Pre-teen boys are a relatively difficult group to shop for. Most have not decided whether they want to grow up and become young men or stay kids for a few years yet. Added to this the amazing curiosity displayed by boys between nine and twelve years old and you have a very large variety of potential choices for hot toys in 2009. So what is the safest bet? Well first you must have a good idea of the interests of your potential recipient. Following are some great choices for different tastes.
Movie-themed toys are going to be hot as always in 2009 for boys. Super-hero movies such as all the Marvel series, Watchmen and the classic D.C. heroes like Batman and Superman are always popular. But remember that boys this age generally have short attention spans, and that means you should relate their toys to a movie they have seen this year. G.I. Joe has been popular for over 50 years now, and with the new movie this is still true. Transformers have been popular since their inception in the 1980's and the latest movie keeps them hot. Besides, what kid doesn't want a car/robot toy? The new Optimus Prime Action Figure is huge and awesome.
Some specific items of interest, though, are the WowWee Tribot Talking Companion, a three-wheeled clever talking robot akin to Robosapien, but smarter and easier to handle. This one is a slam dunk. The same company produces the FlyTech BladeStar Helicopter, one of the best of the RC flying toys. There are dozens of versions of these, but be wary of the cheap ones for sale in kiosks at the Mall. They are cheap for a reason, and will last all of three or four days normally.
Voice changing helmets have been popular since their creation, and the latest include the Star Wars Clone Wars helmet and the Power Rangers Mega Mission. Both are cool and serve as masks plus change the boy's voice. Both of these are quite appealing to kids that are going through puberty!
Video games are ever-increasing in popularity among pre-teen boys. They want the hottest systems, which remain the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and the Wii. All three have experienced drops in prices with the economic slowdown and as they are not brand new ideas any more. Right now nothing has come along to push them aside, so take the opportunity to save a bit of money and still get the best systems out there.
If you already have the system or need something to go with the new system, there are literally thousands of games to choose from. Remember that for this target group, stay away from the mature sex, drugs, and violence games like the Grand Theft Auto series. Go with safer games like the Super Mario titles, any Wii Sports games (a new suite of them was just released), or racing games like Need for Speed and Real Racing.
Tech toys are big in 2009, and one of the best innovators is a small company called Eyeclops. They have several high-tech but also high fun devices like the Mini-Projector and Night Vision Goggles, but the coolest device is called the Bionic Eye. Essentially this is a high-powered (200x) magnification microscope, with high definition, easy to use, and will absolutely transfix your curious pre-teen. Seems like one of the old nerdy gadgets, but even the least scientific teen will be fascinated by this easily accessible view into the micro-universe.
If you want constructive toys there are the ever-popular Lego Bionicle series or the newly revised Erector Set. If you want Learning Toys go with something fun like Disgusting Science or the Carnivorous Creations Dome Terrarium Kit (real meat-eating plants!). All sports gear is great for boys this age, footballs (the new Black Max teaches kids how to throw and catch), baseballs, even kids golf clubs all will be immensely popular with your sports fan.
Find out what they are interested in, whether it be science toys, video games, robots or sports equipment. One great thing about boys this age is that they are not hesitant to tell you what they want, over and over again