Want to get a toy that will thrill your kids for more than 20 minutes? Consumer Reports ShopSmart Magazine scouted the store shelves, then had its electronics reporter key in on some great choices.
Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports says, "We were looking for toys that would be fun to play but that would also build skills and that the whole family would want to play together."
One hit - the $13 Techno Source 20-Q for kids six and up.
Two youngsters demonstrated, saying, ""We're thinking of an elephant. Sssshhhh!"
It's an electronic-take on the old-fashioned 20 questions game.
They continue playing and say, "Is it bigger than a sofa?' 'Yeah.' 'Yes.'"
If it guesses your object in 20 or fewer questions, it wins. If not, you do.
They respond, ""'Is it an elephant?' 'It got it right!'"
Carol says, "We were shocked, it beat us nine out of 10 times!"
The $30 Paper Jamz Pro Mic, for kids eight and up, will thrill your budding musician.
One sang, "Like it's dyn-o-mite."
It even corrects your voice if you sing off-key. Rock on!
Kids two to six can jam with B Toys' Meowsic Music Keyboard and Microphone, for $26.
Play it freestyle or play along to 20 included songs.
And mini-moviemakers five and up will love the Hot Wheels Video Racer. It's a little more expensive at $60, but the built-in camera records Hot Wheel action, or the car straps onto a helmet for an action cam!
One exclaimed, "Boo-yah."
Or, you can go low-tech with the $20 Tetris Link, for kids six and up.
This fast-paced stacking game can challenge the whole family.
Consumer Reports ShopSmart says another cool toy is the Wild Planet's Ultimate Night Vision Goggles for kids eight and up. The goggles use infrared technology to let you see in the dark.
They cost $50. And when it comes to powering up your favorite elecronic toys, Consumer Reports suggests rechargeable batteries, which give you the most bang for your buck.