Hot holiday toys for your girls and boys! Pick or skip?

Monster High Dolls, "Dead Tired" Cleo De Nile: Daughter of The Mummy!

Monster High Dolls
Monster High Dolls

The price of this toy is: Good, as I found it for only $12.99; however, I think these dolls are hideous and wouldn't waste a dollar on them.
This toy would be great for: No child at any age. This doll sends a negative message to kids.
The benefits of this toy seems to be: Nothing. I understand that these dolls are supposed to be monsters, but I find it just gross and disturbing that Cleo De Nile, has limbs that can come off!
The downsides are: Many! Besides the fact that her limbs can come off, she's WAY TOO SKINNY and she has a permanently arched back and butt that juts out! I think it may even be worse than Barbie and I like Barbie. Cleo De Nile's face is gorgeous, like a model, even though she's the daughter of a mummy, and it makes me wonder what kind of body images are these dolls sending to little girls? How realistic is it to have a perfect face on an overly skinny body with limbs that can be removed?! Hmm? Also, she came with shoes that were difficult to get on her feet, perhaps a petty side note, but one still worth sharing.
This toy reminds me of: Bratz if they were related to The Munsters.
I would buy this for: NOT!

Lego: Ninjago 'Masters of Spinjitzu'

The price of this toy is: Fair. I found it priced at $13.30.
The toy would be great for: Older kids, I would say ages 10 to 14 years old. The box says age 7 to 14, but here is my issue with this, there are a million small parts! A 7-year-old would definitely need an adult's assistance on putting this together. Also, it's a martial arts "fighting" toy, so I think it would be better suited for older kids.
The benefits of this toy seem to be: That a child must really use their brain and coordination to put all these small Lego parts together.
The downsides are: The toy is of a violent nature, which is not my cup of tea, but I can see the appeal of it to kids.
This toy reminds me of: Unfortunately, it doesn't remind me of anything. Probably because this is not the type of toy I would have played with when I was little and I have a 2-year-old daughter who doesn't fit this toy demographic.
I would buy this for another child: Who is older and would enjoy putting together such elaborate Lego pieces.

Air Swimmers: Giant Flying Clownfish

The price of this toy is: Overpriced at $39.99 and this doesn't include the helium that needs to go in it. The toy's parts are cheaply made and incredibly frustrating to put together, too! The directions are AWFUL! Once it was put together, we had difficulty with the parts staying secure, disappointingly flimsy.
This toy would be great for: An older child so that they can control the Air Swimmer themselves. However, a parent could entertain a toddler with it, if you can manage to put it together and get it off the ground.
The benefits of this toy seems to be: If you are able to get the toy put together and off the ground (we had difficulty with that), then it is fun. The concept of the toy is a good one, but the engineering behind it needs a lot of improvement.
The downsides are: This toy does not seem to have staying power, and what I mean by that, is that it seems as if it may break at any moment. It is also extremely challenging to assemble. Don't lose the instructions, even though they are almost useless.
This toy reminds me of: Absolutely nothing. It's a pretty unique idea for a toy, but I'll wait for Air Swimmers 3.0 (the next generation). Hopefully by then, it will be executed better.
I would buy this for: I wouldn't buy this for any child. Forty bucks can go to a better quality, educational toy that won't give me a headache to put together and won't be so flimsy.

LeapPad Explorer

The price of this toy is: Good, considering all that it does. You can find the LeapPad Explorer from anywhere between $59.99 t0 $99.99, and although this seems pricey, it's a good deal for all the cool features that it has.
This toy would be great for: Any young child, recommended for kids between the ages of four to eight years old. This is a fantastic toy for your child to bring on a flight or a long car ride.
The benefits of this toy seems to be: Many! I loved this toy, there are tons of both fun and educational things for kids to choose from on the LeapPad Explorer. There are Games and Apps, eBooks for reading, a built in Camera and Video Camera, Share and Learn Activities, and a Creativity category, too. This is an excellent solution for those parents who are afraid to have their child handle their iPads. You can also choose from the LeapPad Explorer app library to download apps with characters your kids love, like Pixar's Cars, Disney Princesses, Scooby Doo, and so much more! There is a cool touch screen and it comes in your child's choice of green or purple! It is also durable, which of course is a must for any kid's toy, especially a high tech one.
The downsides are: None (maybe they could give the kids some more color choices?)
This toy reminds me of: An iPad or tablet for kids!
I would buy this for my child or another child: Absolutely! This is definitely a high quality smart toy!

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Michelle Rivera, in addition to being a mom, is an Emmy Award winning TV host and campaign spokesperson. Michelle has also combined her passion for motherhood with her passion for Hollywood to create her online magazine Mommyhood to Hollywood, which also includes Michelle's blog.