Batteries supercharge your holidays! Without them, many toys would remain motionless.
So which batteries should you buy? There are so many to choose from, with claims like "world's longest lasting" and "lasts up to nine times longer."
Dan DeClerico from Consumer Reports explains, "There's a lot of misinformation and hype out there, and in the end it can cost you money if you make the wrong choice."
Consumer Reports evaluated 15 kinds of AA batteries, both lithium and alkaline, using a test rack that mimics the use of devices like flashlights or digital cameras.
The Toys "R" Us Ultra alkalines delivered just four hours of flashlight time and 49 shots from a digital camera.
Compare that to Energizer Ultimate Lithium, the top-rated battery, which racked up more than seven hours of flashlight time and 609 shots.
DeClerico says, "Although they're more expensive, lithiums can provide up to five times the power of an alkaline under certain circumstances."
The extra lithium boost is worth it for digital cameras and gaming controllers - devices that need more power. But Consumer Reports says alkalines are the way to go for toys that are used less often.
The Duracell Quantum proved to be the best alkalines and are half the price of the lithiums.
Once your AA batteries are dead, you can throw them out with your regular trash. But rechargeable batteries should be recycled.