(photo credit: )
New York will be the setting on Sunday for a Guinness World Record attempt at building the world's largest Hanukka dreidel. The 1.8-meter tall spinning top, which will also double as a tzedaka box, is being sponsored by the JCC-Y of Rockland.
"The idea is to get the community together at this special time of year, give gifts for the underprivileged, eat latkes and have fun as we celebrate the distinction of being world-record holder," said Steve Gold, one of the project's organizers.
Meanwhile, here in Israel, toy stores are eagerly preparing themselves for Hanukka, which often sees at least a 20 percent increase in sales.
For traditionalists like Jerusalem mother-of-three Yehudit, 29, dreidel-buying is an indispensable part of the Hanukka celebrations, "My children never get enough of playing and the truth is, neither does my husband," she said. Luckily for Yehudit and her family, Toys R Us have a wide range of dreidels on offer, including a jumping dreidel and special Laser edition.
However, some families prefer a more modern approach to holiday toy-shopping.
The Clics craze, for example, is already proving to be a major hit. Made in Belgium, Clics is a construction toy which allows kids to build all sorts of weird and wonderful objects by clicking together multicolored flexible pieces of interlocking plastic. "It's so popular because it allows children to use their imagination in a creative way," said Yossi, owner of the L'maan Yeladai store on Jerusalem's Rehov Malchei Yisrael.
Also featuring high on many youngsters' Hanukka wish lists this year is the updated version of Furby, the "emoto-tronic" gremlin-like doll which speaks its own language.
"It's a toy that both boys and girls find very appealing because of its highly expressive and interactive capabilities," said a Toys R Us spokesman.
The more educationally oriented parents may be interested to know that Isratoys has recently come out with a number of novelty board games such as "Around the Time," a Rummikub imitation which uses the names of the Hebrew months in place of numbers and jokers, as well as an 84-piece jigsaw-puzzle map of Israel which comes with accompanying poster.
Another favorite is "Building the Wall," which allows children to create a miniature version of the Western Wall out of plaster.
Classics such as radio-controlled cars, battery-operated robots and BMX bikes are still in vogue, while the Care Bears seem to be making a surprise comeback.
"The new bears come with an in-built feature which makes them respond to a touch of the stomach by emitting a kissing noise," said the spokesman.