Concluding months of in-depth evaluation by dozens of kids and parents across the U.S., FamilyFun magazine compiled its 21st annual Toy of the Year award winners. The 30 selected toys, featured in the magazine’s November issue, are recognized as best-in-class for their innovation, durability, play value, safety and fun factor after being whittled down from more than 250 family games, cars, creative playsets and more.
“Whether the kids on your holiday shopping list are into art, food, music, sports or technology, this year’s winners include a toy for every taste and truly represent the best of the best in what’s new in children’s play,” said Ann Hallock, editor-in-chief of FamilyFun.
Top 10 FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award Winners for 2012:
1. Symphony in B: Young maestros can place up to six tiny instruments in an orchestra pit to hear them play together, then swap them out and around to change the tenor of the tune. With 13 instruments and 15 songs, the combinations are endless. Battat Toys; $49.99; ages 3 and up
2. Digital Light Designer: Kids’ art gets the star treatment with this glowing gizmo. Use the stylus to draw pictures and play games on the outside of the dome, then turn on the animation mode and watch the drawings spin like a top. Crayola; $49.99; ages 6 and up
3. YBike Explorer: Leaving traditional 2-wheelers in the dust, the YBike’s unique features – side-mounted steering and a quick-swivel back wheel – allow kids to skim along the pavement in style. YBike; $199.99; ages 5 to 10
4. Monster Fighters Vampyre Castle: Ideal for Lego enthusiasts and newcomers alike, this spooky castle is sure to impress young builders. The 949-piece set comes with tons of eerie extras and even glows in the dark. Lego; $99.99; ages 8 and up
5. Servin’ Surprises Kitchen and Table: Pint-sized chefs will cook up countless hours of play with this dual-purpose toy featuring a slew of cool culinary tools and sound effects. When the kitchen’s closed, the surface turns into a smooth-topped table. Fisher-Price; $79.99; ages 3 to 6
6. Marker Airbrush: In addition to the colorful creations it produces, kids and parents alike will love the Airbrush’s ease of use. Simply add any washable or fabric Crayola marker to the spray gun, give it a few pumps, and you’re ready to decorate and design. Crayola; $24.99; ages 5 and up
7. Monopoly Zapped: A favorite across generations, Monopoly has crossed into the tech world with the addition of a special app for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Testers loved the mini-games, such as Get Out of Jail, where players fling Mr. Monopoly into his waiting car. Hasbro; $29.99; ages 8 and up
8. Take Along Soccer Match: This miniature arena allows sports lovers to line up their tiny players for primetime action in anticipation of the perfect kick or header. After the winning goal is scored, simply fold the field in half for portable, on-the-go play. Playmobil; $59.99; ages 5 to 10
9. Micro Chargers Time Track: Speed demons will get a kick out of this set’s tiny racers as they zoom around the winding race track at lightning speed. Moose Toys; $34.99; ages 6 to 10
10. Go-Go-Pogo: Taking the traditional bouncing toy to new heights, this electronic pogo features built-in activities and games that encourage kids to keep the jumping fun going. Diggin Active; $49.99; ages 5 to 10