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Best 10 Classic Toys for 2009

Spider-Man Racing Set (Carerra of America)

For ages 8 – 12; $90;

A play on the timeless racetrack, this set comes with two cars and all the cool gear to set up your own remote-controlled speedway.

Little People 50th Birthday Play 'n Go Farm (Fisher-Price)

For ages 1 – 4; $17.49;

This redesigned classic reflects the classic look of the 1968 original. Includes farmer, sheep, cow, tractor, fences and water trough in the take-along tin barn.

Mastermind (Pressman Toy Corporation Inc.)

For ages 8 – 12; $15;

Dating back generations, this is a classic for kids, parents and grandparents. Solve your opponent's code in fewer turns than it takes your opponent to solve yours.

Discovery Box (World Discovery Box, LLC)

For ages 5 – 12; $69;

A multi-drawer science collection box containing fossils, insects, geodes, and sea creatures. A great way to learn about nature, shapes, textures and science.

Brickbeard's Bounty (LEGO Systems Inc.)

For ages 6 – 12; $99;

This set includes four pirate minifigures, a monkey, shark, mermaid, boat, firing cannon, admiral's daughter minifigure and two soldier minifigures. With 592 pieces, it's a good value that will last for years.

"Legos and other types of building tools that come with the accompanying pictures of completed projects are great learning tools," says Mitchell. "Specifically, they help increase attention, logic and reasoning, planning and visual processing."

Hula Hoop® (WHAM-O)

For ages 5 – 8; $6;

Some 50+ years later, this classic toy is still great exercise – and great fun. More than 100 million were sold in the first two years after it was launched in 1958!

Crayola Model Magic Deluxe Craft Pack (Crayola)

For ages 5 – 12; $15;

Lightweight modeling material dries overnight. Contains 14 pouches in 9 colors, with 10 project cards. Doesn't cling to skin, clothing or carpet.

Scramble Squares

(b. dazzle, inc.)

For ages 4 – 12; $9;

If you like challenging educational puzzles that can keep your children captivated for hours, scramble squares can do the trick. They're very affordable and come in a variety of patterns.

Automoblox T9-SE (Automoblox Co. LLC)

For ages 3 – 8; $45;

This modern reinvention of the classic wooden toy car is fully interchangeable with other Automoblox models, allowing kids to mix and match designs to create their own cars.

Hanging Monkey (Wild Republic)

For ages 3 – 12; $10;

These plush monkeys feature longer than normal arms and legs with Velcro pads on their hands and feet. Easy to hang on backpacks, rearview mirrors, etc.

Want to learn more about games that build essential learning tools? Download a free chart showing well-known games and the cognitive skills they build (attention, memory, logic and reasoning, visual processing, etc.) at

To view the entire list of classic toys, visit

Wendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer. Her third book, "The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters" is now available in most bookstores.

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