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OTHER ITA SITES:
At Last Announcing The Winner Of The Top Toy For 2005
Wouldn’t you just love to know.
On the market there are millions of toys now, so picking the Top Toy for 2005 would be quite daunting, and I would say a disappointment as everybody has their own favorites. This year the Toy Industry Association (TIA) Top Toy was something that very few industry insiders actually picked.
Here it is: the **Vsmile TV Learning System**. This electronic toy ended up with Toy Of The Year and Best Educational Toy Awards for 2005. Just plug it into your TV and away you go. It seems to be a cross between a video game and educational game and it should keep the kids happy for hours on end, or that is what they say.
I'm not really into anything that involves the TV, as I try to keep kids away from the TV. I prefer games where the kids are sitting around doing something as opposed to watching the box. So to be honest my kids or I have not tried it so I can't comment on it.
The Vsmile TV Learning System was mentioned in last year 2004 Family Fun's Toy List for the year, but not in the top ten.
I was hoping Playmobil's **Knights Empire Castle** a bit expensive at 179 dollars, would have made it to the top. Knights Empire Castle popped a few awards throughout the year. It was the Toy Wishes All Star and the Family Fun Toy Of The Year, but it didn't rank on the TIA Top Ten.
The TIA Top Toy For Boys was a similar pick with **LEGO's Knights Kingdom**. Another good do-it-yourself game. It seems knights are making a come back, even though there are no new programs on TV to do with **King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table**.
For the girls the top was **Bella Dancerella™ Home Ballet Studio** from Spin Master Ltd. A good toy to keep the girls active and fit and hopefully knock a few pounds off. Teaches ballerina dancing steps but the dreaded TV is on in the background showing the **How To Dance** video.
I preferred another toy from the Top Ten, again Playmobil with **My Take Along Dollhouse** for around 30 dollars. This is a portable fold-up dollhouse complete with cute little kittens, dolls, furniture plus many more accessories.
Another toy that took my fancy was the **EZ2 Quikcochet Kit** for about 12 dollars. The old fashioned crochet kit complete with hundreds of glass beads, metal crochet hook and crocheting spool has returned along with 30 yards of metallic elastic string. This should keep the girls happy while they design and make a dozen or more beaded necklaces, bracelets, and ponytail holders.
These are the types of toys I like, something that has nothing to do with the TV. And can keep kids doing things for hours on end. At the end of it they can say “Look Daddy! Look what I just finished.” Instead of you saying “Switch off the TV Son, NOW”
Toy Wishes also seems to like toys that gets the kids to do something instead of sitting in front of a screen, and their picks included **Black Belts Karate Home Studio** and **Dora's Talking Kitchen**. They didn't even mention **VSmile TV Learning System**, but they did like the **V.SMILE Pocket**, which is a hand-held version of the **VSmile TV Learning System**.
Family Fun's top this year was, as mentioned, Playmobil's **Knights Empire Castle**.
Another playmobil to come in was their **Grand Mansion** along with Lego's **Wild Hunters** and of course **Roboraptor**. We had to have a robot toy and the **Roboraptor** is pretty good.
These are just a small sample of what was hot in 2005 in the US. The UK awards come out in the end of January, so we'll let you know what happened across the Atlantic next time.
Actually there was nothing predominately animal, dinosaur or bug except for **Roboraptor**, while **Wild Hunters** is more to do with futuristic predators.
Until then, all the best and keep on playing and having fun.
This article is copyright © Peter Legrove 2006 at http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com
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