Hot summer toys your kids will love

June 10, 2008 4:43:23 PM PDT
The Toy Guy Chris Byrne reveals his top picks for the hottest summer toys.

Small spheres that pop open into powerful Bakugan warrior action figures when rolled onto this game's Gate Cards. Kids have to use strategy to pick the best warriors and Gate Cards to win. Players can pick their favorite characters and trade them, too.
Spin Master, 6+, $2.99-$29.99

What if you could have all the action and challenge of wake boarding right in your backyard? Here you go! Roll out the Banzai Wake Board and fill it with water. Then hit the wake and have a simulated wake boarding experience. The set easily connects to the hose and offers hours of backyard play.
Toy Quest, 8+, $39.99

In a look at things to come for kids and play, BarbieGirls is the first global online world exclusively for girls. At BarbieGirls girls can create their own virtual character, design their own "room," shop at the mall, play games, hang out, and chat with other girls (with no exchange of personal information). Touting more than 9.5 million registered users on four continents to to date, is one of the fastest growing virtual worlds ever. Barbie Girls? takes shape in the real world with a sleek, handheld 41/2-inchportable device that serves as a music player and fashion statement-in-one, while also "unlocking" many new features within From online to real life, Barbie Girls? gives girls a whole new way to play. Get ready for a global web-o-lution!
Mattel, 6+, BarbieGirl device $59.99

Kids can create cool 3-D art with these dual-ended, multicolored sticks of chalk from Crayola. When art is created through the chalk, warm colors "rise" while cool colors "recede." Put on the special glasses included to see 3-D action.
Crayola, 4+, $4.99-$9.99

You too can grill a Gazillion thrills with the Gazillion Bubble BBQ! With this portable bubble barbeque you will become the ultimate bubble chef! Grill bubble steaks and great bubble sausages! This Bubble BBQ comes with all the necessary grilling accessories so you can grill up bubble fun anytime! Everyone will want to join your bubble cookout with the Gazillion Bubble BBQ! Batteries required.
Funrise, 3+, $19.99

GAME This jump-up-and-go silly search game invites kids on a wild adventure to save the Whos! Put on the Horton Hat and race all over the house to find the hidden clovers where the tiny Whos live. Pick them up with your trunk-then hurry back before time runs out! The player who rescues the most Whos is the winner!
I Can Do That! Games, 4-8 yrs., $19.99

Now every kid can live the adventure and excitement of what it's like to be Indiana Jones. With realistic whip-crack sound effects, this role-play item also features the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark theme song.
Hasbro, 6+, $19.99

The collectible plush critters return! Choose from 14 different characters; each one can be connected to to reveal their digital selves.
Jakks Pacific, 4+, $7.99

The perfect toy for summer vacation road or airplane trips, these handheld games guarantee fun and entertainment. The games featured are: Tetris, UNO, Brain Games, and 20Q.
Mattel, 8+, $9.99-$24.99

Spike the Ultra Dinosaur brings prehistoric adventures right into the living room! This life-like, remote controlled Dinosaur is the "ultimate" must-have dinosaur for kids. It comes to life as it walks forward, turns left or right, opens its mouth, blinks its eyes, stands up on its hind legs and even throws a boulder.
Fisher Price, 3-8 yrs., $129.99

Any bottle of water can become a water weapon with this Super Soaker device. Compatible with almost any bottle, it can fire water up to 20 feet!
Hasbro, 5+, $7.99

Chris Byrne bio:
The leading expert on children's toys, lifestyle trends and play in the U.S. today, Chris Byrne is a researcher and analyst specializing in the children's industries. His work encompasses consumer behavior, product trends, play testing and the sociology of kids and families in the contemporary market. He has consulted to major companies seeking to enter the youth market, and is a much sought-after speaker for conferences and has developed international research programs designed to define current market dynamics and opportunities. He writes extensively on the toy industry for a variety of media outlets and is very often the "go-to" guy for media and professional people seeking to understand the market in cultural and historical contexts.