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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  • Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset

    Through pretend play, the <a href="" target="_blank">Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station</a> Playset will turn your child into a little conductor! The motorized train plays imaginative phrases or music at each of the ten SmartPoint locations. Children will also learn time concepts, colours and phrases in several languages at the electronic station. <em>Age: 1-5 Suggested Retail: $60 </em>

  • Fisher-Price Chatter Phone

    A new spin on a classic favourite, the F<a href="" target="_blank">isher-Price Chatter Phone</a> Talking Game adds to the fun of this iconic toy with memory and matching games. Players can dial in one of four game levels to play. Multiple difficulty levels enhance game play challenging children as they grow. <em>Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $25</em>

  • Little Tikes Giddy Up N Go Pony

    Meet Thunder the <a href="" target="_blank">GiddyUp and Go Pony!</a> Thunder moves just like a real pony by moving his head side to side and going forward and back when your child bounces up and down. <em>Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $130</em>

  • Billy Beats Dancing Piano

    Learn just how much fun building and music can be as you dance and play along with <a href="" target="_blank">Billy Beats Dancing Piano!</a> With three different modes of musical play (Dance with Billy, Teach Me, and Free Play) children can have fun with Billy Beats™ in all kinds of ways!<em> Age: 1+ Suggested Retail:$45</em>

  • Read With Me Scout

    <a href="" target="_blank">Read With Me Scout</a> and Read With Me Violet are new interactive plush puppies that read stories aloud and interact with a child to develop comprehension skills, an essential first step on a child’s path to reading. Each plush puppy is loaded with storybooks; music, lullabies and interact-and- respond activities. <em>Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail: $35</em>

  • Classic World Carpenters Tool Box Set

    This <a href="" target="_blank">easy-to-store wooden set comes with all the tools</a> (hammers, wrench, pliers…) children need to create a world of imaginative play and learning. Children get familiar with their abilities through practice and learn different tools. <em>Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $30</em>

  • Kettrike Junior Tricycle

    The <a href="" target="_blank">Kettrike Junior Tricycle</a> is the epitome of a quality, legacy tricycle made by Kettler in Germany. Safety, comfort and durability for your children and their children afterwards are designed from the ground up. <em>Age: 1-5 Suggested Retail: $149 </em>

  • Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo

    <a href="" target="_blank">Big Hugs Elmo</a> loves getting hugs, but he really loves giving them! After getting a hug from Elmo, little ones can pretend along with him, and even dance, sing, nap, and cuddle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street pal! <em>Age: 18 months+ Suggested Retail: $70</em>

  • Furby Boom

    <a href="" target="_blank">Your Furby</a> has a mind of its own, and the way you treat your Furby will shape its personality. <em>Age: 6+ Suggested Retail: $75</em>

  • Wrebbit3D Empire State Building

    A high level of fun for the whole family! One of North America’s most famous icons. Relive the building experience with <a href="" target="_blank">Wrebbit3D Empire State Building</a> puzzle with its 975 pieces and its height of 104 cm. 975 pieces <em>Age: 12+ Suggested Retail: $40</em>

  • Lightshow Mic

    <a href="" target="_blank">Lightshow Mic</a> makes you the star! Press music button and choose a rock, classic or jazz song to sing along with. Glowing multi-colour light show too! <em>Age: 18 months+ Suggested Retail: $17</em>

  • Planes Pilot Pals

    Kids can recreate the action seen in <a href="" target="_blank">Disney Planes with this RC vehicle</a> that offers remote control role-play: the plane moves when they do! Kids can use the two controllers to tilt the wings and control its movement through mimicry. <em>Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $55</em>

  • LEGO Friends Heartlake High

    Have an exciting day at <a href="" target="_blank">Heartlake High</a> with Stephanie and Matthew. First, store her bag and her laptop in the locker, then head to science class and study plant cells under the microscope, experiment with chemical reactions using the beakers or look through the astronomy telescope. <em> Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail: $60 </em>

  • Drop Shot

    <a href="" target="_blank">Drop Shot</a> is an unpredictable marbles-on-ramp game for two to four players. Drop Shot pits player against player in a race to the top with the risk of getting knocked down by the Drop ShotTM ball. The first player to reach the top and survive the last chance drop wins.<em> Age: 6+ Suggested Retail: $30</em>

  • Indoor Outdoor Cooktop

    <a href="" target="_blank">Hape's Indoor Outdoor Cooktop</a> not only includes a two-burner stove surface, but the reverse side has a grill. The set also has a clock to practice telling time, dials to change the cooking intensity, a cooking pot with lid, a frying pan, and cooking utensils. <em> Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $40</em>

  • LeapPad Ultra

    <a href="" target="_blank">The Wi-Fi enabled LeapPad Ultra</a> offers a 7-inch high-resolution screen to help children learn to write using a stylus while supporting interactive touch experiences. Features long-lasting rechargeable battery, two cameras and video recorders, MP3 player and 8G memory. <em>Age: 4-9 Suggested Retail: $160</em>

  • Squigz

    <a href="" target="_blank">The suction construction</a> kit with little suckers that stick to each other and to any solid, non-porous surface - Squigz are a species all their own. They flex. They stick. They suck people into creativity. <em>Age: 3+ Suggested Retail: $30 </em>

  • HABA's Soft Doll Clara

    <a href="" target="_blank">HABA's soft dolls</a> have cheerful faces, colourful clothes and soft bodies, perfect for cuddling! A dozen+ styles, available in 4 size ranges (38 - 30.5 cm / 15" - 12") with a wide variety of clothing and active-play accessories also available; each sold separately. A<em>ge: 18 months+ Suggested Retail: $37</em>

  • Crayola Melt 'N Mold Factory

    Create unique, multi-coloured crayons and toys with the <a href="" target="_blank">Melt ‘n Mold Factory!</a> Add your custom combination of colourful crayon bits to the melting tray, then turn it on and watch your crayons melt together. Pour the melted wax into molds to create custom crayons…no two crayons are the same! <em>Age: 8+ Suggested Retail: $60</em>

  • Threadz

    <a href="" target="_blank">Threadz</a> are kid-friendly weaving and hooking kits that come with all the tools one needs to create a scarf, a beanie or a purse in just a few hours. Designed with the fashion conscious girl in mind, Threadz kits feature the latest yarns in the hottest colours. <em>Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail: $25</em>

"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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