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The 11 Best Toys of 2009: Toy Industry Awards

Every year, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) selects the best representatives of 11 categories of U.S. toys.  They are selected on the basis of  excellence of product design and safety, creativity and novelty, and overall presentation. (Awards guidelines)  This year's line up of Toy of the Year (TOTY) winners include some breakthrough technologies that adults will appreciate as much as their kids enjoy playing with them

So here are the best toys of 2009:

 

1. Boy Toy of the Year – Bakugan Battle Brawlers BattlePack Series 1 Spheres, Spin Master

and

(Grand Prize) Toy of the Year – Bakugan Battle Brawlers BattlePack Series 1 Spheres, Spin Master

 

The Bakugan game is a lifestyle for boys aged 5 to 15.  The game revolves around the Bakugan Battle Brawlers which are not-of-this-earth magnet-loaded fighting figures that look very innocent in their non-fighting phase -- that being a ball.  But when one ball hits another or a special magnetic card, the BattleBrawler is aroused  from its ball-sleep and watch out; it's ready to fight!  Strategy is involved in this game and there are limitlessBakugan Battle Brawlers to collect.  The Bakugan Battle Brawlers BattlePack Series 1 Spheres is the starter kit.

 

 

 

 

2.  Property of the Year – Bakugan Battle Brawlers,Cartoon Network

The Bakukan Battle Brawlers TV show has become a popular anime for preteens on Saturday morning's Cartoon Network (11:00 E/P). You can check scheduling or see complete past episodes on the Cartoon Network website.  There are also Bakugan Battle Brawlers, DVDs!

 

 

 

3.  Activity Toy of the Year – Crayola Color Wonder™ Magic Light Brush,Crayola LLC

Crayonsare out, the Magic Light Brush is in.  Crayola packs magic into a basickit including a 30-page Color Wonder paper tablet and a light up brushwith 6 colors of Color Wonder Gel Paint.  Can you say 'No mess?'  Thebrush recognizes the color of the Gel Paint and lights up in thatcolor.  When applied to the coloring book, the brush lights up the page with the color. True Magic. Other neat related items are available, such as the Crayola Glow Station and the Crayola Color Explosion Glow Board.

 

 

4.  Educational Toy of the Year – LeapFrog TAG™ Reading System,LeapFrog

This interactive reading toy helps children learn vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading comprehension.  By 'tagging' words and characters with the pen-like Tag Reader, your child hears the word speak or the character sing.  Parents can log on to the LeapFrog site and find out what their children are learning, so they can find some interesting ways to support it.  The system is for kids 4 - 8 years old and this starter kit comes with the Tag Reader, USB cable, LeapFrog Connect software CD, and the book Ozzie and Mach.

 

 

 


5.  Girl Toy of the Year – Playmobil Horse Farm, Playmobil USA, Inc.

I'm not sure why the Playmobil Horse Farm is considered a 'girl toy.' Why wouldn't boys also want to play with the realistic figures and accessories in this kit?  But what do I know? Recommended ages are 4 to 8 years of age.  The kit comes with three people figures, three ponies, a kitten, wheel barrel, hay, a ladder, fences and many other accessories.  The stable has three horseboxes, a section for refreshment, and an area for grooming.  Playmobil Horse Farm is a great place to play and pretend.

 

 

 

6.  Electronic Entertainment Toy of the Year – FurReal Friends Biscuit My Lovin' Pup, Hasbro

Biscuit is a truly sweet interactive toy pet -- kind of robotic in fact.  He responds based on how much attention you are paying him, and if you're not, he barks to get your attention.  He has nine sensors that respond to voice, sight and touch. He makes three different doggy barks, wags his tail, sits, lies down, and speaks on command, and more.  I would not have believed it, if I hadn't seen it (video).Biscuit is a cool-as-heck first pet, but his batteries are heavy (6 D batteries are required).

 

 

 

7.  Game of the Year – Bananagrams® – Bananagrams LLC

I've never seen so many high customer ratings on an item at Amazon!  Bananagrams, which looks suspiciously like Scrabble without the board, is a word game that uses alphabet tiles to build words, but the tiles have no values, so you can't get extra points for a "Q."  But there are, apparently, several different ways you can play the game, and if you want to get the whole family involved for an extended game, you can purchase more than one set and combine them.  There are 144 letters in eachBananogram game, all zipped up in a peel and ready to go wherever you do. Ages 7+

 

 


8.  Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year – Elmo Live, Fisher-Price, Inc.

Muppets have come a long way!  The new Elmo muppet is now  Elmo Live, a sitting, standing, leg-crossing, singer and joke teller, with a real voice (yes, a bit shrieky!).  This 12-inch, 6 battery-holding (AA), Elmo, is a super interactive toy -- just tickle his tummy, foot, back or nose, and you'll find out.  (See the video on Elmo Live's page.)

 

 

 

9.  Most Innovative Toy of the Year – Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micro, Spin Master

The TIA Toy of the Year in 2008 was the Air Hogs Havoc Heli by Spin Master, and this year's Toy of the Year went to Spin Master's Bakugan Battle Brawlers Battle Pack Series 1 Spheres, so I'd say that Spin Master is doing pretty well with its line lately.  The Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micros are super swift radio controlled cars that can race on your walls!  There's a selection of them already, and they just came out recently.  Here is a Dark Blue Zero Gravity Micro Car!