Each year, there tend to be certain toys that fly off the shelves faster than any others, and 2001 is no exception, with Barbie and dinosaurs looming large at the top of the most-wanted toys list.
Microsoft's Xbox, Nintendo's GameCube and Sony's PlayStation 2 video game consoles are hits among video game enthusiasts, while fashion and music-influenced items are expected to be tops for older kids, along with items related to the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Monsters, Inc. movies.
Good Morning America's Lara Spencer took a look at some of this year's hottest toys, based on statistics from Toys "R" Us. The items below are the chain's best sellers, and are also available at various stores across the nation.
Toys For Tots
Ideas for children from infants to 4 years old.
My First Leap, by LeapFrog, $39.99. This new version of the popular LeapPad toy is for pre-schoolers. It is a lightweight and portable educational learning system that promotes reading readiness, helping to teach children the alphabet, numbers, phonics, pre-reading skills, and pre-math skills. Children touch, play and learn with interactive "flip books" that feature a story on one side and activities, games and music on the other.
Barbie in the Nutcracker, by Mattel, $19.99. This features Barbie as a ballerina in the holiday's most beloved ballet, The Nutcracker. Dressed in jewels, ballerina Barbie transforms into a princess and dances to music on a special stand. Ken is sold separately and plays Prince Eric who comes with a Nutcracker mask.
Heroes and Dinosaurs Reign
For children ages 4 to 8, playtime gets a little more adventurous.
Animal Planet Jumbo Dino Playset, by Imaginarium, $24.99. Children can go back to the dinosaur era with this playset. It includes a play mat that depicts rivers, rocks and footprints, and children can move the dinosaur figures around on top of it.
Rescue Heroes, by Fisher-Price, $5.99 to $9.99 per figure, and $74.99 for the Command Center. When danger and trouble lurk, Rescue Heroes help kids save the day, a popular theme since Sept. 11. There is also an Aqua Command Center that can serve as the figures' base of operations.
Bratz, by MGA Entertainment, $14.99. The Bratz are four hip friends with a "passion for fashion." These four groovy, multi-cultural dolls (each sold separately) have their own attitude and style. Yasmine, Jade, Chloe and Sasha each come with an 11-by-17-inch poster of the whole Bratzpack posing with attitude.
History and Science Toys
For children ages 8 and up, play gets a little more complex.
Bionicle by Lego, retails for $6.99 to $29.99, with a set of 6 retailing for $19.99. These action figures have a rich and mythical back story, set on the legendary island of Mata Nui, where heroic Toas struggle with the bad guy Makutas. The robotic crustaceans can take jabs at their opponents.
Harry Potter: Professor Snape's Potions Lab by Mattel, retails for $24.99. From Hogwart's most famous student — kids can mix their potions in a cauldron with a self-stirring wand. When they are done, they can drink their concoctions.