Move over, Santa. There are plenty of cool gifts for kids to go around this year.
There's no one must-have holiday toy for 2013, which means no crowds of frantic parents hunting for the last one of a particular item. Those gifting toys have a little more leeway to pick something cool that might not already be on a child's wish list.
Click through to see some of the picks toy experts say kids will love.
(Read more: Misfit toy sales may benefit deal-hunting shoppers)
—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant.
Follow her on Twitter @kelligrant.
Posted on 26 Nov. 2013
Screen-time and playtime merge in this video game and toy franchise, playable on a variety of Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox platforms. The mix-n-match action figures, $10 and up for character packs atplaced on a special portal, give players special powers and access to different areas in the game.
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Price: $80 at Walmart and Target; $85 at Toys 'R Us
Saying "yes" to pleas for a puppy just got a bit easier. The robotic Zoomer barks, wags his tail and can learn a variety of tricks, including rolling over and shaking a paw. Fail to pay attention to him and Zoomer may strike a pose to "pee" on the floor. (But unlike a real puppy, no training pads are required.)
Price: $49 at Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart
A mainstay on holiday toy lists, this year's Elmo responds to a child's hug with his own. He not only sings, talks and dances, but also leads kids through imaginary activities—pretending to be frogs or astronauts, for example. Happily, he also does naptime, complete with lullabies and snores while lying down.
Manufacturer: Just Play
Price: $65 at Walmart and Target; Toys 'R Us has a deluxe version (pictured) for $80
Disney's Doc McStuffins has a knack for making toys feel better, and now kids can, too. Would-be doctors can check the height, weight and reflexes of their favorite stuffed dolls, and look up ailments in the Big Book of BooBoos. Naturally, there's also a roll of bandage stickers for fast toy first aid.
Manufacturer: Disney Interactive
Price: $5 and up for power discs and character packs at Amazon.com, Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart; $75 for bundles with the game, a portal and three figures
Like Skylanders, Disney Infinity mixes video-game play with action figures—in this case, with Disney and Pixar characters—playable on Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation platforms. Different characters open up different worlds, and power discs give them special abilities.
Price: $40 and up at Amazon.com, Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart
The must-have toy of '98 is back, and smarter than ever. Kids shape Furby's personality by how they talk to and treat it. For advanced Furby care, the (optional) Furby Boom app lets users give their pet a checkup or shower. There's also a game to hatch and raise more virtual Furbies.
Rubber-band bracelets are the "it" accessory among kids and tweens, who are swapping both bracelets and bands at school.
Competing rubber-band bracelet makers include the Rainbow Loom (at Amazon.com for $20), Cra-Z-Loom (pictured, at Toys 'R Us for $13) and Wonder Loom (at Walmart, also for $13); bands and charms run $2 and up. Never fear: Once tweens have made stacks of bracelets for everyone they know, the looms can also be used to make rings, hair clips, figurines and more.
Price: $50 at Walmart, Toys 'R Us and Target
A digital camera made for little hands, Playskool's Showcam lets toddling photographers add sounds, animations and other effects to their pictures—no editing necessary. Projector mode showcases their pics on a nearby wall.
Analysts expect video games to be a hot seller this year, with two new consoles on the market and a variety of holiday bundles including new games. Compare carefully: Retailers' packages often have similar pricing, but different combinations of games and accessories.
(Read more: 10 must-have video games)
Manufacturer: LeapFrog Enterprises
Price: $150 at Amazon.com, Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart
The latest in LeapFrog's kid-safe learning tablets, the LeapPad Ultra offers kids access to more than 800 educational games and apps. Parental controls let kids Web surf and text safely. And it's all in a "super tough" frame that can stand up to being dropped or wedged into a backpack.