NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at some of the must-have toys of the season.

Good Housekeeping recently announced its Best Toy Awards finalists.

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Each year, 100 children sporting lab coats help choose the coolest toys on the market. They assess the fun-factor on dozens of gadgets, like a wind-up toy motorcycle or a crayon melter.

“They’re scientists for the day. They come in here, and we do ask them certain questions,” said Rachel Rotham, who oversees the toy testing as chief technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Each of them get to fill out the scores and any other insights and information.” 

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Before the kids get their hands on the toys, real engineers make sure they meet safety standards and do a drop-test to be certain they won’t shatter into small, hazardous pieces.

After the children provide their feedback, the toys are narrowed down to a list of just 28, broken down into three groups by price.

“One of the biggest trends this year was pet care,” Rothman said.

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Nearly one third of the hottest toys of the year are animal-related, including a puppy that does tricks, interactive plush pets and mystery fur balls that kids can wash bring to life.