Left your shopping to the last minute, only to learn that your kid’s number one, top-requested, must-have toy is sold out? Save Christmas with this guide to the hottest alternatives.
Must-have toy sold out? Don’t panic, here’s how to save Christmas
CAN’T FIND CRAYOLA PAINT MAKER? TRY CRAYOLA PINK MARKER MAKERArtsy kids and science fans alike will be smitten with the marker version of Crayola’s DIY colour kit.
$27 at Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy Toys “R” Us
CAN’T FIND DISNEY FROZEN - 2-IN-1 CASTLE PLAYSET? TRY PLAY-DOH SPARKLE SNOW DOMEFrozen mania is as strong as it was last year, with Arrendelle castle sets flying off shelves faster than snow melts in summer. Encourage kids to make their own (branded) castles instead. Bonus: Anna and Elsa figures are included in this Play-Doh kit.
$15 at Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy Toys “R” Us and Hasbro
CAN’T FIND DISNEY FROZEN SNOW GLOW ELSA? TRY DISNEY FROZEN ELSA’S MUSICAL SNOW WANDWe know it’s hard to let it go, but the singing, Frozen-quoting Elsa doll is the hottest ice queen in town, and opting for her overlooked sister, Anna, is a risky choice. But your entire family can still enjoy Elsa’s signature song through the magic of this snow globe/karaoke wand.
$20 at Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy Toys “R” Us
CAN’T FIND INNOTAB MAX? TRY AN IPAD MINI WITH A SPECK IGUY CASEInnoTab Max is a tablet just for kids, but an iPad loaded with age-appropriate apps is a technology the whole family can enjoy. Protect yours from drops, spills and tantrums with a kid-proof case.
iPad minis from $279 and Speck iGuy Cases $30 at Apple.comPhoto courtesy Speck
CAN’T FIND KIDIZOOM SMARTWATCH? TRY LEAPBANDVtech and Leapfrog are battling for kids’ wrists this year, and if you can’t find one wearable tech piece, chances are you’ll find the other. Kidizoom Smartwatch has a built-in video camera, while the LeapBand turns your kid’s movements into a game.
Kidizoom Smartwatch $60 at Vtech.com, LeapFrog LeapBand $50 Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy the Canadian Toy Association and Toys “R” Us
CAN’T FIND NERF COMBAT CREATURES TERRADRONE RC ROBOT? TRY NERF N-STRIKE ELITE NERF CAM ECS-12 BLASTERThe remote control Terradrone RC Robot is great for stealth attacks, but children who want a record of their Nerf gun exploits can capture the action with the Nerf Cam attached to this blaster.
$55 Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy Hasbro
CAN’T FIND SKYLANDER TRAPTEAM STARTER PACK? TRY SPHERO 2.0Think outside the Xbox with a completely new type of game. Sphero 2.0 pairs with Bluetooth devices and augmented reality apps to turn any location into a video game. Kids can also use Sphero for hands-on programming lessons. Cool!
$100 at IndigoPhotos courtesy Toys “R” Us and Sphero
CAN’T FIND TRANSFORMERS STOMP AND CHOMP GRIMLOCK? TRY TRANSFORMERS – AGE OF EXTINCTION CONSTRUCT BOTS DINOFIRE GRIMLOCK AND OPTIMUS PRIME SETThe Construct Bots variation offers the same Transformers characters with extra interaction. Kids can build their own transformable Transformers, and even customize them with pieces from other Construct Bots kits. $50 at Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy Hasbro
CAN’T FIND ZOOMER DINO? TRY ZOOMER ZUPPIES OR FURREAL FRIENDS GET UP & GOGO MY WALKIN’ PUPZoomer Dino, the trainable, farting dino is a hot choice this year, but your kids can still nurture a Zoomer Zuppy or a FurReal Friends pup, two interactive pets you’ll never have to clean up after.
$45 at Toys “R” Us; FurReal Friends $48 at WalMartPhotos courtesy Toys “R” Us and Hasbro
CAN’T FIND SIMON SWIPES? TRY BOP IT! BEATS GAMESorry, Simon Swipes, but you’re not the only retro revamp in town this year. Adults will remember twisting, pulling and bopping the original 90s Bop It!, but today’s kids can play DJ to musical commands that sync to songs from Nicki Minaj and Avicii.
$25 at Toys “R” UsPhotos courtesy the Toy Association of Canada and Toys “R” Us