While Santa is making his list and checking it twice, for some fortunate kids — or for those who just are young at heart — it won't matter who is naughty or nice. When money is no object, the priciest toys aren't coming from the North Pole anyway.
While the average toy sells for around $7, according to the NPD group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm, the world's most expensive toys can cost many times that. And while this season's hottest toy, Microsoft's new Xbox 360 costs around $300, it doesn't compare to a $300,000 3-D motion simulator from the Rolls-Royce of toy stores FAO Schwarz. (Granted, there probably isn't anywhere near the demand for the motion simulator as the Xbox 360.)
At the very top-end, it's not clear who would actually buy a $300,000 toy, or even Hammacher Schlemmer's $50,000, 7-foot, remote-controlled Robby the Robot. The odds are that such extravagances are intended more for Dad than Junior.
The same might be said of an original Teddy bear being auctioned at Christie's in London during its Christmas sale. It has an estimate of between $17,000 to $26,000. It's hard to imagine that any parent, no matter how doting, would let their child subject such a pricey plaything to the kind of abuse that most bed beasts suffer. Ditto a hand-tooled, $5,840 Monopoly set and a $1,699.99 Lionel train set. Let's not kid ourselves — no pun intended — children may like playing with them, but they probably wouldn't ever get a chance to.
Of course, some of these toys actually could be enjoyed by kids, and many are expressly designed to be so. The $16,000 replica Mercedes-Benz SL convertible and the $800 Custom Couture by Imagine This, both at FAO Schwarz, just won't fit Mom or Dad, no matter how much they might try.