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November 22. 2012 10:55PM

This year's toys: Furby's been rebooted, Skylanders rules video world


Geoff Pendexter, owner of Whirlygigs Toy Shop on Water Street in Exeter, arranges boxes of Playmobil sets inside his store Wednesday. He said Playmobil toys are always popular gifts during the Christmas season. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)


Mason Pendexter, 10, performs some surfing tricks on The Spooner inside Whirlygigs Toy Shop on Water Street in Exeter. His dad, who owns the shop, said The Spooner was a big seller last Christmas and is expected to be hot again this year. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)

Hasbro's furry robotic creature that looks a lot like an owl and speaks its own electronic Furbish language is expected to appear on many kids' wish lists this holiday season.

Furby made millions of kids smile - and many parents crazy - when it was released in 1998 and created a holiday toy frenzy.

The new tech-savvy Furby is even more interactive and has its own app to work with mobile devices.

"We're expecting huge sales from them this year," said Lauren Ashby, executive team leader at the Target store in Bedford where Furby is on sale for $54.

New Hampshire toy retailers say Furby will likely be a top toy-seller this holiday season, but many others are on the list as well.

Tablets like LeapPad 2 and Tabeo are also expected to be snatched up, along with "Skylanders: Giants," the latest video game in the Skylanders series. The "Skylanders: Giants" starter pack regularly sells for $74.99 at Toys 'R Us, but Black Friday sales will drop the price to $49.99.

"It's a big item even when it's not on sale," said Sarah Bonneau, assistant manager of the Toys 'R Us in North Conway.

Bonneau said Monster High dolls will be a hit with the girls. Other dolls likely to make it on Christmas lists this year include the "Time for Your Checkup" doll from Disney's new popular children's series "Doc McStuffins," the Lalaloopsy 12-inch Silly Hair Star doll, and the 1D collector dolls from the popular boy band One Direction, retailers said.

Walmart's hot toy list also includes a Power Wheels Dune Racer ride-on toy and the Razor Pocket Mod Electric Scooter, while must-haves on the 2012 holiday hot toy list released by Toys 'R Us include Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Liar playset.

Retailers say Legos are always popular every holiday season at toy stores big and small.

G.Willikers! Toy Shop in Portsmouth expects Legos to disappear from its shelves, but the locally owned downtown store offers many other toys not found in larger retailers that may be just as popular.

Calling his store a place that offers fewer electronics and more "back to basics" items, G.Willikers! owner Bob Breneman said a new fast-paced dice game called Tenzi is selling well and should be a popular game choice this Christmas.

Furby won't be available at Breneman's store, but the EzyRoller foot-powered steel riding machine will be available, along with educational toys like the popular Snap Circuits.

"We try to focus on the things you can't find elsewhere. We try to represent the whole child," Breneman said.

Whirlygigs Toy Store in downtown Exeter has a similar mission. No Furby or Skylanders video games there either, but The Spooner is expected to get scooped up this Christmas.

Whirlygigs owner Geoff Pendexter said The Spooner, a board that can simulate board sports like surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding, has become an instant hit. The board came out in the fall of 2011 and has been a hot item at Whirlygigs.

"It's fun for all ages," Pendexter said.

His son, Mason, 10, loves to practice tricks on The Spooner.

"I think it's cool. I like strolling across the floor," he said as he wobbled back on forth while visiting his dad's toy store Wednesday morning.

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at jschreiber@newstote.com.



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