Thanks to be part of the Toys r Us Toyologist program and a reviewer on The Great Toy Guide, we are amazingly privileged to be able to get our hands on some fantastic and some not so fantastic boys. So I present you our Top Toys for 4 and 5 year old boys.
This was an immediate hit with Mini, who wore it as an alternative Halloween costume and has worn it pretty much constantly since. It is lightweight, easy to put on and we love it. We have been unable to get this off Mini and he exchanged it for one of his toys.
Nerf N- Strike (£19.99)
The Nerf N-Strike is fantastic, firing fun for boys of any age and I have to say has been a real revelation for us all. They are suburb, easy to load and fire and it is scary just how accurate the boys are with them!
Playmobil Dragons Land (£87.94)
Yes the full set of Dragons Land isn't cheap, but it is a brilliant set with long term playability. Both my boys get something out of this and will for a long time to come. They see something different each time they play and you can expand it with the additional and complementary sets. The boys didn't want to give me this back (they are under the impression that they have to give the toys back to TRU) and I have put it away for Christmas. Oh and did I say it has lights and a secret dungeon.
Leapfrog Explorer (£59.97)
Both Mini and Maxi have Leapsters and love, love, love the Leapfrog Explorer. It is a wonderful introduction to handheld gaming without spending money on an DS. From a parents point of view the Explorer has a great education bent to the software and it is great for long journeys or boring waits. It is sturdy and has coped with being dropped and basked.
Dude Dice (£6.50)
Zoobookoo Dude Dice has become a permanent fixture in my handbag and is brought out in restaurants and anywhere when I need to keep the boys occupied. It is a simple, yet effective mathematics game with just three dice. A real winner and a perfect stocking filler
HexBugs (£8.99 each)
Hexbugs are crazy, but very clever little electronic bugs or micro robotic creatures (for those in the know) that have captured the hearts of Mini and Maxi. Hexbugs are powered by vibrations. The boys have created runs for them from Lego and domino's and have taken them to bed with them. I have even had to create a bed for them - need I say more. Perfect stocking filler for boys.
Tipover is aimed at older children, but Maxi loves it. Tipover 3D puzzle game and perfect for quiet solitary play. Maxi begged to be able to keep this.
One of the best things about this is that it is quite clear what toys don't float the boys boats at all. I have made sure that we leave the toys out for the boys to place with for at least 2 weeks. I don't put them out of sight. If the boys have not had fun, then the toys are passed on to friends, charity or family rather than being put back in to my secret cuboard.
It might just be us, but we find Bakugan expensive, pretty fiddly and also I fear that my boys are far too young to get the best out of it.
Jolly Octopus (£11.97)
Both my boys cracked Jolly Octopus within 5 minutes of playing it and have never gone back to it despite the fact that it has been left out (once it was assembled it didn't fit back in the box). For any child with good hand eye co-ordination this will be a real bore, just buy Operation instead.
The boys have never ever come across Gormiti before and the products were expensive and often just not very interesting.
KungZhu Battle Arena (£24.97)
I know that lots of children seem to love KungZhu Hamsters, but the boys haven't connected with ours at all. The arena is far too big and doesn't assemble easily, so you either need to leave it out for the children to play with it, or put it away and help them assemble it. Do everyone a favour, just don't spend your hard earned cash on it.
Moon Dough Barn (£14.89)
Urghhhhhh we hated this, yes I would go as far and say our feelings for the moon dough barn were that strong. The dough got stuck in the barn and it goes everywhere. Maxi got all agitated when the colours mixed together and we couldn't wait to give it away.
Ben 10 Lazer Lance (£9.99)
Apart from making a shooting sound, there isn't much good I can say about this. The view finder fell off and was lost within the first 5 minutes. Also neither of my boys want to be a forever knight, who use the lances.
What are your top toys for 2010 and what are your children asking Father Christmas for this year? I would also be keen to hear what you have found really disappointing too.