Hot toys this holiday, What’s new and affordable: Part 2 - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

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Hot toys this holiday, What’s new and affordable: Part 2

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tired of spending your hard earned money on Christmas gifts that never get played with?

"We're a one income family, and I have four kids I have to care of and I have to be smart with my money," said Angie Knutson.

Angie Knutson is taking the guesswork out of Christmas. Her family tests products to determine what works and what falls short.

"If I purchase a product and my kids don't play with it and it goes untouched, I feel like I wasted my money," Knutson said.

Her children's ages make her family ideal toy testers. Kaitlyn's 10 years old, Kylee 8, John David is 7 and Luke is 3.

"Some things companies will say are geared toward a younger age, but I can come back and tell them ‘Hey my 10-year-old really loved this too,'" Knutson said.

Angie thinks the newly released Stomple is a fun game the whole family can enjoy.

"It's following the colors and you stomp the marbles and they go through the board," Knutson said. "Blue Orange Games is a great place to find quality wooden games. It teaches colors, numbers."

Rag dolls are making a comeback.

"I think it's a break from the technology based toys we have today," Knutson said.

Classics have been updated for the new generation.

"They've kind of redesigned Monopoly so that the little kids can play. The Cars 2 Operation is really fun.  It features Mader.  He makes really great noises," Knutson said.

Hasbro's classics have shrunk so you can take them on the go.

"Hungry Hippos, Battleship, Perfection, Guess Who, Trouble, they retail for about $6.99," said Knutson.  "There are some great activity books from Lazoo."

Art on the go has been simplified with the doodle roll.

"The roll of paper just slides out. When you're done you just tear off your page, put your crayons back in here, and it's ready to go for next time," Knutson said.

Angie's website, "My Four Monkeys", lists her reviews, product prices and where you can buy them.

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