As the boys get older, I find myself enjoying their gifts just as much as they do. The one thing that we find tough is that often they will want the same thing or we feel if we get something for one, we have to get it for the other so they don’t fight. This year’s list has a fair amount of presents and toys for the holiday that do fall into that category, but there are some toys that we specifically got for each of the kids as well.
You can watch the video above or you can click through and read all of our comments on each of the products that we have chosen for this years 8 and 10-year-old boys holiday gift guide from BSCkids. As with our other list, some of these toys were seen at Toy Fair 2013, some of them were purchased, and some of them we have gotten for review. If you have any other things that you might think they would like please feel free to add it in the comments (and share with your friends) and you can also find older holiday gift lists (when the kids were younger) at our site, and there are some classics on those lists that never go out of style. So if you are out toy shopping and can’t find something cool, just bring up one of our lists as we have done the work for you.
Albert’s Insomnia by RJB3 Games – no listen up, math really is fun and Albert’s Insomnia is here to prove it to you. A card game where your skills at logic and math come into play create a fun, well paced game that you feel great playing with your children. You have to use four cards to come up with numbers starting from 1 to however high up you can reach. We have played over and over again find it to be one of our top card games in rotation currently. It is learning and fun packed into a set of cards.
Astro Mini 3000mAh Portable Lipstick-Sized External Battery Backup Charger by Anker – Now that the kids have iPods and all sorts of tablets we seem to run out of power at the most inopportune time. Sometimes in the car when someone forgot to charge their device. Or sometimes when we only have access to one charger and all of the kids devices are out of power. Or a super long trip when the charger does not reach all the way to their seat. After having such good luck with an Anker battery of my own I found something that was a little bit smaller for the kids. Having these will save you a lot of aggravation and your kids will be happy to play their device even when they forget to charge it.
All Season Down Alternative Full/Queen Comforter, White and Pillow by Grand Down – Do you know how many time we heard from our kids that they loved our blanket until it dawned on me that maybe we should get them their own? Oh about 2 full years now (at least). This may not be the most exciting gift that my kids will get on Christmas, but I can tell you it will be one that they will cherish during sleep time.
Long Sleeve Performance BMX Jersey Boys by Adrenaline Promotions – These are just the coolest shirts around, even if your kids will not be performing at the X-Games. They are made out of some pretty rugged material also, so they hold up well to rough play. The fact that they have tons of different colleges means that you should be able to find something your kids will like. Some of the colors and designs are stunning, even if your kids aren’t into college sports at this time. They aren’t all that stretchy though so make sure you get something that will fit.
Boom Boom Balloon by Spin Master Games – Who loves balloons? Everyone in our family, except my wife. That being said there is something just exciting when a balloon pops, it is a bit scary, but always fun. Well Boom Boom Balloon makes a game out of something that the boys do anyway, and we all couldn’t be happier, except for said wife. I remember playing this while at Toy Fair last year and just loving it.
Bop It! Tetris Game by Hasbro – If there is a Christmas Gift that gets the most playing time by adults and kids alike, it has been the Bop It! series by Hasbro. Throughout the course of the year I can tell you that our Bop It! Smash has been a toy that adults, kids and even our 3-year-old had a grand ol’ time playing with. So when we heard that there was going to be a new Bop It! this year we were joyed, and then we heard the news that it was going to be a licensed product….hmm ok now you have my attention. Wait, what? Tetris? Sign me up, ship me 30 of them so I can send to all of our family and we can declare this a winner without even putting on hands on it. That wouldn’t be fair though as we still have to make sure it is fun. No worries here though, you have the excitement of Tetris in the palm of your hand, but wait you say you already had that with your Gameboy. Ok, I get it, you can carry around the game in its digital form, but let me tell all of you and your Nintendo Generation, there is something great about having a tactile feel of Bop It! in your hand, and that is why year after year this product is a winner, dare I say it even bridges generations? I can say this, I have seen people who would never pick up a video game, sit and play with one of the many Bop It! products that we have for over an hour, and there was just something special about trying to beat the score of someone else when they have to watch you and you have to watch them play with the product. The pressure is on. Bop It! Tetris, the perfect product to keep on your living room coffee table, because really who is going to read all of those books on architecture.
B-Daman Crossfire Break Bomber Battlefield Set by Hasbro – When we first saw this game I was taken back to Turn The Terrible Tank sort of feeling. Shooting marble balls at anything is always fun, but when you can do it with a friend and there is a winner, well that just takes the cake. Adding a license of B-Daman with a back story makes any already fun game even more enjoyable, then you tag on the app and a television show and maybe that wall does get knocked down quicker if I used a different character.
Clubs Card Game by North Star Games – My older son loves card games and is always looking to get someone to play Clubs with him. You make runs, you make pairs and you then try to come up with something that will trump what the other person puts down. It is a game you can play with the family and something you can take along on a trip. We are always on the lookout for fun card games and North Star Games has a hit.
Old School Cartoon DVDs – Recess, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Tale Spin, Thundercats are all on the agenda for this Christmas as they were cartoons that I just loved growing up. You have to share the classics, so every holiday we continue to add to their collection of DVDs. Darkwing Duck and Duck Tales are just some of my favorite cartoons of all time and they need to have an understanding of the “I am the terror that flaps in the night.”
DISNEY INFINITY Starter Pack PS3 by Disney – Disney Infinity Missions are good, don’t get me wrong, but where the game shines, and I mean shines bright like a star is in the Toy Box mode. My kids have said that Disney Infinity was more fun to build in than MineCraft, but that might just be the newness talking. Regardless, let it be known that Toy Box Mode makes this a bit more than a game and a tool to keep the children entertained, learning, and building all without making a mess. We have built racetracks, mazes, landed castles on the top of people all in the name of fun. There is something just magical about being able to use Disney Characters in a game.
Super Soaker Nerf Domination Drum Water Clip by Super Soaker – It may be a little cold out there in some parts of the country, but it is never too early to get started thinking about the next big water battle. Since we have outlawed the hose, this will be the next best way to have as much water as possible available to you. At first we had the water clips, but you had to carry a few of them around with you, this way you will be able to bring the water blast to the battle.
Wood Grain LED Alarm Clock with Time Temperature Date & Sound Control by EiioX – How hard is for your kids to get up in the morning? We have found that only having one clock in the room was not good enough so we decided to get something that was easy to see and you could move around easy.
EZ Pro DJ Turntable by Jakks Pacific – An iPod mixing experience. My kids love playing around with music and creating dance shows, so now they can have the full DJ experience. And I will be honest, I plan on making some mixes myself when the kids aren’t around. Note: iPad is not included
Wild Republic 12″ CK Red Fox by Wild Republic – We get our kids stuffed animals every year, just like my parents did for me. This year though with the “What Does The Fox Say” Song by Ylvis I figure that two stuffed animal foxes would be a very good option.
Hexbug Aquabot by Innovation First Labs – Another product that had me dreaming of a maintenance free aquarium when I first saw it. It does double duty as a pool toy, bath toy, and aquarium friend.
Hot Wheels Carcade Track Set by Mattel – My kids have really gotten back into Hot Wheels this year and racing. We are also a huge Skee-Ball family. Bread meets butter as you get to play a Skee-Ball like game with Hot Wheels Cars. There is also a nice point counter for you as well to see who many cars can make it destruction derby style.
KRE-O CityVille Invasion by KRE-O – This was just the product that we happened to pick from KRE-O, but they bring a new take to the brick game with all their new products and different licenses like Transformers, GI Joe, CityVille Invasion and soon to be release Dungeon & Dragons. You had me at Dungeon & Dragons.
LEGO Legends of Chima Set by LEGO – This is one of the coolest new LEGO lands that we have seen in a long time. Over the top fantasy with animals that were once friends and now, they may not be. There is a television show, some video games and I believe even a ride for this line.
LEGO Architecture United Nations Headquarters by LEGO – All of the different kinds of LEGO products are neat, but there is just something special about building something that exists in our world out of bricks. We had gotten some of the easier ones for the kids last year and we decided to give them something a little more complex. I do not mind the 12+ because it gives us a chance to build with them and if they want to go it alone, it teaches them to follow instructions and have patience which are both good things in our book. The United Nations Headquarters just looks amazing in LEGO form.
Mental Blox Critical Thinking Game by Learning Resources – We love games that help our kids with logic, because I find that it is such a huge part of life and a lot of kids struggle with it. Games like this help them to get an early start and being able to “figure things out” while having fun at the same time. Quality product as well.
Mille Bornes Card Game by Hasbro – A game that I grew up playing with my Grandparents. It has been a long time since I have played, but I did have such fond memories that I figured it was time to introduce my kids to the game. I always remember the tire that gets a flat.
LEGO Minecraft The Village by LEGO – Minecraft is still cool in our house, and we are always looking for fun LEGO products. This is the best of both worlds.
NFL Game Day Football Board Game by Fremont Die – We love board and card games based around football since you can’t break a leg or get a concussion. Another game that we saw at Toy Fair and we were just excited by how fun it was. It took a bit for it to go into production, but I knew this was going to be on our list sometime last year. The fact that they have the NFL license was just icing on the cake. Play as your favorite NFL team and have a blast.
Killerspin MyT5 Rollaway Table Tennis Table by Killerspin – This is the “OH WOW” present this year. Yes we have some video game systems on the list, but to the kids they are just an upgrade to what they already have. To say they have a Ping-Pong table is going to be over the top. Every time we go on vacation and there is a table, they want to play. Every day that we go to the pool they want to play, so now at least they will get good at it. I find that you have to be good at pool, foosball, ping-pong, or darts to become a man, ok maybe that is just in our house…Now since I am not one to buy a poor quality product I began a hunt to find a table that feel professional, is easy to store, and would not break the bank. It really is a quality product and I have just been looking at it, waiting for Christmas morning to come so I can play as well. Yes it has crossed my mind to play while the kids are asleep but I have held off.
Polaroid XS100 Extreme Edition HD 1080p 16MP Waterproof Sports Action Video Camera With Full Mounting Kit Included by Polaroid – If you cringe at the price of some of the other products like this, we all understand. That is why the XS100 is so nice, it does the same thing at a much cheaper price. We have put it on bikes, on helmets, used it to film underwater and it has done the job. The kids just LOVE being able to film themselves in the water and it does double up as a nice training aid for your budding swim team member. This is one of those products that makes it on our vacation list as we don’t have to worry if it goes on the beach or makes it way to the water, the pictures and the videos still come out looking great.
PlayStation 4: Launch Edition by Sony – I just enjoy video games too much to not have both systems, so the kids get to benefit by that. How many hours we spend playing sports video games, it just makes sense to play them on the newest generation video game system out there.
Spirograph Deluxe Design Set by Kahootz – I remember playing with Spirograph for hours upon end as a youngster. I think I have a boy who will be doing the same, those designs are just memorizing. This is one of those toys that doesn’t need batteries and any sort of gimmick, it is just fun with a pen and paper. Now if you have multiple color pens you are sure in for a treat.
Spooner Boards Freestyle by Spooner Boards – Again another Toy Fair product that they were demoing with a half-pipe. Something about it says indestructible and for some reason I just think it is safer than a skateboard. The kids use it to slide down the hill in the backyard, with or without snow. Want to go surfing on the sand rather than in the water, Spooner Boards have you covered again. It also is a great product to let the kids start to understand about balance in many different sports.
Spy Gear – Panosphere 360 Spy Cam and Spike Mic Launcher by Spin Master – Playing spy can be fun and this Panosphere camera is something to behold. It records a whole room not just one corner at a time and if you want to go back and look around in that room you recorded no problem. The technology in this toy is out of this world on how it can do what it does, but make sure they don’t use it to spy on you when you aren’t looking. Same goes for the Spike Mic which will let kids hear what is going on in the room next door, in no time you kid could prove to be the next James Bond. They might use it to spy on Christmas presents though so be careful around those crazy kids.
Air Hogs RC Helix X4 Stunt, 2.4 GHZ Quad Copter by Spin Master – In the search for the easy flying device, Air Hogs does a darn good job at providing a copter that is easy to control and can do cool flying. Again the thing here is control and the X4 has it, where you might get frustrated flying some of those other helicopters, you will not find that problem here. Also two good things about the blades being covered, it makes it a bit more durable and you don’t have to worry so much about your child getting smacked around by the blades, it can go outside as well unlike some of the lighter copters. Our current favorite RC flying device.
Super Mario 3D World by Nintendo – Hands down if there is a game that needs to be under the tree for the boys at Christmas, this is it. I believe if this was not on their pile, it would only mean that any and every gift card and envelope full of money would be used to purchase this game December 26th. They have been looking forward to this game for a long time now, and the fact that I got to play it at NYCC and tell them about it has not made it any easier on them. The graphics are what you would expect from HD Mario and friends, and the gameplay is darn near close to perfect. Throw in come cat suits and you have what we can easily call a “Classic” video game from the first time you hit the start-up screen.
Skylanders Swap Force Starter Kit by Activision – Skylanders are our friends now, we know them all, have followed them through their many adventures and now we get ready to embark on a new chapter. The game that started it all now has Skylanders that can swap parts to give you the best character for the task at hand. Mix and Match and find your favorite playing style, and this time around you can even jump! There is something special for the boys when they can physically place their toy on the Portal of Power and then romp through the world together. Making everything forward compatible has been a smart move, and now it is not just the game, there are all sorts of other Skylander toys.
Swish Junior Card Game by Think Fun – Can you tell we like card games? They are easy to pick up, do not take a lot of room up and I find it easier to keep all the cards together than it is to keep all the pieces to a board game in the box. Swish is another card game where your child is using their brain to solve different kinds of problems while the game is being played. For this game you use this transparent cards to match up and overlap them so that it forms the full design. Sometimes you will think that they will fit, just to be stumped as it matched up on the wrong side. Take your game to the next level and match up more than 2 cards at once.
Hats – These are the boys accessory item now a days and it used to be just sports teams. That is not the case anymore as you can find all sorts of cool hats. This year to go along with the DVDs that they have gotten, we showcase a Thundercats hat.
Minecraft Think Geek Wall Torch by Think Geek by ThinkGeek – This is one of the cooler Minecraft products out on the market and the kids just love things that light up. So now you can get your own drink of water, and if you are scared of walking downstairs in the dark,
Xbox One Console – Day One Edition by Microsoft – The reason we had to get two game systems this holiday? Kinect. It is just that good, we loved the Xbox 360 for Dance Central and we just have to figure that the Xbox One will have something just as good
Neoprene Face Mask by Zanheadgear – Go sleigh riding? How about skiing or snowboarding with the kids? I had bought myself one of these a few years ago and the kids would always steal it so I figured it was time to get them their own. I keeps you super warm so even if it means you are just shoveling the driveway, do it without being cold. The kids love the look and now you won’t have to hear them complaining so much about the cold.
We wish you Happy Holidays and a great New Year as you kids play with all their cool new toys and games. Just remember to take some time off and spend time playing with those toys yourself and with you children. The season is about spending time with your family, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it even more enjoyable with fun toys and games as well. Stay tuned as we already start our research on next years Christmas and Holiday Gift Guide for the boys.