Hot Holiday Toys for 2013 - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Hot Holiday Toys for 2013

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This year, it's back to future, with high-tech toys topping many wishlists. (Source: The Toy Insider) This year, it's back to future, with high-tech toys topping many wishlists. (Source: The Toy Insider)
(Toledo News Now) -

Long gone are kids who long for old-time toys, the flashbacks from our past that were big last holiday season. This year, it's back to future, with high-tech toys topping many wishlists.

Hannah, Ben and Ellie Mayfield are all under 8 years old and are all about high-tech toys. Their mom, Megan, sees it as a sign of the times.

"They've been surrounded by these toys since they were born, and to them, it's just another thing to play with in the playroom," said Mayfield.

Laurie Schacht, of The Toy Insider, says tablets still top many wishlists this year and they're loaded with more options than ever.

With the Innotab 3S with kid connect technology…

"Kids can actually talk to their parents on their devices. They can send a text message, they can send a picture," explained Schacht.

The Kurio Touch 4S is similar to an iPod Touch, but runs on an Android operating system. It offers parental controls, and comes preloaded with more than 30 free games and apps, along with earbuds built for a child.

CNET's Dan Ackerman explains technology in toys goes way beyond tablets.

"We see a lot of toys aimed at kids now that, that echo a lot of the technology that adults use. So things have touchscreens, things have Internet connectivity. Kids kind of want to mimic what their parents are doing," explained Ackerman.

"We're seeing all this technology appear in toys for our youngest children, and it's really giving them the skills they need both for school, and eventually for everyday life, but in a fun way," said Schacht.

It's called "edutainment" and it ranges from the new LeapReader that's designed to help teach toddlers to write, to Zoomer, a dog that responds to voice commands and Robo-Me, which lets you use your iPhone or iPod Touch to customize the robot. Lego Mindstorms robots could be training future computer programmers.

"Once they build it, they have to program the whole robot, how it walks, how it talks, every movement is programmed," said Schacht.

Future fashionistas can create cool looks on the Barbie Digital Dress using LED lights. The facial tracking technology on the Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror will have young faces smiling.

"By simply pretending to put makeup on with the applicator, the makeup will show up in the mirror the kids are looking at," Schacht said.

Augmented reality plays a major role in toys, like the Skylanders SWAP Force and Disney Infinity.

"Whatever they create in the real world will jump to life on the screen in the virtual world for them to play," said Schacht.

Feel like you might be in over your head with all this technology? Schacht says it's not as complicated as it might seem.

"Most of the tech toys these days are really pretty intuitive, and the kids will probably get it almost right away," said Schacht.

"I feel like I'm learning right along with them. As they're exploring the toys, sometimes they'll have questions that they ask me and I'll, you know, I'll play with the toy, too, to kind of figure it out," said Megan Mayfield.

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