One of the decisions we have made as parents is that we do not want any battery operated toys in the house. (Or VERY few...Full disclosure: I think we have one little toy cell phone that beeps that someone gave us- I keep it in an emergency toy baggie for when we're out somewhere and I desperately need something that will hold his attention for a few minutes- like in line at the DMV or something.) But generally, we avoid battery operated things like the plague. We'd rather have toys that require imagination and creativity and don't beep, boop, talk, or play annoying music.
Anyway, our parents, siblings, etc. are very respectful of this wish. Otto's haul from Xmas included a tricycle, many books, a kazoo, some duplo blocks...And we got him one of these AMAZING handmade busy-books off Etsy- all wonderful, battery-less toys that require some imagination. (Although, one of the husband's brothers- who is childless- gave him an enormous foam sword. Unfortunately, this gift was 'accidentally' left at Gramma's house.)
However, every time I asked Otto what he would like for Xmas leading up to the holiday, he said "Spiderman." Without fail. I have no idea why- I can only guess that someone at daycare has been talking about Spiderman but Otto certainly recognizes the superhero when we see stuff in the stores and knows that he shoots webs from his hands. I let him watch a couple minutes of an old Spiderman cartoon (just the theme song and beginning) on the computer one day and he was in HEAVEN. And I don't have a problem with Spiderman. He's a cool superhero- has a human, flawed alter ego (unlike stupid Superman. Don't get me started), has good values and I can see why he would appeal to a kid.
The only trouble was that every age appropriate Spiderman toy I saw had batteries. They all seemed to be something like this. Not for us.
Fortunately, Santa came to the rescue and found a plush Spiderman doll on eBay that he knew Otto would love.
And he wasn't wrong. The two of them have been inseparable since Xmas morning- No batteries required. Santa's feelin' pretty good about now. Or so I would guess.