The Best New Easter-Themed Toys

Good news and toy reviews for parents looking for alternatives to candy!

Here comes Peter Cottontail Hoppin' down the bunny trail. Easter is right around the corner. Easter Bread! Making colored Easter eggs! Easter Egg Hunt! And the Easter Bunny!

Over the past decade, Easter has become a bigger and bigger season for toys. Unlike Christmas, however, the holiday hasn't become culturally secularized. For those who observe the Christian traditions, this is still one of the holiest days of the year.

Historically, Easter has its roots in a wide variety of traditions, ranging from the Greeks to the later Pagans, to the Hebrew Passover and Christianity. In the Christian tradition, the Good Friday celebration, and the Last Supper was a Passover feast. Easter as its known today didn't begin to be celebrated until the second century, two hundred years later. At the time many Pagan rituals surrounding the vernal equinox became part of the celebrations, beginning the mix of observances and traditions that are part of the holiday today.

As a result, in addition to its religious significance to Christians, Easter has also become a celebration of the return of spring. And it is in that sense of festival that the Easter Bunny arrives and the traditions of the Easter basket, parading new clothes and welcoming the growing season has entered our culture.

For kids, the Easter basket is synonymous with candy - chocolate bunnies, eggs, jellybeans and many more sugary treats. These have delighted kids for generations. Though today, parents may be a little more cautions, and they've asked us if there are toys made just for Easter. Of course there are, and here are toy reviews of our favorites for Easter.


Hide 'Em & Find 'Em Eggs

You want to add a little high tech excitement to your Easter egg hunt? Try these out. The Hide 'Em & Find 'Em Eggs have advanced electronics that make the egg hunt truly interactive. Hide the eggs and then they begin talking, laughing, and making noises as you try to find them. Open them up to see the cute bunny or baby chick say, "Surprise, You Found Me!"  The eggs come in six colors and have five different speech lines - including "I'm Hiding" and "I'm Over Here!" - and three different sound effects.  Perfect for Easter as well as indoor and outdoor fun year-round!Just coming to the U.S. for Easter this year, these were the #1 selling toys in France in 2008. From Techno Source

Ages 2 +
Suggested retail price: $3.99 each or $14.99 for a 4-pack


PLAY-DOH Spring Eggs

With a suggested retail price not far from the cost of a dozen jumbo real eggs, this is one of the best Easter surprises we've seen. One dozen eggs, each filled with one ounce of colorful Play-Doh - even one golden egg - are great for hiding or baskets. The color of the plastic eggs matches the color of the Play-Doh compound inside. Plus, parents can create special twists for egg hunts - such as a special prize for the child who finds the golden egg. (Hide it in the toughest spot.) Kids will love the special pastel colors, and parents will love the option to sugar. From Hasbro

Ages 2 +
Suggested retail price: $3.99 per set of one dozen eggs





Little People Easter Eggs

Six eggs in all - three with Little People characters and three with companion animals. The characters are bunny themed, and the animals include a bunny, chick and dog. What we love about these is the surprise of opening the eggs to find a smiling friend or adorable animal. A great value, too, as each egg is less than $2, and they're great for sharing among kids.

Ages 1-5
Suggested retail price: $11.99


Little People Easter Toys

Fisher-Price's Little People have been a favorite classic for generations. Now, three new sets made just for Easter will delight kids and provide the same kind of open-ended imaginative play that has characterized Little People. Kids love these because they provide a great basis for open-ended, narrative. Kids see themselves and their peers in the characters and can spend literally hours engrossed in the worlds of their imaginations. Aside from specific themes in the playsets, Little People have always been gender neutral as well. From Fisher-Price.

Little People Easter Baskets, are made in themes for boys and girls. For boys, there's a color construction set, and for girls a charming tea party. Each basked comes with a special DVD that helps bring the characters to entertaining life. 

Ages 1-5
Suggested retail price: $16.49


MR. POTATO HEAD SPUD BUNNY

This classic toy has become a master of dress-up and a new holiday tradition. This makes a great gift because it's silly and incorporates classic play for kids. Plus, it's priced right for shoppers looking for big value and reasonable pricing. The potato body doubles as storage, and Mr. P.H. is definitely going to be the grandest spud in the Easter parade. He comes with potato body, two arms, nose, pair of bunny slippers, muzzle, one pair of ears, pair of eyes, tail and basket. From Hasbro.

Ages 2 +
Suggested retail price: $5.99


Easter Pretty Barbie Doll

Every little girl loves getting new clothes for Easter. Why shouldn't Barbie? This charming doll is April flowers on sparkling lavender, a fresh white basket and a cute pink bunny friend. This makes a nice addition to a girls' Barbie collection, and it's a great value for parents.

Ages 3 +
Suggested retail price: $9.99

 





Imaginext Easter Eggs

Fisher-Price's Imaginext brand has become synonymous with imaginative play. This 6-egg set allows boys to continue their Imaginext adventures by adding cool new figures and animals - three of each. From Fisher-Price

Ages 4 +
Suggested retail price: $14.99


Rabbit Lil Kinz

If you've got a Webkinz fan in your home, or if they're just getting started in collecting, this is a great little bunny that unlocks a world of interactive play online. Cute, cuddly and sized just right for small hands. The age recommendation of 6-plus is because of the online content. For kids who won't be playing that way, any number of generic bunny plush items are widely available. From Ganz

Ages 6 +
Suggested retail price: $9.99


MY LITTLE PONY PONYVILLE EASTER EGGS

Putting favorite toys inside eggs is a great option to candy. And for lovers of My Little Pony, these toys are going to be egg-citing. Each set includes half a dozen eggs, each with a different Ponyville character inside. Each set includes the characters Cheerilee, Scotaloo, Sweetie Belle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Starsong. For parents, these are a great value that can augment Easter egg hunts or be extra treats tucked in an Easter basket.

Ages 3 +
Suggested retail price: $10.99 per 6-egg set


Max and Ruby Beanies

Max and Ruby are two very popular bunnies with the preschool set. These new Beanies from Ty capture all their cuddly cuteness and are perfect companies for the legions of fans. High quality plush and colorful costumes make them perfect for kids who are fans of the very popular book series by Rosemary Wells. In addition to the Beanies, Ty also offers a full line of plush toys based on these characters. From Ty

Ages 4 +
Suggested retail price: $9.99


The Story of the Easter Bunny

Well, there are many whimsical tales about how this gift-giving rabbit sprang to life. This is another one. In a charming and fun tale, we learn one take on how the bunny started his annual good-deed-doing practice. Seems he used to help an older couple decorate their eggs, and then was so taken with the joy he spread that he decided to take it to the streets, as it were, and thus the Easter Bunny was born. Wonderful illustrations and an easy-to-read cotton-tale make this great for reading aloud to younger children. The text is by Katherine Tegan and the illustrations are by Sally Anne Lambert. From Harper Collins

Ages 2-4
Suggested retail price: $12.99


Peter Rabbit's Happy Easter

Sometimes our bunny mythology gets a little mixed up, but many of the tales tell us that something happened to our friend Peter Cottontail that inspire him to egg-based philanthropy.

This tale for slightly older kids, is a fun story about a rabbit who took his neighbors' eggs without permission. Scolded by his mother, he's en route to make restitution when he trips and falls into a group of paint jars. The eggs get colored by accident and so the arrival of a rabbit with colored eggs became a tradition.

This is a sweet book that reminds kids about doing the right thing, but the message is handled lightly, and it shows that doing the right thing can actually have good consequences. From Scholastic.

Ages: 5-6
Suggested retail price $6.99.


Matchbox Egg-Mobiles

Put some torque in the Easter basket with this innovative giftable idea from Matchbox. Each egg has a Matchbox car inside, and the stickers allow kids to decorate the eggs. With three eggs in each package, this makes one terrific gift or three small ones. Great for hiding in Easter egg hunts too as special prices. From: Mattel

Ages 3 +
Suggested retail price: $5.99


FURREAL FRIENDS TEACUP BUNNY

Hasbro's FurReal Friends toys are the next best thing to a real pet - perhaps even better when you consider that bunnies take a lot of care. Their realistic movements and adorable expressions bring out the "awwww" in everyone. The latest addition to this mechanical menagerie is the FurReal Friends Teacup Bunny. This adorable character responds to touch, makes "real bunny sounds" and has its own spring-themed bag. After all, it's fun to pretend that your playful pet is turning heads as it hops down the bunny trail. From Hasbro

Ages 4 +
Suggested retail price: $19.99

Little People Easter Tubes with Ears

Here's a surprising little Easter gift. Each tube has a Little People figure and a cute animal pal. The Easter versions add bunny ears on the top of the tube for a festive touch.

Ages 1-5
Suggested retail price: $6.99





Domo Plush - Easter Edition

Domo-kun has become an anime favorite is the big, brown, loveable character that has become a cultural icon in Japan and is taking off in the U.S. He looks like a monster, but he has a gentle soul. This is definitely one of the toys that trendy teens and young adults and little kids love. He's also a huge hit on the internet. If caught America by storm through his widespread internet popularity and cult-like pop culture following. The new 5-inch tall Easter plush toy features Domo wearing bunny ears and Domo dressed as a baby chick, and always with Domo's signature grin. From Jakks Pacific

Ages 3 +
Suggested retail price: $7.99


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