Consumer Reports' top toys
December 1, 2011 Consumer Reports' ShopSmart has gone to the real toy experts to see which toys will thrill your kids long after the holidays have come and gone. Consumer Reports ShopSmart Magazine scouted the store shelves, and had its electronics reporter key in on some great choices. "We were looking for toys that would be fun to play but that would also build skills and that the whole family would want to play together," said Carol Mangis from Consumer Reports. One hit was the $13.00 Techno Source 20-Q for kids six and up. It's an electronic-take on the old-fashioned 20 questions game. If it guesses your object in 20 or fewer questions, it wins. If not, you do. "We were shocked, it beat us nine out of 10 times!" said Carol Mangis. The $30 Paper Jamz Pro Mic for kids eight and up will delight your budding musician. "Like, it's dyn-o-mite," said Sydney. It even corrects your voice if you sing off-key! Kids two to six can jam with B Toys' Meowsic Music Keyboard and Microphone for $26.00. Play it freestyle or play along to 20 included songs. And mini-moviemakers five and up will love the Hot Wheels Video Racer. It's a little more expensive at $60.00, but the built-in camera records Hot Wheel action, or the car straps onto a helmet for an action cam! Or, you can go low-tech with the $20.00 Tetris Link for kids six and up. This fast-paced stacking game can challenge the whole family. Consumer Reports ShopSmart says another cool toy is the Wild Planet's Ultimate Night Vision Goggles for kids eight and up. The goggles use infrared technology to let you see in the dark. They cost $50.00. And when it comes to powering up your favorite electronic toys, Consumer Reports suggests rechargeable batteries. They'll give you the most bang for your buck.