A Justin Bieber toothbrush that singsNeed I say more? Even if your kid's room is plastered with posters and you can't even take them to school without listening to at least three Bieber tracks, there's no reason that even teeth brushing needs to be a Bieber-ized activity. Pass. (photo: target.com)
FurbyWe all lived through Furby mania in the 90s and there's frankly no reason to revisit it. Until these creepy creatures can teach kids French or perhaps verbally walk them through multiplication tables, their scary little voices are not worth hearing all afternoon. (photo: target.com)
This kids-sized MercedesMake sure to pair this electric car with some Chanel shades to complete the lifestyle branding of your 3 year old. Or put those four hundred bucks towards an actual Mercedes when he or she is 16. Or never. (photo: mbpartsworld.com)
LEGOs Friends Beauty ShopEven if you don't buy the problematic messages in LEGOs for girls, this particular set in which little girls can play beauty salon isn't worth your holiday cash. With purses, boobs, and a penchant for hair styling, these little figurines can sit around and apply lipstick the size of their heads. Not, you know, build anything. (photo: target.com)
One Direction dollsOkay, so they're cheap. For a mere 16 bucks you can have your tween daughter squealing louder than your newborn baby. I get it. But the utter lamitude of this doll, although it won't break your bank, may break your self respect as you stand in line. Then again, you will have some good photos to tease her with when she's 18....Nope. Still not worth it. (photo: toysrus.com)
A Mini Washing MachineSo for the three to five set, FAO Schwartz has a faux washing machine for $34.99, complete with four sound effects and actual water for the washing of doll clothes. Here's an idea. If kiddie's fascination with cleaning is so paramount that it warrants a toy, how about they learn to play with the real washing machine with some adult supervision? And learn how to wash actual clothes along with dolly's? Their own clothes can actually get clean with Barbie's! No fake sound effects required. (photo: fao.com)
Super Branded CrapLike a lot of purses for girls that contain the concerning lady essentials of makeup, cell phones, and credit cards, this one is no different. But along with giving girls as young as birth (according to the manufacturer's recommendation) a purse full of troublesome priorities (spend spend spend and look real pretty while you do it!), this one conditions your tot to be a full-fledged FAO Schwartz customer thanks to all that branding. Get them while they're young! (photo: fao.com)
Plush Angry Birds That Make NoiseThe product description for this potential stocking stuffer reads: "This toy will bring the Angry Bird video game to life in your own living room." They say that like it's a good thing. Who the hell wants another annoying sound from this game echoing through their living room? Apparently you can collect all of them, along with the pigs, and play the game for real by stacking pigs and hurling your Angry Bird at them. Thanks, but no thanks! (photo: toysrus.com)
So it’s now that time of year when you’re surfing those gift guides and 2012 “hottest toy” lists, determining what is actually worth your money and what isn’t. Maybe your kids have been squawking about getting a Justin Bieber doll since Halloween or maybe you have the more subtle kids who just email you their picks from the family computer. Either way, you’re the ultimate deciding factor on whether yet another piece of the Angry Birds franchise ends up wrapped in your living room — despite whatever toy trends dominate the TV.
So barring any letters to Santa specifically begging for those “Friends” LEGOs, here are the kinds of toys you should omit from your present list from the get go. Don’t buy the “hot toy” hype. Scratch them off so you can make room for something that will actually make your kids go nuts on that special day.