Ground Force Drifter, Razor USA LLC, $299.99; age 8 and up. This steel-framed, electric go-kart zips through neighborhoods at speeds of up to 12 mph. Thumb-tab acceleration and a rear-wheel hand brake put control in the palm of kids hands; a high torque motor and Super Slider rear tires give the power and precision for spin-outs, fish-tales and 360s.
Perplexus, PlaSmart Inc., $24.99; age 6 and up. Methodically rotate and tilt this 3-D labyrinth-like maze, encapsulated in a clear plastic ball, to move a small metal marble through an intricate web of shoots and track. Totally addictive!
Potato Chip Science, Workman Publishing, $17.95; age 9 and up. High in saturated facts, as the package states, this is not your typical science kit. Packaged in a potato chip bag, this set uses potato chip bags, tubes, lids, spuds and chips to conduct experiments with immediate results.
For ages 8 and up: The Secret of Moonacre, E1 Entertainment, 2010; 103 min.; $24.95; age 8-12.
Birmingham Sunday, by Larry Dane Brimner; Boyds Mills Press, 2010; $17.95.
The Dreamer, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis; Scholastic, 2010; $17.99.
The Popularity Papers, by Amy Ignatow; Abrams/Amulet Books, 2010; $15.99.
The Social Times Magazine, Autism Asperger Publishing Company; $51 per subscription (nine issues with 10 student copies of each).
American Girl Magazine, American Girl; $22.96 for one-year subscription (six issues).
Do Something!, by Nancy Lublin, Manessa Martir and Julia Steers; Workman Publishing, 2010; $13.95.
Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft, 2010; $149.99; age 6 and up.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Square Enix, Inc., 2010; $39.99; age 10 and up.
The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World, Wiglington and Wenks Worldwide Pte Ltd., 2009; Free with option to purchase membership at $5.99/month; age 7-14.
Sunny Day, Elizabeth Mitchell, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2010; $11.98; age 9 and up.
Were Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar, various artists, Rainbow Morning Music, 2010; $14.95; age 9 and up.
For more on the season’s must-haves, return to our 2010 Toy Guide or check out the following “best-of” lists:
- Best DVDs
- Best music
- Best video games and software
- Best books and magazines
- Best toys for infants and toddlers
- Best toys for preschoolers
- Best toys for ages 5+
- Best toys for ages 8+