Editor's 2016 Picks: Holiday Gift Guide of High-Tech and Low-Tech Toys

There's a lot out there to entertain and educate kids at the holiday time. NBC Bay Area Digital Editor Lisa Fernandez reviewed some of the top picks.

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The price ain't cheap on this Miposaur, but unlike other companies, WowWee makes robotics that really last. The company touts that "prehistory meets the digital age." The dinosaur is controlled through an app and can smoothly roll through the room and turn around, wagging its tail. Retail price ranges from $85 to $119.
Thinkway Toys
It’s hard to pick just one animated Star Wars figurine by Thinkway Toys in Ontario, Canada, they're all great quality and almost as tall as the kid who will surely get a lot of joy out of playing with them.
Like other WowWee products, this Miposaur is a robotic toy that is high quality and made to last. Some remote-controlled toys clunk out after a few days or a few minutes. Not the case with the Miposaur. The company touts that "prehistory meets the digital age," and that's a pretty accurate assessment. The dinosaur is controlled through an app and can smoothly roll through the room and turn around, wagging its tail. It can even chase a ball. Retail price ranges from $85 to $119.
We really like WowWee products; unlike other remote control toys, these REV Robotic Enhanced Vehicles are durable and unbreakable. We also recommend buying the battery charger for these cars, so you don't have to keep reloading with batteries. One of our focus group participants described these cars as "freakin' awesome." You can play against a friend, or against a computer. One thing: The cars aren't great in a small apartment; they're loud and fast. Make sure you have enough room for them to zoom around. The set of two cars retails for about $100.
As a parent, you may ask yourself 'Why?' As is why would you want an electronic kitty cat to spout out the future? But to ask the question is to not fully understand what would keep 7- and 8-year-olds giggling for a half hour or more. This electronic, future-telling, pocket-size kitty cat by WowWee retails for about $20 and apparently is able to tell the user who she will fall in love with and if she'll become famous one day.
Spin Master
Who says robotic toys aren't for girls? Spin Master offers the Zoomer Kitty for about $100 that is the "closest you can get to having a kitten without actually owning one." Her eyes follow you and change color, and this kitten purrs and sings.
Spin Master
Spin Master's DIY bracelet kit mixes the old, making your own jewelry, with the new, using text-like font. Retails for about $25.
Science Wiz
Science Wiz, based in Richmond, Calif., offers an array of kits for the engineer-minded, DIY kind of kid. This year, we chose two kits in particular, DNA, which introduces the basic concepts of molecular biology, and Light, where children ages 6 to 12 can make their own kaleidoscope among other projects. Kits range from about $17 to $25.
Smart Mom
These cute Lipzu lip balms were created by an 11-year-old Daisy Creel of Maryland, whose mom runs Smart Mom Jewelry. She combined her dry lip situation with her love of animals to create fun-smelling balm in adorable egg-shaped containers shaped like bears and birds. Great for stocking stuffers. Each costs $6.
USAoploy's Wonky card and block game is reminiscent of Jenga, only you're stacking colored cubes of different sizes, waiting tensely until they fall. Great for families. It retails for about $20.
It's a great game for kids learning to spell. You don't actually have to spell, just tap the first letter of the word. The fastest tapper wins. Retails for about $20.
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