LIVING

Top Toys For Christmas 2014: From 'Frozen' To Fitbits For Kids

11/04/2014 05:33 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
CTA
TORONTO - The play habits of kids may soon be mirroring the moves of their wired parents as gadgets and tech-inspired toys rank among the popular playthings heading into the holidays.

Nearly 100 toys, games and puzzles for kids ranging from toddlers to pre-teens were unveiled by the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) at its annual Hot Toys for the Holidays event on Tuesday.

Youngsters gathered at the Ontario Science Centre to test the latest in toy innovation.

Check out the CTA's top toys for 2014. Story continues below:

CTA's Hot Toys 2014

CTA public relations chair Laura Wiese says there were quite a few new tech-inspired toys on offer.

This included different types of robots, some of which can be programmed, and others that work with downloadable apps.

Wiese said smartwatches were also an emerging theme among the hot holiday toys.

One of those featured was VTech's Kidizoom Smartwatch which allows the user to capture photos and videos in addition to playing mini-learning games, with additional content available for download.

Wiese said a watch similar to a Fitbit with the ability to track activity and outlining goals for the day is another popular option. There was also innovation in kids' learning tablets such as educator-approved LeapPad and InnoTab models, she noted.

Meanwhile, Crayola's Virtual Design & Drive fuses the worlds of art and tech, allowing users to design their vehicle and snap a photo with the device which they then customize and operate on a virtual stunt track. The toy includes an app compatible with iOS and Android smartphones as well as tablets.

Wiese said there is a "bit of a hole" in the interactive plush category of toys typically filled by perennially popular offerings like Tickle Me Elmo. But this year, Wiese said it's "Frozen" that ranks as the big licence with the Snow Glow Elsa doll, as well as games and dresses inspired by the hit animated film.

Wiese said part of the enduring appeal of "Frozen" is the film's central storyline around the relationship between sisters Elsa and Anna which has earned fans among parents and children alike.

"The comic relief of having the little snowman is, I think, what the kids really gravitated towards as well," she said. "Even though the girls are definitely popular and a lot of toys are based off of the girls, you'll see a lot of Olaf stuff around too. ... There's a really cute plush character that just came out.

"I think because there's so many great characters in it and the music has done really, really well, it just really resonated with children and parents."

Wiese said there were "fun new takes" on traditional toys with remote-controlled boxing robots and a revamped version of the recall challenger Simon game with the new Simon Swipe featuring a variety of sounds, bold colours and flashing lights.

Wiese said Crayola also offers an updated version of make your own crayons with its Paint Maker, which allows children to create custom colours.

"I think it's a great way for kids to actually create their own accessories and things they use while they're making their art."

The complete list of Hot Toys for the Holidays can be found at http://www.cdntoyassn.com.

Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.