As for the toys expected to create shopping headaches, Hoffer predicts youth electronics to rule this holiday season: "Toy manufacturers are giving everything a high-tech twist this year. Familiar favorites will have new, interactive features, and plug-and-play technology will prove to be big in 2007's hot games. Also, expect anything robotic to fly out the door, especially following the huge popularity of the Transformers film this summer."
Some of the biggest toys for this holiday season are expected to be Webkinz, stuffed toys that come with a code for kids to log on to a Web site and play with their pet in an interactive world; Pleo, a baby dinosaur robot similar to a Furby; Transformers Optimus Prime Voice Changer Helmet, which makes kids' voices sound like a robot; PlajaPets, stuffed animals with interchangeable heads and tails; Smart Cycle, a plug-and-play interactive learning toy for tots; Chat Diva Barbie, which talks into a cell phone; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix video games and toys; T.M.X. Ernie and Cookie Monster dolls; and anything and everything from the Disney hits High School Musical, Cheetah Girls and Hannah Montana.
Hoffer should know. Besides being president and CEO of a supply chain company, she is a mother of three young children.