Holiday Gifts for Under $100: FamilyFun Magazine Releases its 23rd Annual Toy of the Year Awards

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NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Families from across the country tested more than 400 toys in an effort to name 25 winners in FamilyFun magazine’s 23rd annual Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Awards. FamilyFun, part of the Meredith Parents Network, highlights the winning toys, including the Top 10 spotlighted below, in its November issue. Each toy was chosen for its exceptional fun factor, innovation, and durability — and costs under $100.

“This was an exciting year for the T.O.Y. Awards, as our tester families’ favorite playthings turned out to be some of the most unique and affordable toys available today,” said Ann Hallock, Editor-in-chief, FamilyFun. “This year’s winners give families new ways to play together, allowing parents and kids to embrace their imaginations both online and off.”

Top 10 FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award Winners for 2014:

Crayola Virtual Design Pro – Hand-drawn artwork goes high-tech in two fully loaded activity sets. The two collections, Fashion and Car, allow kids to stretch their creativity skills and bring their designs to life in a virtual world. Kids use the free app to scan their creations into a tablet or smartphone, then customize each model or car’s look before sending them down the runway or racetrack. Crayola; $29.99 each set; Ages 6 and up; iOS and Android
Hot Wheels RC Street Hawk – Two words say it all: flying car. This remote-controlled dragster kisses land good-bye and soars up to 200 feet in the air. Light yet resilient, it goes from doughnuts on the driveway to aerial loops and back again. Mattel; $59.99; Ages 8 and up
DigiBirds – These three interactive birds with cheerful songs are a pick worth tweeting about. Controlled by a whistle ring that doubles as a perch, the chirpers come programmed with 20 melodies and can be set to sing solo or as a choir. Spin Master; $29.99; Ages 5 and up
Gyrobot – Put a spin on the science of gyroscopes by constructing this kit’s seven cool motorized models. Tester favorite: a robot who rolls across a tightrope. Thames & Kosmos; $49.95; Ages 8 and up
Paper Style: Hairdos – This quirky craft book introduces 15 characters, including a mermaid, clown, vampire, and pirate, all in need of a haircut. Each comes with a paper sheet of hair that kids can cut, curl, braid, and crimp into mod makeovers. Chronicle Books; $16.99; Ages 8 and up
Max Tow Truck – When monster-wheeled bad boy Max exclaims, “Load me up!” he’s not kidding. Equipped with a powerful electric motor and sturdy plastic chain, Max hauls up to 200 pounds. Jakks Pacific; $59.99; Ages 6 and up
Lego Juniors – You might call this line of new Legos the missing link — or brick — between little-kid Duplos and more advanced sets. Each themed pack, such as Construction, contains regular-size bricks alongside larger preassembled pieces, meaning easier and faster builds. Lego; $9.99 to $49.99; Ages 4 to 8
Splish Splash Sink & Stove – After cooking a tasty pretend meal on the stove top, kids wash the included dishes and utensils in the sink with a working pump faucet. Little Tikes; $19.99; Ages 3 to 8
Creature Clash! Card Game – This wildly clever card game allows players to take turns creating fantastical animals by picking three cards: a front, middle, and back. Next, they choose a player to attack, who then makes her own critter. The winner is determined by adding up the numerical strengths of the various creature parts. Chronicle Books; $14.99; Ages 6 and up; 2 to 6 players
Record & Learn KidiStudio – Aspiring DJs can compose and record their own songs in free-play mode, or choose from 20 melodies and a variety of sound effects – including cheers. A record for scratching, a whammy bar, and a pop-up mic with voice-changer are all included for more music fun. VTech; $39.99; Ages 3 to 10
To view all 25 FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award winners for 2014, check out the November issue of FamilyFun magazine in print or on the iPad or go to Pinterest.com/familyfunmag. To learn more about FamilyFun, please visit familyfunmag.com, Facebook.com/familyfun, or follow @familyfun on Twitter.

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