NEW YORK, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Stumped about what to buy your kids this holiday season? Massive toy recalls have left many parents feeling anxious and confused about what is safe to purchase, and sorting through the latest headlines is enough to turn even the most avid holiday celebrant into a bit of a scrooge. "Thankfully, there are still lots of safe, quality toys on the market that kids will love," says toy expert Tim Walsh, who is offering safe toy purchasing guidelines to help parents with their holiday shopping. "This holiday buying season is a stressful one," continues Walsh, author of the book Timeless Toys. "Parents are trying to be diligent, reading packaging labels and researching products online, but it can be overwhelming." To simplify things, Walsh recommends looking for toys that fall into one of three popular categories: made in America, eco-friendly, and phthalate- free. Following are his top picks from each. Made in America: K'NEX Brands, one of the world's leading construction toy companies, manufactures all of its core building pieces in Hatfield, PA. Top choices from K'NEX include the 15th Anniversary Tub ($19.99), a 400-piece construction set which includes ideas for more than 20 models; and the Serpent's Spiral Coaster ($59.99), an impressive 5.5 foot roller coaster and the recipient of a Lead- Free Platinum Toy Award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. Available at www.knex.com. Eco-Friendly: SEE Toys is a multi-patented product line from Zen Design Group and the first eco-friendly, kid-powered toy line. Each toy features a power-generating motor and unique power crank that kids use to convert their own energy into electricity -- no batteries required. SEE Toys are manufactured under the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Directive, which restricts the use of toxic substances such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Top choices from SEE Toys include Dynafly ($29.99), a buzzing firefly with fiber optic wings and a glowing tail; and Dynacar ($24.99), a sleek racecar with working headlights and taillights, which makes 6 realistic car noises. Available at www.seetoys.com. Phthalate-Free: The Parents licensed toy line is filled with fun, educational products for the infant/toddler/preschool set. Winner of more than 40 industry awards, the line is also phthalate-free. Used in plastic toys to yield a softer texture, the hazardous chemical was recently banned in California, with many other states expected to follow suit. Parents eliminated phthalate from its toys 3 years ago, well in advance of any state or federal regulations. Top choices from Parents include Kitty Keyboard ($30), a whimsical feline-shaped keyboard, and Water Works ($20), a mess-free drawing tablet that uses leak-proof water pens. Available at www.target.com. For more information about Tim Walsh and his book, Timeless Toys, visit www.theplaymakers.com. Download Images: http://childsplaypr.com/2007AwardWinningToys/index.html.
SOURCE Child's Play Communications