My own sweet Jake is 4, so I am very much in the middle of this gift giving cycle. If you feel comfortable enough to ask, do. Most families with more than one child have these toys. It is also helpful to have hte mom suggest what he would like. Be sure to attach a gift receipt in the event you weren't able to ask and they already have the item.
Since Jake has a much older brother Jake plays older. If the child you are buying for is a first born, first born male or has a sibling close in age, his toy request will be different than Jake's.
Jake has always played up. His brother is six years older than him. Keep this in mind when you are buying for a child with an older sibling at least 3 years older. Within two years you don't have to adjust the gift for the play up factor.