Matchbox has some great toys that recently came out, and I think they would make great gifts for Christmas! This is one of the Matchbox toys that I am really impressed with:
the Matchbox Mega Rig Shuttle Mission. This is a super toy, and great to expand your child's imagination! Caleb and Nathaniel have so much fun playing with this space shuttle extravaganza! I say that because this set create 30 different space combinations! My boys have a lot of fun with all the great accessories this Matchbox set comes with. There is a UFO space ship (that sounds a bit like the Jetsons and requires 3 AG13 button-cell batteries ~included) and has a seat in it for the green, rubbery space alien to sit to control the ship. There is also a space arm (which can grab things) that attaches to the inside of the doors on the top of the ship. Caleb likes to pick up other things with this arm, too.
The Mega Rig Shuttle Mission building system starts as one gigantic space ship. I like that kids can use their creativity to make many creations! You can combine the Matchbox Mega Rig Shuttle Mission with other great Matchbox Mega Rig building systems, making it easy to combine different sets and sparking your child's creativity. Also included in this set is an astronaut, wheels, ATV, a rocket, space shuttles, launcher, and more! This set is geared toward ages 4 and up (due to smaller parts). You can find the Mega Rig Shuttle Mission building system in retail stores, and online approximately $40-45. Seriously, my son Caleb really isn't interested in his other toys right now...this one is his first choice~ everyday!
Another great toy suggestion is the Mickey Motors Raceway from Fisher-Price! This is a really fun race track geared toward ages 3 and up! There are two race cars included in the Mickey Motors Raceway~ Mickey Mouse and Pete. Other characters like Pluto and Goofy can be purchased separately. To start off the racing, you need to charge up the cars at the two Rev `n Go stations along side the track, and send them speeding. Once the race cars are charged up, kids will be delighted to hear the silly sound effects of Mickey's phrases, such as HoooooT Dog! among many other phrases. The sound effects requires the use of 3 AA batteries (and that is well worth it) with the giggles it creates. The Mickey hand elevator lets kids send the cars to the upper tracks for some high speed fun.
When the race cars are heading out, Mickey's voice will count each time you pump, and when the voice reaches 10, it will tell you to "Go Racer One!" To launch the racer, you press down on the Mickey hand and off it goes. Kids will need to charge the racer after each lap to maintain speed, and Mickey will tell you what lap you're on. The elevator is a lot of fun! As racers ride into the tower, depending on whether the elevator is up or down, they will either pass through or stop in the elevator. When they stop in the elevator, kids will love raising the elevator using the Mickey hand, and then watching the racers race back down to the ground on the red track. If you are looking for a racetrack that the cars race side-by-side, this track doesn't do that. Instead, the racers start from different ends and the game keeps count of how many laps the racers have done to see who is winning. The Mickey Motors Raceway can be found at retailers and online for approximately $50-55. This is another great product to entertain your child for many hours!