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* Wild Planet’s Spy Gear has been a perennial favorite gift and does not disappoint this year with the Spy Gear Security Scanner ($24.99, age 6 and older), a hand-held metal detector with an LED alarm system, and the Spy Gear Lie Detector Kit ($24.99, age 6 and older). The kit, which works using finger impulses, provides all the tools a junior investigator needs to uncover the truth.

The Lie Detector Kit also comes with a special secret-agent pen that doubles as a flashlight, and the Security Scanner is packaged with spy-vision glasses.

* Radica’s Loopz ($29.99, age 7 and older) challenges memory and reflexes and even lets up to four players create their own high-tech music in this amazingly fun, new take on an old memory game. The vertical Loopz sends light patterns to the four open-ended loops that are set side by side, with two light loops on the bottom and two on top. Players wave a hand through the light frequencies, top right, bottom left, bottom right and top left through seven modes of play.

Pass a hand through the lights to play back an ever-lengthening pattern of lights in Repeat the Beat, or see if you qualify as a Reflex Master by tagging as many flashing lights as you can before time runs out.

In the Loopz music studio, players can use the Loopz like a musical instrument, creating their own beat as well as remixing up to 10 fresh music tracks in Freestyle DJ mode.

* Playskool’s Alphie ($44.99, age 3 and older) has lots to say and lots of games to play while helping children learn colors, shapes, numbers, animals, music sounds and instruments within 350 challenging games. Alphie is your child’s first robot and features a light-up face display that serves as Alphie’s eyes and also delivers cues and responses.

Play and learning modules change by simply inserting one of the three double-sided cards into Alphie. Through the cards, youngsters will be exposed to literacy skills, including letter-sound recognition, phonemics, print and letter shapes.

* Just insert tab A into slot B, and what starts as pieces of corrugated cardboard becomes Box Creations’ Country Cottage, Tank, Princess Carriage, Medieval Castle or Space Shuttle ($39.99, age 4 and older). Your child adds some imagination and a decorative flair with four enclosed washable markers, transforming a rainy day indoors or a sunny afternoon in the backyard into an adventure.

Made in the United States, the corrugated cardboard assembles in a few minutes with an adult’s help, creating a sturdy structure that’s large enough to play in. (The Country Cottage is 46 inches long, 36 inches wide and 53 inches high.)

Tops for boys

* Hasbro’s Star Wars: All-Terrain Armored Transport ($99, age 4 and older) or AT-AT for those in the know, is the holy-grail toy for the space epic’s fans. This massive vehicle — 2 feet tall and 2 feet long — includes a 3-inch AT-AT driver figure and exclusive Speeder Bike.

Investing in this newest release for your little (or big) “Star Wars” fan means being part of the epic saga played out in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

The AT-AT holds 20 figures (available separately) and features light-up reciprocating chin guns, a command section, battle and vehicles sounds, and those ultracool side-mounted blasters to battle for supremacy of your living room.

* Take the excitement of building action vehicles to new heights with the Lego Creator Sonic Boom Building Set ($59.99, ages 8 to 12). This 539-piece set provides a three-in-one building experience as a supersonic jet can be rebuilt into a dual-propeller plane or high-speed boat. Each of the vehicles features its own tricks; the jet plane features an opening cockpit and moving wing flaps, tail fins and landing gear.

The mighty neat “light bricks” add that special glow of realism to your craft as Lego Power Functions light up the plane’s afterburners.

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