Thursday, December 22, 2016

#HGG2016: Top Toys for the Holidays From Hasbro

We've been testing out a number of Hasbro toys over the past months, both at media events and at home. They have a great selection for kids of all ages, and Boo and I want to highlight a few of our favourites, as you complete your holiday gift shopping.

BEYBLADE BURST EPIC RIVALS BATTLE SET (Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99) The Burst line is the latest from Beyblades. They are designed to not just be knocked over, but to actually burst in battle. All of the Beyblade Burst top components are interchangeable, and they all have different probabilities of bursting in battle, so you just don't know what might happen! Players can collect multiple tops and experiment to come up with the best and strongest design to bring them out on top in competitions. Players can also download a free app for digital play, where they can scan their physical tops into their digital collection.

This set includes the new, square, Beyblade Burst stadium, plus two tops and launchers. You can also buy the Beyblade Burst stadium and tops separately. Boo had some difficulty getting the hang of the new launcher, but his friend seemed ok. Just be prepared that there may be a little frustration at first, especially with younger players. But once they get it, it's a lot of fun!

BOP IT Game (Ages 8 year & up/ Players: 1+/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99) Boo has been asking for this since he tried it out in June. (Don't worry - it's under the tree.) This BOP IT game provides 3 games modes: “Classic,” which highlights the traditional Bop It, Pull It and Twist It game play; “Action,” which features 10 new unique ways to game via the motion sensor technology; and “Beat Box” a sound based gaming mode for expert gamers. Boo is so into beat boxing. Conquering that game mode will be his goal, I am sure. The new Action mode prompts players to Hammer It, Sing It, even Selfie It, and more. React fast to each command and perform the action as you seek to beat the Bop It. The more commands you complete, the faster the game gets. Choose solo play, or challenge a friend as you take turns in social mode. Tons of giggling will ensue, and I think this would make a great party game. It may be for ages 8 and up, but honestly I don't think there's an upper limit on age for who would enjoy this one. I also love that it does get you up and moving.

PIE FACE SHOWDOWN Game (HASBRO/Ages 5 years & up/Players: 2/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99) I hope you've read my earlier review for this one. It updates last year's Pie Face game, adding a second player in a head-to-head showdown. Each player places their head through the mask and races to see who can hit their button the fastest in tug-of-war style. Players must move quickly or someone will end up with a whipped cream (not included) or a wet sponge in the face! The PIE FACE SHOWDOWN Game includes button activated, head-to-head throwing arm, two chin rests, and two player splash guard mask, sponge.

This is also still available in the original version, where players take turns, along with special holiday and Minions themed games. Again, a great party game that will get everyone laughing.

SIMON AIR (Ages 8 year & up/ Players: 1+/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99)
This is the classic Simon game, but with touch-free technology. Watch and remember the sequence, and repeat it back to Simon. Instead of pressing buttons, you move your hands over the appropriate colours. The Simon game senses every hand motion and registers correct sequences. As with classic Simon, the sequence keeps getting longer, and the speed increases. This version also requires some special moves -  double moves, swoop moves, and even moves that light up all four lights! If the pattern is repeated incorrectly, a buzzer will sound and signal the end of the game. The player with the highest score is the winner! The SIMON AIR Game includes SIMON AIR Game Unit and instructions. Three “AA” batteries required, demo batteries included. I found this game more challenging than the classic version, which may be why I like it so much. Two hands is the way to go.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS REMOTE CONTROL BB-8 (Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $79.99) We love this guy. And he really is easy enough to control that a 4 year old could do it, while at the same time entertaining even to adults. He's especially fun if you have dogs or cats in the house :)  BB-8 rolls in any direction, while his head stays facing forward. He looks and moves just like he does in the movie, although of course he's smaller in real life. He makes a variety of droid sound effects as well. BB-8 requires four AA batteries and two AAA batteries,which are not included. (Remember - buy Duracell batteries at Walmart until Dec. 31 to trigger a donation to the Children's Miracle Network!)

STAR WARS BLADEBUILDER SPIN-ACTION LIGHTSABER  (Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99): I love the Bladebuilder series, because you can customize your lightsaber in so many ways by mixing and matching with other sets. This one has a lightsaber and a lightdagger, which you can combine into one weapon, or use separately. The really cool part though is the spin action. Flick a switch to releasem and the spinning connector hilt allows you to defend yourself from any angle. The 360 degree spin action looks great and is just plain fun to do. And of course there are lights and sounds as well. This set includes the lightsaber, lightdagger, spinning connector, 2 adjustable connectors, and instructions.

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