smart spending

12 hot toys under $25 for the holidays

Lego building sets
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LEGO Building Sets

Manufacturer: Lego
Price: $3.99 and up
Ages: 5 and up

A tried-and-true gift for a broad range of ages, Lego sets remain a good choice for frugal shoppers in a sluggish economy.

"You can go up to $100 for Legos on certain things, but there are Lego sets that are under $20," says Byrne.

But reasonable prices aren't the only advantage to buying Lego. Lego is a "system toy," which allows you to add play value to your child's other Lego sets, says Byrne. "When you buy a Lego set, you're essentially buying something that makes (old Lego sets) new again," he says.

Lego also has the advantage of being extremely durable, giving it a longer life span than many other here-today, gone-tomorrow toys children get during the holiday shopping season, says Gottlieb.




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