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Best high-tech toys for kids this season

Still deciding what to get for your kids? Consumer Reports ShopSmart tested some of this season's best high-tech toys.
December 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a busy time of year for the toy industry. About eighty percent of the $20 billion in annual toy sales comes during the holidays.

Maybe the best indicator of a good toy is the look on a child's face. More and more, technology is popping up in our children's playrooms, and Consumer Reports ShopSmart has picked some of this season's best high-tech toys and put them to the ultimate test -- having real kids play with them.

The Fisher-Price Fortress would be fun for any kid. But adding in an iPad makes it irresistible.

"When you put the iPad in, it suddenly becomes a whole different game because you're actually playing videogames in conjunction with the fortress, and the whole story ties together. It's just a blast," said Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports ShopSmart.

The Imaginext Apptivity Fortress is $50. Classic toys like Barbie have integrated LED technology, bringing her little black dress to a whole new level. Young designers pick colors and animate their creations. Barbie and her digital dress cost $50.

A kid favorite is the littleBits Kit, a box of magnetized electronic modules that let you build a working circuit. The littleBits base kit, at $100, contains a lot of inspiration.

A really good science book becomes a really great interactive science book when you download amazing animations on your smartphone.

At $20, the Interactive Planets 3D from Popar brings the solar system alive. With a good dose of creativity and imagination, technology can be child's play.

Kids' tablets are also likely to be a popular toy this holiday season.

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