And it's hardly fun and games -- big bucks are at stake. The Toy Industry Association, which puts on Toy Fair '08, calls it a "22 billion play date."
On The Early Show Monday, co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez got to try out (read that -- play with!) four of the items expected to be among the year's hottest.
The following descriptions were prepared with information provided by the manufactuers:
Ultimate Dance & Sing Hannah Montana (Jakks Pacific)
Watch your Hannah Montana fashion doll actually dance and sing! It's interactive! Listen to Hannah say "Let's Rock!" just like she's in concert! As Hannah starts to move, press Button 1 and watch her dance and sing to her three top hits. You can also create new dance moves for Hannah! There are over 16 pre-programmed dance moves. To make your own dance moves, press the right and left 'feet' and 'arrow' buttons. The stage lights up and moves around. Hit the silver arrow button to detach Hannah so you can have regular fashion doll play. Comes with an extra fashion outfit and guitar.
Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Tyco R/C Pro Turbo Wheelie Cycle (Mattel)
An R/C cycle that performs wheelies on-command (a first for an R/C vehicle!), along with a variety of stunts, such as jumps, rolls and spinouts, enabling kids to control and emulate the real thing. Gives kids real-world action when it comes to interactive play experiences. Also features a unique transmitter designed like motorcycle handlebars that features realistic tilt-motion controls to respond and behave just like the real thing. For ages 8+.
Furreal Friends Biscuit, My Lovin' Pup (Hasbro)
Man's best friend is about to become a dream come true for kids this fall! The newest, most realistic pet to ever join the Furreal Friends family, kids will love to interact with this adorable life-size golden retriever. Through highly innovative voice recognition technology, the FURREAL FRIENDS BISCUIT, MY LOVIN' PUP pet puppy will obey six different voice commands including "Sit," "Sit up and beg," "Lie down," "ZGive me a paw," "Speak" and "Do you want a treat?" Just like a 'real' dog, BISCUIT, MY LOVIN PUP will move his head and ears, blink his eyes, wag his tail and bark. This playful pup will also sniff his 'bone' and chomp away on his tasty treat. The FURREAL FRIENDS BISCUIT, MY LOVIN' PUP pet puppy will also respond to touch; kids simply pet their new best friend on the sensors located behind his ears, on his head and on his back and their new pal will wag his tail to show his delight. In addition, the FURREAL FRIENDS BISCUIT, MY LOVIN' PUP pet puppy includes an innovative 'bark-back' feature that will enable him to respond when he is spoken to! Comes complete with his very own comb and dog 'bone.' Six 'D' batteries are required but not included. Ages: 5 +.
SRP: $179.99 Available Fall 2008
Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micro (SpinMaster)
The ultimate in gravity-defying indoor R/C racing! Zero Gravity Micro is a full function R/C car that drives on the floor, up walls and even upside-down! With outstanding scale speed performance on any smooth surface, the Zero Gravity Micro has two power settings: Regular Mode: Turn off the Venturi fan for outstanding ground control, Extreme Mode: Turn on the Venturi fan for vertical and upside-down action! Zero Gravity Micro's working headlights also act as battery charge level indicators, and with four frequencies you can even race against your friends! Ages 8+.
SRP $29 Available Fall 2008