What tops Chicago kids' wish lists this holiday season


Lyberti Nelson

Squinkies! No, qwirkle cubes! Maybe it was zoobles? Or glow-in-the-dark Bendaroos? There you are at your local big-box store, the season's hottest toys rippling in front of you in a parade of plastic and packaging, and you realize you have no idea where to start.

When in doubt, follow the crowd. And if our thoroughly unscientific poll is any indication, that's a straight path to the video game section, which topped the wish lists of more than 60 percent of our respondents.

A popular item among kids is the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360. This hands free game system allows your body to be the controller. It gets kids off the couch and up jumping and dancing around. If you have an Xbox 360, congratulations, you're half way there. By itself, it retails for $149.99. If you don't have a 360, don't fret. Xbox sells a bundle pack on its website starting at $299.99 which includes the 360, the Kinect and a bonus game, Kinect Adventures, where you can float in outerspace or explore the ocean depths.

Video games may be all the rage, but on the other end of the bells-and-whistles spectrum, LEGOS are more popular than ever. Star Wars, Toy Story andHarry Potter sets - just in time for the big movie, out Nov. 19 - topped 1 in 5 wish lists.

Pretend pets are another popular request, with Zhu Zhu pets, FurReal walking dogs and pillow pets showing up time and again. And this wouldn't be the season of giving -and getting- without kids dying for the coolest cell phones, smallest iPods, hottest digital cameras and the cream of the crop, the iPad.

If you're still overwhelmed by 12-page Christmas lists and obscure toys you've never even heard of, crack open our December issue, on newsstands Nov. 22, for a list of the most popular toys, games and books of the year.

If they're asking for Justin Bieber nail polish, just grit your teeth and bear it.


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