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Byline: Stephanie Dunnewind
SEATTLE _ Nearly every parenting magazine and daytime talk show recommends a list of toys this season. They're joined by a host of nonprofit organizations rating toys. This year there's even an entire show, "The Ultimate Toy Awards," set to air on Saturday.
The goal is to help parents navigate the some 6,000 new toys this year, but with so many "best" claims, parents are left more jaded than enlightened.
While awards and "hot" lists can alert consumers to new products, some reviewers warn parents to be wary.
"Most toy awards are informative as lists of ideas," said Marianne Szymanski, president of Toy Tips, which researches toys and child products. "But they're not in any way an indication that one toy is better than another. The 'hot' toy is no more than the most advertised toy of the year."