Washington Post Toy Test 2007

The holidays are just about here, and the toys are piling up in stores, waiting for you to make your list. Of course, even if you wish does come true, you have to hope for the best: That really great-sounding toy might be a piece of junk.

So KidsPost is trying to take away the guesswork. We sent more than 60 toys to area schools and home-schoolers and asked kids to test them. Here's a list of some of the toys and games they liked best. There are also a few warnings (such as the radio-controlled toy that's great fun but a little difficult to control).

Top picks by kids in grades 2 through 4

Tri-Clops Mutant (Tyco, $100)

This three-legged, remote-controlled mutant can spin and shoot at the same time, which is what many of our testers liked best about it. It can launch glow-in-the-dark disks about 20 feet. Testers warn it can be a little difficult to control. Still, they loved it.

R/C Easy-Copter (GeoSpace, $40)

Our testers found this lightweight helicopter a bit hard to control. But it did fly, and kids loved that. They suggest the directions could be made a clearer, especially on how to turn it on. Once they got it going, the copter drew praise. "It's funny when you crashed it," said one tester.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader (Hasbro, $20)

We gave this board game to fourth-graders, and they took on the challenge. They liked playing on teams and challenging their knowledge. "The best thing is when I answered a question," said a tester.

Actus Tale (Oikus Global, $13)

In this game, players must either ask a question or perform an action. Then other players have to react. And that's what our testers liked best &

that "you show expressions" to things. The kids who tried it all really enjoyed it.

Deal or No Deal (iToys, $30)

This electronic tabletop game is based on the TV show by the same name. In your quest to reach $1 million, are you willing to risk what you have earned &

or are you willing to make a deal? Our testers raved about it. "It makes people laugh and your face starts to hurt," said one.

Monopoly Electronic Banking (Parker Brothers, $34)

Kids were happy to get their hands on credit cards, even if they weren't real. Players start the game with $15 million and can go up (or down) from there. They loved scanning the cards and getting their totals without having to do the math. (Don't tell your math teacher!)

Top picks by kids in grades 5 and 6

Super Terranator (Jakks Pacific, $80)

Speed is everything with this remote-controlled ATV. It can zoom at 15 miles per hour through dirt, mud and water! Of course kids loved it.

Imaginiff (Buffalo, $7)

In this card-game spinoff of a board game by the same name, you have to imagine things about another player. That helps you, with lots of laughing, "learn a bit more about your friends" by guessing what is really true about them, said one tester. It's fun, said another, if you're good at guessing.

Quelf (Wiggity Bang , $30)

Move your game piece around the board and pick up cards that tell you a crazy thing to do. The worst thing, said one tester, was when a card told her to "put my hand on my head and laugh." When the other players asked her why she was doing it, she had no idea what to say. But she and other players gave the game a top rating.

Speed Stacks (Jakks Pacific, $20)

Play this alone or with a crowd, stacking 12 cups in special formations. Our testers loved the speed at which you have to work. This year there is a glow-in-the-dark edition.

Hyperslide (Hasbro, $25)

Shoot the right-colored disk under the arch before time runs out. "It helped me develop fast reflexes," said one tester, who like most enjoyed the speed of this electronic tabletop game.

Sorry Express (Hasbro, $15)

Love playing Sorry, but want to finish a game within 20 minutes? Our testers loved this fast-paced version, which uses dice instead of colored cards. "It was fun," they said over and over.

Share This Story