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Hot Holiday Toys: Will Elmo Reign Again?

With a dearth of dazzle in the holiday toy lineup this year, it looks like Elmo may just groove his way to the top again this year.

Elmo Live

Fisher-Price’s new Elmo Live, which sings, tells jokes and plays games, is expected to be one of the season’s hottest selling items. The giggly little dude hit store shelves last month and retails for about $60.

And he's not the only animated buddy vying for a spot under the tree this year.

Thinkway Toys’ Ultimate Wall-E robot, which brings the Disney-Pixar movie character to life, is also expected to be a big seller, according to trade magazine Toy Wishes Magazine's "Hot Dozen" toy list — though the $249 price tag might deter some penny-pinching shoppers.

Also on the dazzle-them-with-technology list is Playskool’s Kota My Triceratops Dinosaur, a life-like baby dinosaur that stands over three feet tall, which kids can roar with, sit on and feed leafy snacks. He retails for about $240 and also stomped his way onto the Toy Wishes top-12 list.

To entice online shoppers to buy toys this holiday season, Wal-Mart is offering 97-cent shipping on a slew of toys; Toys 'R' Us is offering free shipping on toy orders of $49 or more.

Toys that let kids ham it up are also expected to be big sellers.

Hasbro’s U-Dance ($75) is expected to do well, riding on the sequined coattails of shows like “Dancing With the Stars,” as is Disney’s Hannah Montana Acoustic Guitar ($80). For the budding superhero, Rand offers a Batman Dark Knight 16-inch kids’ bike ($65).

And, to capture it all on film, Amazon has the Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder ($116), touted as “easy as making PBJ” (seriously, watch the Amazon video!) on its hot list. It’s listed in the ages 8-11 category, which means its perfect for that technology-challenged mom or dad in the family!

In the $20-and-under category, Amazon expects the Spalding Rookie Gear ($20), a kid-sized basketball, to sell well; and for the little ones, move over Baby Einstein, it’s the Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube ($20)! This soft-cornered cube teaches budding composers how to create create eight Mozart masterpieces with a variety of instrument sounds, including French horn, piano, flute and violin.

Jim Silver and Christopher Byrne, who now run their hot toy list on www.timetoplaymag.com, think Spin Master’s transformer-like Bakugan action figures and playing cards will be popular this holiday season — especially for economically-challenged families, as some of the toys and cards cost under $10.

Given the state of the economy this season, I think we could all use a laugh, groovy move or tot concierto to lighten the holiday mood!

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