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Season's best toys for children on your list

November 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
From the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls of decades ago to Tickle Me Elmo a few years back, there's always one hot toy that the kids are dreaming of during the holidays. Here are the top toys making wish lists this year, along with a few tips on how to be sure you get your hands on them.

Figuring out what to buy kids can be an issue. That's where Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht saves the day. She says ultimately there are four hot groups to select from.

The first is tech, no matter what the age.

"They're swiping before they're speaking sometimes, and we're embracing it because they're really learning the digital skills that they need for the 21st century," said Schacht.

For the little guys, the LeapPad2 is out now with a second camera and faster processer. Meantime, the iPad is all the rage for just about every other age. And now your tech can actually turn into a game controller, and can be used for remote-controlled toys. The remote-controlled Wi-Spi helicopter is sure to be hot.

"Once they're airborne, they can take pictures, videos and share on all their social networks immediately," said Schacht.

Want something more traditional than tech? Construction toys are the second category. Lego released a line for girls these days. There are also chunkier versions for toddlers with littler hands. Even Angry Birds is into the build-it craze.

"You're actually building the Angry Bird set, just like you see on the app," said Schacht.

Crafts are the third category. From a huge toy train you can color and crawl through to the Crayola Marker Airbrush set to the Haute Couture Fashion Studio design set.

"Comes with fabric and cloth, everything they need, including mannequins and a real working sewing machine," said Schacht.

Pop culture rounds out the final toy category. And this year, Chuggington is taking train enthusiasm to a new level. There's a radio-controlled Batman car that comes pre-programmed with commands. Disney's Doc McStuffins is in demand, along with Merida from "Brave" and Angus, her horse.

One more thing to keep in mind: Retailers are not restocking, so if you see something that's really high on your child's list, you should probably buy it because it may not be there later.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.