Kids Pick the Year’s Top Toys (And We Give It a SoCal Spin)


Southern California is its own distinct microworld, different not only from the rest of the country but from our northern Bay-area brothers and sisters as well. For the second year in a row, Walmart opened its doors to kids to get their opinion on the best toys of the year and compiled their favorites into a “Chosen by Kids” list. Naturally, we SoCal families wonder if the picks will fit with our unique perspective of the world. Let’s take a look at the top toys of 2014 and see which ones our kids will love:

A Smartwatch for Kids

Three of the top five iPhone sales locations in the nation are in Cali, according to The Atlantic. We do love our tech. Smartphones, Google Glasses and Samsung Gear are commonplace in SoCal. Of course, our kids mimic our behavior, which is why the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch made it to Walmart’s list. It is a watch. It is a camera. It is a video recorder. Best of all, it looks just like Daddy’s Apple Watch, except it did not cost $350 and Junior is allowed to touch it.

Archery Kits

We may not like guns, but a bow and arrow is a different matter. They are genuinely unisex, so we don’t need to get into a conversation about gender stereotypes, and they are good outdoor toys for our near-perfect weather. On the list is the Air Storm Firetek Bow by Zing. This foam safety bow and arrow brags accuracy and power without the possibility of harm. If you run into Jennifer Lawrence when you’re out and about, maybe you can get her to demonstrate some Katniss moves for you.

All Things ‘Frozen’

The licensed items from the Disney movie “Frozen” was a big winner on Walmart’s Chosen By Kids list. You cannot throw a rock in Southern California without hitting a would-be actor, director or producer, and because we all know someone in the biz, we’re pretty outspoken about scripts. The writers at Disney flipped the script in “Frozen,” and we love a good script-flipping. The love story here was not a romantic one; it was the love between two sisters, but we didn’t know it until the end. So if our little girls—or our little boys (why not, right?)—want Elsa and Anna toys, comforters and bed spreads this year, “Frozen” has earned our respect.

Rawr! Dinosaurs Still a Favorite

We have the La Brea Tar Pits. The Page Museum at the Tar Pits is a paleontological reserve around active tar pits that are tens of thousands of years old. As an active dig site, scientists have been pulling bones from the tar for years. This is one of those field trip destinations that is so common, our children roll their eyes at the idea of seeing the smelly pits again. But they do make every SoCal native an expert (nearly) at all things ancient and dinosaur.

Dinosaurs toys made the Chosen By Kids list, and that’s good by us. The Zoomer Interactive Dino named Boomer is an electronic dinosaur that can be programed and controlled to roam. The toy boasts realistic dinosaur sounds and motion. Especially in California, dinosaurs are cool.

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