Luckily I think Maggie's a little young for the slew of toys that require batteries so far. She's asking for a few doll-like toys, as well as books (yay!). In watching my friends who are mothers of boys, however, I don't know that our luck will hold out.
Soon at least part of my holiday gift budget will have to go to thomasdistributing for rechargeable aa batteries or something like them. Already he has the noisiest toys in the house (okay, not nearly as noisy as daddy's toys, and they are the same noisy toys Maggie had a few years ago). But I see friends with pre-teenaged boys lamenting over what to get them. The boys are asking for fancy electronics and computer stuff.
When I think back to my growing-up years, it does seem that this may be a new problem. We had a few handheld electronic games, but most of our tv based video games (like our old Intellivision) had controllers with cords...that therefore didn't require batteries.
I'll enjoy hopefully a few more years of kid-operated toys instead of those that do something to entertain the kids ;)