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100 Hottest Christmas Toys Of 2013

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CHRISTMAS TOYS 2013
Looking for the best Christmas toys of 2013? A mix of high-tech toys and old classics are predicted to be the most popular playthings of the season. | Canadian Toy Association

TORONTO - A mix of high-tech toys and old classics are predicted to be the most popular playthings of the season, but what will emerge as the ultimate must-have over the holidays is anyone's guess.

The Canadian Toy Association revealed some 100 items in its annual "Hot Toys for the Holidays" showcase Friday, saying the crowning of the season's absolute favourite will come only after children declare their top choices.

"There's a lot of different hot properties this year and so really it depends on the interests of the child. But rest assured there's always some sort of craze that happens in December," said association president Kerry George.

"We just let children just come and play and experiment and test them out and see what they're actually really interested in."

The toys highlighted by the association are a selection of what manufacturers think are going to be popular among children of all ages and interests.

For those who like items with a modern edge, there are a selection of learning tablets, a kid's DJ set with a downloadable app (EZ Pro DJ) and tech-savvy play sets like the Rock Stage which, once constructed, can be hooked up to an MP3 player to blast a child's favourite tunes from built-in speakers.

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"Technology seems to be permeating throughout all the toys nowadays," said George.

For those who prefer sticking to the tried and true, a number of longtime classics have received an upgrade and are making a comeback.

There are Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, which are celebrating their 30th anniversary, Holiday Barbie, who turns 20 and has a new gown, and even the iconic Chatter Phone, which has been upgraded to incorporate memory and matching games.

A number of items on the list also feature old-fashioned wooden toys and a lot of "barn and animal play," said George.

"Going back to the roots of good-quality wooden toys that stay around and it's a toy that you can pass down from generation to generation, that seems to be a resurgence this year," she said.

"There's just a really wide range of product that will appeal to a bunch of different consumers."

One mother who took her two children to the toy association's event said her kids were really excited at the variety of items featured.

"They're going to want to buy a bunch after," Joann MacDonald said with a laugh. "I'm looking at a lot of craft items or educational toys. Things that they'll keep using throughout the year."

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