trainThis year, Mattel is helping make your holiday shopping easier! They have created an online destination with a selection of their top 28 toys covering children on your gift giving list from ages 1-12.  So many wonderful ideas! launched on November 7th and parents all over Canada have been already getting wonderful gift ideas. To view Mattel’s Top Holiday toys or to learn more, please visit

Our family had a chance to try two of the toys from their list and we highly recommend them, two of our contributors are also trying out a couple of their top toys so stay tuned for their full reviews!

Here are the two toys we had a chance to try:


Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages Chair

Ages: 12 months + Price: $54.99

“This “magic” ABC seat knows when baby sits, activating songs and phrases when baby stands. Press the light-up remote or flip book pages to hear numbers, shapes and more. Lift the cushion to reveal more fun surprises. The chair includes Smart StagesTM technology, an exciting new way to change learning content as baby grows. Every baby develops at their own pace, and Smart StagesTM gives you the ability to select the stage that’s best for your child! Three levels of play offer fun songs, phrases & sounds for your little one’s age & stage. Features 50+ sing-along songs, tunes & phrases.”

Available at: Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target, Loblaws, Sears, Amazon

Our thoughts: 

Our 11-month-old son absolutely LOVES this little chair. From the moment he saw it he has been climbing on it, pressing all the buttons, opening and closing the cushion all the time and enjoying the cute songs and sounds. The chair is very interactive and perfect for his age. I like that it has different stages to change the learning content as baby grows.

The chair is a hit at our home and even our 4-year-old has fun playing with it. Something that I really like is that the chair is lightweight and easy to carry but it has enough weight to stay on the floor and not tip over when our son plays with it. He usually holds on to it to stand and I like that it is pretty stable.

I like the educational aspect as well because the chair plays the ABCs song, numbers, shapes, colours etc. It is good for baby to hear those while he plays so he can start familiarizing with them and add to his vocabulary.

The chair does require batteries (three AAs – not included) so make sure to purchase those ahead of time if you are planning to open presents and have your child play with it right away!


Fisher-Price® Thomas & Friends TrackMaster Avalanche Escape Set

Ages: 3 + Price: $69.99

“Thomas must navigate a risky mountaintop track in this playset that stands one foot tall and over 5 feet long. After charging up a steep incline, he’ll need to use his momentum to soar across a huge gap in the tracks! As Thomas careens down the mountain, he’ll also power through a rickety bridge with collapsing guardrails before he enters a spooky cave where he’ll discover a fossil! Thomas isn’t home-free just yet, because there’s a monster of a surprise lurking in the scrap yard! Featuring a motorized Thomas engine and an auto-reset function that enables continuous play, the Avalanche Escape Set delivers a nail-biting adventure that will test the speed and bravery of the No. 1 blue engine! Inspired by the Tale of the Brave DVD.”

Available at: Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target, Sears, Loblaws, Amazon

train set
train set

Our thoughts: 

O.k. let’s start by saying our 4-year-old is a huge Thomas & Friends fan, he even sleeps on a Thomas The Train bed! He was over the moon when he saw what we received to try and we spent about an hour that same afternoon assembling the set and putting everything together. Once the assembly was done he spent the entire evening playing with it until bed time, with only a short break to eat his dinner.

The playset is over 5 feet long and one foot tall so it takes a lot of space when being used, not a problem if you have a play room or a big area for it to be kept, that’s if you want to leave it intact. If you don’t have the space you can disassemble it, save the instructions and assemble it again once your little one wants to play. That’s what we have to do, a lot more time consuming because the assembly takes a while but it works for us.

The set comes with a motorized Thomas engine that can fly across a gap in the tracks and goes up and down the tracks with ease. There is a fossil that he picks up on the way after entering a small cave.

The set has an auto-reset function so it can keep going around without having to reset it manually.

This is definitively a very entertaining toy as it kept my 4-year-old busy for hours. The playset has interesting surprise pop-ups and mystery areas that keep little ones excited and anticipating the next surprise.

I think any Thomas & Friends fan would be delighted to own it this holiday season!

*Note that while the set doesn’t need any batteries the motorized Thomas train does. You will need two AAA batteries.

Below is a little video of the Thomas & Friends Avalanche Escape Set:

Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.

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