Bakugan, Pillowpets and Bananagrams
BakuganThese toys were a huge hit last year and they're still going strong. Bakugan is a popular tv series among pre-teen boys that has spawned a long line of toys, electronics, and other merchandise much like Power Rangers did in the 90s. The main line of collectible toys and cards can be entertaining on their own, but the focus of the series is a two player strategy game that basically merges a trading card game with checkers. Younger kids will probably just want to play with the action figures, but for older kids, the strategy game is an engaging and creative experience.
Like most games based on collecting cards and figures, acquiring a full set of Bakugan toys can get expensive. Starter kits with just the game basics sell for $10-$15, but booster packs, special figures, and accessories can add up fast. Also be careful when purchasing these action figures for very young children, as many of the toys contain marbles that can be removed and possibly swallowed.
Bakugan, Vol. 1: Battle Brawlers DVD: $12.49
Bakugan Combat Set – Spectra: $11.99
Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Defenders of the Core (Nintendo DS): $29.99
Toys R Us:
Bakugan Dharak Colossus: $29.99
Spin Master Bakugan Battle Set: $15.00
Pillow PetsPillow Pets are a great sleep aid and toy for younger children. Pillow pets can be folded and compacted into big pillows by using the velcro pads on the bottom of their feet. With everything from unicorns to ladybugs available for only $20 each, there's definitely an animal to suit every child’s interest.
Toys R Us: $19.99
BananagramsA new favorite for both kids and grandparents, Bananagrams is a creative word game played with letter tiles that has been described as a combination of Boggle and Scrabble. Because the scoring system is simple and focuses on using up letters in any way possible rather than strategic placement, it is a much more relaxed and kid-friendly game than Scrabble. At only $15, and suitable for ages 9 and up, it's a fun and cheap way to spend some family time while helping kids work on their language skills.