Around this time of year our weekends include trips to the toy store where we let the kids loose — willingly. Call it a form of parent market testing. They run up and down the aisles touching all the buttons, pulling things off shelves.
They make the truck sounds, try on action figure costumes, stare and point at lego boxes and more. It is the world’s biggest toy buffet and we let the kids have at ‘er. For my wife and I, it’s the best way to see what they actually like. Sure, they can see a commercial or a flyer and say they want it, but when they actually get to ‘play’ with it, we can see if we both want it.
The Canadian Toy Testing Council conducts similar experiments with focus groups of kids and hundreds of toys. Then, just before Christmas, they come out with the best testing for each age group. It’s perfect for when you have to buy for cousins and friends that aren’t in the same age group as your children.
(BTW, Yes I am totally trying to find out how to sign my kids up to be on the panel of testers next year.)
Here’s an overview of their Child’s Pick for each age group, you can see the full list of toys tested and more detailed breakdown here.