Juli Auclair talks to Amanda Wolfe of Parents Magazine about what the best toys are of 2008.
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Juli Auclair: We are going to help you get a jumpstart on your holiday toy shopping today, so you can get it all out of the way now and then relax and enjoy the parties and the family get-togethers. Amanda Wolfe is here to show us some of the toys that made it into parents magazines annual best toys guide. Thank you so much for coming by. Amanda Wolfe: Thank you for having me. Juli Auclair: Great toys you brought in today. Amanda Wolfe: They are fun. Juli Auclair: Yeah, they are, let's start by - if you could tell me how does the staff at Parents Magazine choose which toys you are going to make it to the list? Amanda Wolfe: Well, it's a very exhaustive process, we start at a toy fair, we see all the, whole staff goes out, we see all of the toys, we call in what we are interested in, and we have a closet, two closets literally packed with toys, it's a kid's dream. And our toy editor and assistant literally go through and test toys. Juli Auclair: This is the chance for you guys to get to play, isn't it? Amanda Wolfe: It's really fun, I have to admit, but it is opening all those boxes it gets, you know, there are wounds and you get cuts. Juli Auclari: You have to put them all together. Amanda Wolfe: We have to be put together, but it ends up, we narrow them down, we play with them, we have kids and staffers kids to test them. Juli Auclair: So let's start with the baby toys that you brought in, 0-12 months, tell me about some of these, great colors. Amanda Wolfe: Well, they are really fun. First is Busy ball choo-choo, and this is from play school, its really fun, when you turn it on, it rolls across the floor and the balls actually go down and then pop back up and circle around by themselves, so babies are totally fascinated. Juli Auclair: Keep them entertained for a while. Amanda Wolfe: They think it's so much fun. Juli Auclair: Okay, and this is a nice soft version of the stacking. Amanda Wolfe: It is, it's actually a ball and stacking blocks in one, so that's really fun, so you can use it as a ball and then baby can also use it to stack. Juli Auclair: Okay, these cute little boxes actually have things inside. Amanda Wolfe: They do, they are by Karen Katz, who is a really popular children's illustrator and she did these adorable baby blocks, each of which has one, two, three four, they all have, little ducks and hearts and balls inside. So they are really fun. Juli Auclair: Very cute. Okay, now toddler. Amanda Wolfe: Toddler is here, we have the Grow N Go bike by Radio Flyer. Juli Auclair: It's so tiny. Amanda Wolfe: It's tiny, right, and that thing that's really cool about it is that you can adjust it, so that it really does grow with your child, so you know toddlers grow really fast, you don't have to get a bunch of bikes, you have this one, and it's really safe, because it's actually appropriate for your child's height and weight at that time. Juli Auclair: Now all little kids, toddlers love to pretend to be doctor or nurse, so this is a great kit, this is much bigger than some of the ones that are out right now. Amanda Wolfe: Yeah, and it's actually Parents the Little MD kit, and it's funny, it comes with a pager, because apparently all modern doctors have pagers now, and it's great because actually a portion of the proceeds go to Benefit Care. So you are actually doing a good thing when you buy this. Juli Auclair: Okay, good, this is a good Parents product right there. Okay, what else, what's next? Amanda Wolfe: We also have the Pull-Along Zebra by PlanToys. A lot of parents are worried about unsafe plastics; this is wooden, made of recyclable material, so it's a green toy. Juli Auclair: No lead. Amanda Wolfe: No lead. Juli Auclair: That's very important. Okay, preschool, I love this, tell me about this. Amanda Wolfe: It's so fun, it's by Vtech it's the Kidijamz Studio. Juli Auclair: Can we turn it on. Amanda Wolfe: It has. Juli Auclair: Let's jam. Amanda Wolfe: It has so many options, it's so fun