), $399 (full system with a 250 GB console), age range varies depending on game
Why we like it: It's an action figure! It's a giant LEGO man! It's a flash light! Actually, it's all three. This walking flash light is powered by a hand crank, which means it's as green as the tree on your lawn. As a bonus, the kids will get some exercise cranking up the built-in batteries.
Get it: Amazon, $18.67, ages 5 to 15
Why we like it: What's cooler than a lightsaber? How about a double lightsaber? That spins! And comes apart to make TWO lightsabers! And makes totally awesome lightsaber noises! This might just be the greatest Star Wars toy ever.
Get it: Amazon, $29, ages 5 and up
Editor's note: Prices were accurate at publishing time.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.