Top toys for ages 8 and up

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.

Ground Force Drifter

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.

Potato Chip Science

For ages 8 and up: The Secret of Moonacre, E1 Entertainment, 2010; 103 min.; $24.95; age 8-12.

The Secret of Moonacre

Birmingham Sunday, by Larry Dane Brimner; Boyds Mills Press, 2010; $17.95.

Birmingham Sunday

The Dreamer, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis; Scholastic, 2010; $17.99.

The Dreamer

The Popularity Papers, by Amy Ignatow; Abrams/Amulet Books, 2010; $15.99.

The Popularity Papers

The Social Times Magazine, Autism Asperger Publishing Company; $51 per subscription (nine issues with 10 student copies of each).

The Social Times Magazine

American Girl Magazine, American Girl; $22.96 for one-year subscription (six issues).

American Girl Magazine

Do Something!, by Nancy Lublin, Manessa Martir and Julia Steers; Workman Publishing, 2010; $13.95.

Do Something!

Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft, 2010; $149.99; age 6 and up.

Kinect for Xbox 360

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Square Enix, Inc., 2010; $39.99; age 10 and up.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

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.

The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World

Sunny Day, Elizabeth Mitchell, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2010; $11.98; age 9 and up.

Sunny Day

We’re Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar, various artists, Rainbow Morning Music, 2010; $14.95; age 9 and up.

We’re Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar

For more on the season’s must-haves, return to our 2010 Toy Guide or check out the following “best-of” lists:

More top toys of 2010

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