Toys Are US: The Gifts You’ve Got to Get


By Estelle Sobel Erasmus

My daughter loves playing with toys. That’s why when she recently had an opportunity to trial play with some of the hottest toys of the season at the Big Toy Book’s Biggest Day of Holiday play blogger event (#TBTBHoliday), we hightailed it to the city on a Saturday morning to find out what the buzz was all about.

Here are some of her favorites from the day and links to find more information:

Hasbro Koosh 

She loved using the little-hands-friendly KOOSH ball launchers (see pics above), and mom (me) loved that each colorful ball launcher in the KOOSH Galaxy series uses balls that are soft (so they won’t hurt) while she plays.



Letting the KOOSH loose


Drip Drops

This new, digital preschool toy has adorable characters that use art, color, reading and positive reinforcement  to teach problem-solving and teamwork. The Story of the Drip Drops eBook is now available as a free download in the ITunes Bookstore and Google Play.

My Magical Wand Cinderella (Tollytots)

My daughter is just the right age (3 1/2) for this, and  loves to wave her magic wand and then have Cinderalla’s story come to life in lights. The Disney Princess doll tells her tale as images from the story (the clock, the castle, the coach) magically light up on her skirt. She can sing along to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo as she brushes the doll’s beautiful hair and puts on her shimmering tiara. $49.99


Boogie Board

The ultra-thin, highly portable (read: plane, train and car-friendly) Boogie Board LCD eWriters are the eco-friendly, electronic paperless replacement for memo pads or  sticky notes. You can use them to write, draw, play Tic Tac Toe, or practice writing skills. And they’re cute to boot.




Mystixx Vampires (Dolls)


My daughter clamored for the stunning two-faced, vampire doll Mystixx®  Vampire Dolls with purple hair. There are actually four dolls with the backstory that they are popular girls at school by day and powerful vampires at night, which makes it possible to transform the doll’s personality with a twist of its head.  Each doll has two distinct faces, two complete outfits, two interchangeable wigs, 2 pairs of shoes and accessories for $19.99. The dolls are sold exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us® and

Just Play Toys


My daughter had a lot of fun playing in Minnie’s Kitchen. She also bounced with Tigger and fixed boo-boos with Doc McStuffins.




She was able to get creative with the LITE BRIX™ Super Light Building System from Cra-Z-Art®. The light-up building construction set has vibrant sparkling lights in each translucent brick, allowing her to turn her creation into a beautifully lit masterpiece for day or night. What I love is that they’re compatible with our other bricks, and the battery powered LEDs cycle through four different colors. The full Lite Brix™ line is available at Toys R Us stores nationwide, Barnes and Noble and select other retailers, and prices start at $19.99.

 Fly Line

My daughter experienced being a pilot with the FlyLine. With the help of an instructor (not provided with the toy), she tested her skill at controlling a plane at supersonic scale speeds.  To see the adrenaline-packed experience in action check this out.





She loves the fuzzy friends with changeable faces, and enjoys wearing them on her shoulders or in her hair. Each POMZ character has a built-in clip on the back that lets you attach it to backpacks, pencils, hats, or even your hair. The character faces snap on and off so you can mix and match and trade the characters.

Yummy Dough

This was right up her alley. For kids of all ages it’s a cinch to have fun with a sweet-to-eat dough that combines creative crafting with the joy of baking in a just-add-water mix. They are even offering my reader’s a promo code (BOGODOUGH) until January 1, 2013, for a buy one-get one-free Yummy Dough at 

And last but not least, there’s Slinky®, which I have fond childhood memories of watching slowly, yet gracefully descend down the stairs. My daughter loves playing with its spiral shape, and I take delight that such a precious part of my youth continues to entertain and amuse yet another generation.

Yes, the toys were great, but it’s also always nice to meet new friends!



Everything on this list is something I would buy for myself. We received a few of these items to review. 

What are some of your favorite toys that you gave or received this holiday season?







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