christmas toys of 2012

Retailers often count on Christmas toys to save their bottom lines, so they push the heck out of them come October or so. This year's no exception.

We all know that modern Christmas is mostly for kids, so Christmas toys are always a big part of the season. Nearly every year, a few rise above the rest in popularity. If you haven’t figured out this year’s must-have toys yet, check your TV or newspaper; you’ll see enough ads to make your head explode.

One of this year’s biggies is an upgrade of the robo-phenom Furby, somehow resurrected for the new millennium (what’s next, ninja turtles?). We’ve already covered that craze, so let’s look at some other popular Christmas gifts for kids.

For Da Girls

If you’re the parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or distant cousin of a girl under the age of seven, you’ve probably heard the term “Lalaloopsy” often enough in the past year that you never want to hear it again. We feel your pain.

If you’ve never heard it, just know that Lalaloopsy is the brand name of a growing line of dolls with odd-looking hair and button eyes. Literally button eyes, the kind that appear sewed on, like those of the eerie clones in Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline.”

The brainchildren of MGA Entertainment, Lalas come in a variety of sizes.


Lalaloopsies also come with plenty of accessories, many of which are Sold Separately. Think of them as Barbie dolls for the modern age, when button eyes and stick figure legs are as acceptable as unrealistic feminine measurements were a few years back.

But at least Babs has the dream house and the ambiguously gay boyfriend. Yay!

Anyway: expect to pay up to $60 for your larger Lalas, especially if they become the must-have, fight-causing toys of the year.

For the Lads

Unless you count Furbies, there aren’t any overwhelmingly standout toys for the young gents this year. However, there are some rather appealing possibilities, including Squinkies, those funny-looking little figurines that always remind me of the hilarious little yellow minions from the movie “Despicable Me.”

Don’t ask me why. They just do. Especially the new Simpsons versions.

Then there are the Trash Pack collectibles, hundreds in number, that come in little plastic trash cans and represent, well, awful stuff you find in the trash. Don’t ask. But these will surely appear to the same kind of kid who likes to eat asparagus just because it makes his pee smell funny.

Then Again…

If you have a slightly more refined child (or child-man), consider the really cool figurines based on characters in the upcoming “The Hobbit” movie, which Your Humble Writer is eagerly anticipating. A company called Bridge Direct makes really cool ones, complete with removable weapons.

And of course, LEGO makes its own versions. And what Christmas toys collection would be complete without LEGOs?