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<p>My boy has circled</p>
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<p>Buzz Light Year ( I don't think he would last too long in the interest department)</p>
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<p>Dinosaur Robot Rampage - think he may be somewhat interested in it depends on what it actually does . (Cheaper than the armor gorilla one .</p>
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<p>Hot Wheels  Mad Bones Track ( I think he will definetly like that one but he had a 'race car track and the tracks got lost so hopefully snce he's older maybe it will be worth while</p>
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<p>DS games a somewhat interest so I  don't plan on getting him too much because he will play it for awhile then the DS is set down and he asks to play a computer game .</p>
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<p>He also wants the Half-Fire Droid from Star Wars another Remote thing needs 6 batteries for the Droid and 3 for the Remote .</p>
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<p>Nerf Stuff (which has little pieces which I'm for sure will get lost some where</p>
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<p>Dairy Queen Blizzard Maker( that may only keep interest for a little while)</p>
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<p>Videos- Ben 10 , Toy Story, Toy Story 2  and How to Train Your Dragon.</p>
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<p>Some lego stuff and the black bioncle from Hero Factory</p>
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<p>Generator Rex -He likes the show so he wants there toys so I think the one that does the shooting would be more appropiate because the one on the bike the rex guy is stuck</p>
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<p>He is interested in Ben 10 toys and more Transformers but he more plays with his Ben 10 toys than he does wth his Transformers</p>
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<p>So out of toys that kids ask for how do you know it's What They Really Want and They Won't Bore With it because if they Bore with it that means it's a 'waste of your Money .</p>
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<p>Also, how can you be able to know how your kid will light up when they see the present go yay ! i wanted that because definetly he won't get 'everything on his list but I'm tryng to 'figure out the Big Presents then the 'rest small presents ?</p>
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<p>It can be tricky.  I think you just have to do your best at making an educated guess.  I definitely look for play value when buying presents for my kids, however I also sometimes will go with the thing that they REALLY REALLY WANT (!!!) if it doesn't break the bank.  You know that kind of magical feeling of opening that gift on Christmas morning, and it's *that* thing (makes me think of the BB gun in "A Christmas Story"). </p>
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<p>As for the ideas you mentioned, I'm just not sure as I don't even know what a bunch of them are, lol.  The hotwheels race track sounds like something that could get a lot of use.  Legos are great too (and have years of play value, yk).  If he already plays with his "Ben 10" toys a lot (I have NO idea what those are, lol), then adding to the collection probably wouldn't be a bad idea.  Things that suck up a million batteries sound annoying to me, so I'd be inclined to give that a miss, unless that's the ONE THING he loves and adores, yk?  Maybe your best bet is to initiate a little more conversation with him about his "choices" to see which are the things he's most interested in.</p>
 

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<p>I told my 2 y/o & 4 y/o that they can each pick one gift to ask from Santa, and the rest would be a surprise.  They were completely okay with it.  My 4 y/o asked for Rapunzel barbie (gag!) and my 2 y/o asked for a race car.  I got both of them and then 3 other gifts (plus stocking stuffers for each of them. We followed "Something you Need, Something you want, Something to read, something to share".  I got 3 and the Grandparents have a whole lot of "something they want". LOL.</p>
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<p>I personally don't typically get my kids "junky" toys - that's why it was soooo hard for me to buckle down and get Rapunzel barbie - so I would pick a few of the sturdy non-gender toys and purchase them. </p>
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<p>ETA: We don't watch any TV so my kids aren't really exposed to ads so they probably don't even know what they could be asking for!  Maybe that's why they were okay with asking for 1 thing and waiting for Santa & Mommy/Daddy to surprise them.</p>
 

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<p>I watch what they play with most during the year and lean towards that instead of all the stuff they put on their Christmas list.  My 4 year old will be getting lots of dinosaur stuff, some cars and some action figures mostly.  Because that's what he likes.  My older son has been asking for a specific video game for months and he will get that, but he only has 2 things on his Christmas list right now anyways.  We will be getting him some things we know he'll enjoy, even if he hasn't asked for them.</p>
 

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<p>I hear you. It can be really hard. My almost 9YO really wants more Nerf Guns but I told him he doesn't play with the one he has (he said it is because the "bullets" keep getting broken or lost, but I pointed out that won't be any different with a new gun!). I always give Legos, though. They are hands down the toy that gets THE MOST play in our house (at least with the two older boys -- the 3 1/2 YO hasn't gotten into them quite yet). Also, if I see a particular interest forming, I go with that. For example, my oldest is super into Chess right now and always begging me to play (he is better than me and I always lose). So I got him an electronic chess set that talks, explains moves and goes from beginner to tournament level. He didn't ask for it, but I imagine he will be happy with it! He is not getting the remote control video car he wants, though, because I see that getting lost or broken, like the remote control car from last year.</p>
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<p>My middle son drives me crazy every year because he asks for things, then changes his mind, or switches gears, particularly on which Lego sets he wants!</p>
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<p>I bought the Hot Wheels dinosaur Trick Tracks for my youngest -- that is a guess on my part. He doesn't have a "list" of his own, but I have seen that he likes cars and playing with tracks at other people's houses. Hopefully I guessed right!</p>
 

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<p>I look for a couple of things:</p>
<p>-Long term or intense interests.</p>
<p>-Open ended toys that can be used in creative ways</p>
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<p>My ds' interests are: Baseball and penguins. He's got a large, complicated penguin family that he's adding extended family to. His presents are focused around this. He's going to get:</p>
<ul><li>Several stuffed penguins</li>
<li>Baseball accessories for his stuffed animals (he plays 'animal ball with them')</li>
<li>A new baseball game for the Wii (OK, fails the open ended gift, but it is a long term interest and it is a 'currency' that brings other kids to the house, which my socially awkward kid needs at times)</li>
<li>Baseball cards</li>
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<p>Dd's interests are: dollhouse play with playmobil, stuffed animal play, and fairies (not sure if this is a short or a long term interest). She's going to get</p>
<ul><li>Playmobil toys and accessories (I got a really good deal on some used stuff -- so she's getting a hospital, a car, and a whole bunch of household stuff)</li>
<li>A stuffed grizzly bear in its own little suitcase</li>
<li>Fairy sticker book</li>
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<p>Looking at what you described for your son, I'd tend toward:</p>
<ul><li>Hot wheels and track</li>
<li>Legos</li>
<li>Ben 10 toys (I too have no idea what those are, but hey you do and he does!)</li>
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<p>I'd also talk to him about why he's circled these things -- what does he expect them to do? What does he want to play with them? If he's seeing TV commercials, for example, he may have very unrealistic ideas about what they can do.</p>
 

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<p>DS1 isn't quite 4 yet and he honestly hasn't really asked for any one thing specifically. He mentioned a space ship at some point shortly before black friday, so I picked him up some of the imaginext space stuff from target (the space ship, space station and a random alien). He's also asked for a robot, but I haven't gotten him one, yet. If I run into a transformer for a decent price that I think he'd really like, I'll probably pick it up, but otherwise, meh. He gets whatever I find for cheap and that looks cool, I honestly don't know what we'll when he actually starts asking for specific stuff... I guess we'll figure it out then :p.</p>
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<p>Otherwise... My dad got him & Ds2 a huge set of unit blocks from barclay woods, which I hope they love as much as I think they will :p And I think my mom's getting them both a pillow pet... MIL/FIL I have no idea what they're getting but I'm sure it'll be cool. MIL is always amazingly good at getting gifts :p</p>
 

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<p>I don't know what most of those toys are specifically, but of them, I would try to select the most open-ended ones that allow the most creative play. Are the Ben 10 toys action figures? Those and the race car track seem like they would have the most long term play value.</p>
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<p>DS (5) has asked for a Nerf gun, but won't be getting it. Instead, he will be getting tinkertoys, legos, slippers, a 3-D book about insects, and probably one other toy. DD (3) will be getting a doll house.</p>
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<p>My mom likes to tell the story of the year when I was 7 or 8, and what I "really wanted" was a talking Heather doll. Santa got it for me, and I played with it for all of 20 minutes before realizing it wasn't as cool as my other non-talking dolls. Sometimes it is hard for even adults to discern what they think they want and what they would really enjoy.</p>
 

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<p>We've never done "lists" for exactly this reason--I feel certain I can choose better gifts for my 5, 4, and 1-year-old children than they can choose for themselves, but I don't want them to be disappointed when they don't get anything off their "list."  This year my 5-year-old wrote a list at school, asking for all sorts of video game consoles (yes, plural), his own "cumputr," and an ipod.  He also asked for a zhu zhu pet, a few books, the Star Wars DVDs, some Star Wars dress up clothes, and a "stuft cat."  So, although I had a nice plan for what he was getting for Christmas, I decided to honor the more reasonable of his requests, and got him the Star Wars DVDs and the books.  My 4-year-old saw a Zhu Zhu pet at the store and wanted to get it for him (she knew it was on his list) and it was $6, so I let her get it (even though I think they are ridiculous pieces of junk), and my mother-in-law had already picked up a couple Star Wars costumes on clearance after Halloween, so she's going to give him those.  So he's not getting an ipod or a laptop (bummer!), but hopefully he feels like we "heard" him. =)  If I were you, I might do something similar--get him a couple smaller things off his list, or maybe some related things (Ben 10 books, for example), but if you're getting him a "bigger" gift, choose something you think he'll actually like/use for a longer term.  </p>
 

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<p>I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this dilemma.  This is part of the reason we are so glad to have DD1 out of daycare this year so she doesn't see any of the commercials and ask us for amillion things.  It was working great...until...preschool used the Toys 'R Us catalog as cutting practice and had the kids cut out what they want for Christmas.  Arrgghh.  The two things she chose are a talking, musical vanity and a 18" Tangled doll.  I thought, maybe the doll woudl be reasonable, until I realized it's almost $50, for a doll!  The vanity is even more money.  Now she's set on getting both items and a replacement may just not do.  So, we are torn between just shelling out teh money for one large gift that she loves (even if we don't), buying a more reasonable, higher quality, substitute that she may hate since it's not the exact one, or just taking a stab at somethign completely different and not on her list.  I too wish that lists weren't there as I hate the idea of disappointing her Christmas morning.  She has to learn that she doesn't get everything she wants, but does it have to be that day??</p>
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<p>redpajama - The zhuzhu pets are a piece of junk, however I will admit that my dd1 (4 yo) "loves" the one she got from her uncle.  She's used it almost every day for over 6 months now, so that was worth the money.  In fact, I think he's getting her another one for Christmas.</p>
 

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<p>here is my philosophy on toys that i wanted to share.</p>
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<p>my dd has never been a toy person. yet she wants them all the time. she will ask for them - stay consistently begging for them until she gets them and then seh is done.</p>
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<p>i see toys not as toys for her but 'challenges'. within a week after her bday she is DONE with her toys. initially i did not want to buy her any, but then i realised it wasnt that she was into playing with them. she wanted to see how they worked and once she mastered them she was done with them. she also never really plays with her toys the way they are meant to. </p>
 

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<p>I tend to go by what will most likely be played with and not end up missing pieces and laying at the bottom of the toy box, for the most part.  My boys both play with legos and playmobil and like videogames.  They want lego sets.  Ds1 picked one particular star wars lego set, which I got for him.  Ds2 keeps telling me he wants every lego set that he sees in the lego magazine.  I got him one of the many ones that he mentioned which isn't a theme that we already have (star wars, space police, atlantis).  I think he'll like something new.  Ds2 is getting a  nintendo ds and ds1 (who already has a ds) is getting a game that he wants for the wii.  I also got them both a book, a shirt (star wars), and a toy that I think they'll like even though they didn't ask for it.  And we got them a tent to share for our camping road trip next year.  They also both really want beyblades.  I think they are junk that will be lost, but they are cheap and I know that they will be really happy to get them.  It is tricky.  Ds2 wants eveything that he sees in commercials on Saturday mornings.  Most of it, I know he may be thrilled to open, but will quickly lose interest.  I guess I basically try to pay attention to what they really play with on a regular basis, think of something that I think they will like to play with, and consider at least one or two of the things that they ask for.</p>
 

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<p>Well, some toys don't get played with long term if mom doesn't buy new batteries or replacement nerf darts...  Nerf darts do get lost and don't work if they get smashed but the replacements packs make excellent stocking stuffers.  Here, they get the most play when we have guests.  I do hesitate to buy another nerf gun because we have enough for all the kids that come by.  The huge ones are too big to use easily, we've learned from experience.</p>
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<p>I've observed that while my ds likes legos, bionicles, and lego "heroes," he really only uses the regular legos  The bionicles and heros get built and set on a shelf.  He doesn't do as much role playing with action figures as he does building.  Another kid might use the figures more and build less.</p>
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<p>He loves R/C vehicles.  He takes good care of them and turns them off to save batteries.  He doesn't play with them everyday but they come out from time to time so I don't feel they are a waste of money.  But they do require new batteries from time to time.  And I try to remember to charge the ones with rechargable batteries before playdates.</p>
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<p>Sometimes getting a toy that a child asks for is a good learning experience.  They get better at determining the long term value of a toy as they get a little more mature.  My ds wants fewer things not that he is older and knows what the bulk of toys are really like.  I used to show him toys in stores that we had seen commercial for so he could see them without all the advertising glitz and being used by excited children.</p>
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<p>I've been surprised by how he really uses some things that he has asked for that I would never have picked out for him, mainly pixos and martian matter alien maker (which is actually a little disappointing because the aliens dry out and shrink super small.  Ds would have liked to make and save them).  But the pixos, he really likes and still uses a couple years later (I do have to get more pixos but I see them on clearance after holidays).  He isn't into crafty things so I'd never have guessed he'd find them appealing.  He saw the commercial and bought them with his allowance.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<p>I did get him a 'few presents from me but I figure I will leave the Optimus Prime Big Transformer and the  other Ben 10 toys from Santa  .As soon as Brendan saw his presents under the 'tree' he goes I'm betting that's my big optimus or this other one he's 'referring to his Ben 10 Aliens . I was going Nope but he can't figure out the toys I got him which I'm for sure he will be thrilled with .</p>
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<p>Then totally 'suprised on xmas day !</p>
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