TODAY   |  December 16, 2013

Kid-tested: Hottest toys of 2013 co-founder Stephanie Oppenheim brings a group of children on the TODAY plaza to test the hottest toys of the season.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now with today's toy test. we have gathered over a dozen of the season's hottest toys and as you can see, we have opinionated kids putting them through their paces. stephanie is a child development expert and today contributor. happy holidays to you.

>> thank you, matt.

>> these are toys that do right by kids.

>> absolutely. not only fun but many are educational. they're great toys our testers have been testing all year. the fast category are fast cars . do you like pinball?

>> i love pinball.

>> do you like hot wheels ?

>> i had hot wheels as a kid.

>> this is awesome. instead of pinballs you're playing with hot wheels .

>> it's like a pinball game but you use cars. how many cars come with the game?

>> two but you can use your other hot wheels as well.

>> okay. this just came in in the crazy cars max track.

>> does that glow in the dark or does it just look like it does?

>> the cars which are now being used on the hot wheels thing have led lights on the bottom and you can't tell out here but when they go they're going to light the track.

>> i can see the lights.

>> the best track we tested all yearlong.

>> perfect.

>> and no real batteries required or anything like that which is great.

>> really great.

>> the next category we have the busy builder.

>> busy builder.

>> these are toys that teach kids.

>> right. i always bring things you usually build. this one you build and then you implode it. this was the demolition lab. it was a little windy today.

>> building up and you have these things in here.

>> you guys are ready to hit the button on those.

>> oh, there you go.

>> oh, the humanity.

>> this is really physics but you're talking about momentum, energy and you know what, matt, it's really fun.

>> al, get in there and build something.

>> it won't let me in.

>> what else do you have over here?

>> star wars , lego, stilts, top set we have. number one request of our kid builders. this is really interesting and new. this is investigating solar power . it comes --

>> no batteries? all solar power ?

>> no, we're using the light bulb because there's not enough sun out here. really teaching your kids hands on ways to learn about renewal energy.

>> and problem solving and all of that. i like that very much.

>> there's been a lot of talk about girl's construction sets. this is designed by two female engineers that want to bring the next generation of builders into science and technology . look, matt. it actually comes -- this isn't your regular dollhouse. you build it and design it so there's a lot of creativity in this one as well.

>> and this one, magformers. we love working with geometric shapes and different structures. and tinker toys . they're plastic now. they have cool bending pieces.

>> and they do a lot of pink colors so girls will learn the same lessons boys learn.

>> you work your way around. i'll come find you.

>> good. the next area are crafts. these are great. i would say if you have one toy of 2013 , the rainbow loom. kids love it. if you're getting your holidays together. this is a great thing to do with grandma and grandpa. keep the kids busy. they can make their own sets.

>> what i really love are crafts. the basket of craft supplies. this gift keepts on giving when the holidays are over. another great thing to have on hand for the holidays as well. this is totally different. this is a marker maker from crayola.

>> you make your own markers.

>> yes.

>> natalie nice job. don't forget you'll be taking these kids over and they'll pick their favorite toys in just a second.

>> she's with the get up game.

>> this is new. this is head bands act up. savannah doesn't know what the card says but you guys do. so you need to play basically.

>> can i see?

>> give her a clue.

>> they can't talk.

>> hopping -- kangaroo.

>> yea.

>> oh, you're too old to play this game. you're too good at this.

>> let's have you do it, matt.

>> perfect.

>> a really good choice for mixed ages because it's a fun thing to play together.

>> all right.

>> this is yoga game. you have to get in the yoga position and keep it for ten months.

>> let's go over here. we have hello dollies over here.

>> we'll pick your favorite toys now.

>> come on over.

>> take one of the ornaments here and put it in the box that corresponds to your favorite toy. if you liked the toy, put one of the red ornaments in that box. this is where it gets rather random. this is an inexact science here.

>> we have some more demolition lab.

>> we're going to tally the responses and tell you the favorite toys according to our kid testers coming up in just a moment.

>> everybody votes. don't vote twice.

>> vote early and often. we're going to have much more ahead. stephanie , thank you very much. merry christmas . happy holidays . for more of stephanie 's top picks head to up