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Dear Marianne:

How can you tell if these holiday "hot toy" lists are credible or just advertising?

Shelley, New York, NY, Mom of Luke (4) and Max (18 months)
The best way to approach a "hot" toy list is to read it for information and not as a shopping list. Most of these lists have little or no research behind them. To determine if a list is credible or not, look for these red flags.

1. The list is based purely on opinion. Anyone can have an opinion.
There are more scientific ways to evaluate toys.

2. Kids are billed as toy experts. Children are toy consumers, not toy
experts.

3. The list contains nothing but descriptions of the toys. That's a
hint there was never really any testing or evaluation.
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