Fortunately for parents this year, there is no runaway Tickle-Me-Elmo-type present that has parents scrambling from store to store or scouring the black market for impossible-to-find gifts. But there are plenty of favorites in high demand. Here are the hottest gifts burning up wish lists in Western New York, according to local retailers.
1. Beats by Dr. Dre.
Made famous by the celebrities and athletes who sport them like fashion accessories (including their rapper and producer namesake), these over-ear headphones are famous for their deep-bass sound. Best Buy has to restock its Beats shelves at least every two hours to keep them from being picked clean. Prices can top $375.
The wildly popular Disney movie came out more than a year ago, but “Frozen” is still white hot. Widespread shortages of “Frozen”-themed products kept Elsa, Anna and Olaf toys out of consumer hands for the better part of 2014, but retailers are making up for lost time, fulfilling that pent-up demand with everything from “Frozen” clothing, headbands and shoes to dolls, dishes and jewelry.
These wireless, wearable activity trackers let users measure their own personal fitness data, including how many steps they have walked, how many calories they have burned, even how soundly they are sleeping. Models range in price from about $48 to $130.
This goes to show you can never predict what will become a fad. These strange, tiny, squishy toys come in the shape of fruits, drinks, frozen yogurt – any kind of edible you can think of. There are Shopkins playsets – a grocery store, a bakery, a vending machine – and variety packs that come with shopping bags, baskets and carts. The goal is to collect them all, but the real fun comes from buying “blind bags” or “blind boxes” that conceal the item so you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it home.
5. GoPro cameras.
With YouTube, everyone is the star of their own show. The small, lightweight, high-definition cameras can be worn or mounted just about anywhere, and are popular for capturing action-packed events such as skydiving and surfing. They can cost up to $500.
“Everything is awesome” for these plastic, interlocking blocks. Legos have been a Christmas favorite since they hit stores in 1949, but the popularity of this year’s box office smash “The Lego Movie” has put them over the top.
7. PlayStation 4.
The Atari 2600 it is not. This year’s hottest video gaming console, which can cost up to $400, is a totally immersive gaming experience, with otherworldly graphics and a huge array of highly-anticipated new games in development.
8. Alex and Ani bracelets.
These thin, expandable bangle bracelets are sort of like charm bracelets, but instead of collecting many charms on one bracelet, wearers collect several bracelets, each with its own charm. They’re meant to be worn together, several at a time. They start at about $28 apiece.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The heroes in a half shell had a new movie this year, which introduced them to a whole new generation of fans. The skateboard-riding, sewer-dwelling stars grace everything from shirts and shoes to walkie-talkies and, of course, action figures. Kids can’t get enough.
Even pre-schoolers have these mobile, touch-screen computers on their lists. For teenagers, a tablet – particularly an iPad – is one of life’s most vital necessities, second only to an iPhone.