Top Toy Trends of 2007

We got the scoop on the hot new items your kids will crave.

  • Photo courtesy of Fisher-Price

    #1: Get Moving

    Childhood obesity is a national epidemic, and toy makers have responded with tons of cool gear to keep kids active. Hot Wheels? Electronic Speed Meter pushes kids to zoom, zoom, zoom around the neighborhood. The toy gets clipped onto a belt or bicycle handlebars and then reacts to speed: the faster kids run or bike, the louder the speed meter roars with racecar sound. It also tracks speed and lights up. For preschoolers, there's Smart Cycle, a pint-size stationary bike (at left) from Fisher-Price. Plug it into the TV and, as the child pedals away, he becomes part of a video game he's watching on screen -- he whizzes along in a car race, dodging obstacles as he goes. And from Hasbro, look for Tag Tails: kids don cute, colorful animal back-ends and then play a wild, tail-catching game of chase.

  • Radio Flyer

    #2: Retro Appeal

    Remember when Rubik's Cube was a national obsession? Toys that were cool when you were a kid are back in a big way, but with updated looks. Radio Flyer's classic Inchworm (at left) is sleeker; Play Along's Care Bears have slimmed down and have more detailed facial expressions, but they're still soft and cuddly; Sweet Secrets, those tiny dolls that were hot in the '80s, come with chic, changeable outfits and a fashionable clutch handbag for storing dolls and clothing. And Rubik's Cube from Techno Source? It's now Rubik's Revolution, and it's tricked up with lights, sound, and voice effects.

  • Photo courtesy of Fisher-Price

    #3: Getting Personal

    Toys that know your name and remember your scores -- this year, there are lots of fun, new gadgets that connect with you in a personal way. Fisher-Price's Puppy Grows & Knows Your Name (at left) grows right before your eyes, but can also sing a song with your child's name in it and ask your child to take him for a walk -- to the kid's favorite place. Leap Frog's Word Launch Learn-to-Read System plugs into your TV and tracks players' scores and individual learning levels. And Zizzle has created Spotz, personalized little fashion buttons (pick a color and image to go inside) that girly-girls can design and wear.

  • Photo courtesy of Mattel

    #4: Fun on the Go

    Small and portable is hot, hot, hot -- so you'll have tons to choose from for that next interminable car trip. Parents Water Works is a snazzy take-along drawing board with leak-proof water pens; Hasbro's 20 Minute Game Breaks includes miniature versions of Scrabble and Monopoly; Play Along's Cabbage Patch Kids also come in a mini-me form called Lil' Sprouts; and there's an on-the-go version of Mattel's trivia game Scene It? for kids called Scene It?? To Go! Jr. (at left).

  • Crayola

    #5: Get Grossed Out

    Burps, farts, puking -- gross sound effects are big. Little boys won't be able to contain their giggles over loud, obnoxious belching noises from Crayola's Burp'n Monster Sharpener (at left). Hot Wheels? Maniacs offer an appealing array of graphic retching sounds, more burps, and a few farts. Delightfully disgusting.

  • Crayola

    #6: Head Outdoors

    There's a bunch of new toys designed to get kids off their bottoms, away from TV and computer screens, and out of the house. Demolition Derby cars from Kid Galaxy are remote control cars that go off-road, crash, fly apart into bits, and get miraculously restored without losing a single piece. Tyco's? R/C Tri-Clops Interceptor Creature is a cool demolition car that looks like a bug (with a sci-fi third eye!) and is built to crawl over rough terrain. And for quieter outdoor pursuits, Crayola has a Sidewalk Paint Sprayer (at left), perfect for budding artistes to paint their masterpiece. (Don't worry about graffiti winding up on your car -- there's a safety feature that ensures paint gets sprayed downward.)

  • Hasbro

    #7: iPod Nation

    The ubiquitous iPod has taken the toy world by storm, too -- many companies are integrating them into their new lines. Hook up your iPod to Hasbro's 2-in-1 Infant Gym (at left) and let baby groove to your tunes during tummy time. The Power Tour Electric Guitar (also from Hasbro) plugs into an MP3 player and lets teens and tweens download the songs they want to learn to play -- lights come on to show young fingers where to strum. And kids 12 and over can pit their play list against their friends' -- see how quickly you can find a specific song, title, or artist -- with Hasbro's i-List Music Party.