Until scientists can develop a remote-control voice-activated, thirty-foot robot that can shoot fire and lawn darts out of its eyes, kids are going to be disappointed at Christmas. Until that great day, here are a few ideas that may slap a smile on their pouting faces.

Silent Hill 2

Maxim magazine gives this video game their highest fright rating--five pantloadfulls of diarrhea. A forlorn widower must go to an old mental institution after he gets a letter from his dead wife. Spooky dead kids are there, faceless bloody nurses, and worst of all, disgusting bathrooms. Blow away some zombies and try and solve the Zelda-like puzzle while scaring the living Christ out of yourself.

SH2 on Playstation 2, $49.99

Operation (Osama bin Laden)

While the classic Milton-Bradley game Operation may be an exciting skill-enhancer for kids of all ages--check out our suggested alteration. Get a map of New York City and tape it on top of your game board. Cut out holes where the cavities are. Then play "backwards" Operation by carefully placing "bombs" (made out of aluminum foil) back into the game board, being careful not set off any "explosions." This tasteful modification gives kids and adults an opportunity to pretend they're an accused terrorist mastermind!

Operation, $16.95, New York Map, $4.50

Voice Changers

Not only fun, but practical: The Handset Voice Changer. Hide this nifty little kit in your home phone receiver and change your voice beyond recognition. Kids sound like adults! Grandparents sound like tiny children! Fool friends and creditors alike! Your voice will be understandable, yet unrecognizable. It sure beats holding your nose and talking through a handkerchief.

Handset Voice Changer, $48.95

Operation Enduring Freedom Trading Cards

All kids love two things: trading cards and unwinnable wars. Now you can get both of their favorites in one place with Enduring Freedom Trading Cards from Topps. This high-gloss; 90-card set contains info and snazzy pictures of military hardware and the leaders who will undoubtedly make things worse than they already are. George W. Bush, the Apache helicopter, Osama bin Laden, German police hunting for clues in Hamburg--they're all here, and ready to collect, trade, or flaunt in the face of peaceniks! "Hey Johnny! I'll trade you a Tony Blair for a Condoleezza Rice!"

Operation Enduring Freedom Trading Cards, $2 per pack