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December 02, 2011

Ask Patty Holiday Gift Garage: Kids

HolidayPattyIt's that time again!  Holiday Gift Garage season on Ask Patty is the time when we share great auto-themed gift ideas with you, and this year we have a series of gift garages planned to help you get prepared for holiday shopping!  

In this first Gift Garage post, we're going to talk a little bit about gifts for the kids, and a little bit about safety, too.  Well, what are we waiting for?  It's December 2! Let's get to it!


Cars2racersDisney / Pixar Cars 2 Carrera Racers - Anyone who is around my age will know exactly what this is.  Carrera slot car circuits have been around since the 1960's, and they are still the brand of choice if you're looking for classic high-speed slot racing fun.  Their controls, circuits, and cars are without par.  This year, you can race Disney / Pixar's own Lightning McQueen and the gang with teh Carrera Cars 2 collection.  We reviewed the blockbuster film here when it was released, and it came as no surprise that a plethora of merchandise was to follow.  There are plenty of Cars 2 gift ideas for the little McQueen fan in your home, but for my money, the sheer nostalgic joy of the Cars 2 Carrera Slot Racing set is the way to go.  After the DVD or Blu-Ray purchase, of course.

Hot-Wheels-Video-Racer-ScreenHot Wheels Video Racers - These things are awesome.  Hot Wheels is another brand that has been ubiquitous on toy shelves for decades, and they're also constant innovators, trying to make the most of their product.  The Video Racer in particular is such a neat idea, I want one!  It's a larger car than your typical Hot Wheels racer, but that's because it has a camera in the grille.  It records while it races, and thanks to a video screen on the car's underside, the racing footage can be reviewed in real time and also loaded into companion PC software (a free download, no less) where these videos can be edited, cut together, and spiced up with effects and other extras.  I would play with this thing for hours, no kidding.

F1-2011-3ds-screenshot-1Formula 1 2011 - If your kids are tied to their gaming devices, this is the one for you.  Racing games come and go, and many of them are a lot of fun, but whenever one comes out that boasts a little special something called realism I have to take note.  Ever since the days of the original NASCAR Racing game for the PC, the more realistic racing games have always been especially appealing to me, and to you too if you're a motorsports fan.  F1 2011 comes complete with actual drivers, teams and circuits featured in the 2011 F1 Championship, boasts not only exciting single-player content, but an engaging multiplayer mode as well.  It's available for Xbox, PS3 and PC already, but was just released for the Nintendo 3DS handheld, and that's the way I'd go because I love gaming on the go.

PTRU1-11256379regThe Power Wheels Boss Mustang from Ford - For those who prefer to keep their car toys a little more tangible, the officially licensed Power Wheels Mustang is the way to go.  Modeled after the boss version of the full size Ford Mustang, it is a 2 seat, 12 volt racer with realistic styling, look and colors. The vehicle features a sound box with cool motor sounds, an adjustable seat and cup holder.   Power Wheels is another of those brands that has a long history of quality, having produced powered ride-on toys since the early 70's.  More than 30 years later and with over 25 million vehicles on the road to date, Power Wheels continues to be the #1 battery-powered vehicle brand in the business, so if you're looking for the best way to bring the power of that full-size Mustang down to a kid-tameable size, this is the way to do it.


300419_zAlso from Ford, the Build-a-Bear Mustang - For the Mustang fan who has everything, Build-a-Bear Workshops presents the officially licensed Ford Mustang plush.  I'm not at all ashamed to admit that there are more than a few Build-a-Bear plushes around my house - and I don't have kids!  The quality and charm of the Build-A-Bear animals is unparalleled, and the process - well, let me just say if you've never made one, you need to, just to experience it.  You choose your animal, and pick up an empty 'skin'.  The bear is hand-stuffed for you by a friendly associate, who also allows you to place the beating (via a blinking red LED) heart inside before closing it up.  Then, you can choose clothes and other accessories for your new friend, name it, and even print your very own adoption certificate.   As you can see from the link, you can also order them already assembled, but this particular animal is currently backordered.  It's just as well - seek out an actual store and build one yourself.  It's a stuffed animal experience that makes the animal mean so much more once it's home, because you actually had a hand in its creation.  Highly recommended. 

Check back often for more Gift Garages and the Holiday Season continues!  Have a great weekend, Ask Patty nation!

  Kaeli Gardner, Inc.
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