- From the New York Toy Fair to the TTPM‘s (Toys, tots, pets, and more) holiday showcase, I looked at and previewed hundreds of toys throughout the year.
- The unboxing trend is even bigger this year with the popularity of last year’s L.O.L. Surprise dolls and more variations on the Hatchimals brand.
- From “Avengers: Endgame” figures to singing dolls from “Frozen 2,” keep reading to see what kids will want this holiday.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
L.O.L. Surprise is still one of the most sought-after toys and this year it’s bigger than before with a 2-in-1 glamper.
If you’re not familiar with L.O.L. Surprise, it was one of the biggest toys of 2018, too. Typically, they come in small capsules to reveal small dolls with clothing and accessories. The toy is all about the unboxing experience with everything ornately wrapped in individual packaging.
The L.O.L. Surprise 2-in-1 Glamper comes with over 55 surprises for kids to open. The bus unpacks to become three feet wide and two-feet tall. Kids will spend a lot of time just unpackaging and exploring every nook and cranny the extended bus has to offer. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Barbie dreamhouse, this is the way to go as the glamper has bunk beds, a bathroom, a pool that lights up, and more.
Any kid who has seen “Avengers: Endgame” is going to want their own Infinity Gauntlet.
Out of everything you could have from “Avengers: Endgame,” this is it. Who doesn’t want to pretend to be Bruce Banner or Tony Stark and save the world from Thanos? You can press the Infinity stone in the centre for the gauntlet to light up and make sounds.
If you’re an adult, or want something more realistic, you can get a more detailed, wearable version for yourself for $US70.
Price: $US19.99Ages: 5 and up Where to find it:Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy
You can’t have an Infinity Gauntlet without the actual Avengers.
If you’re playing out scenes from the highest-grossing movie of all time, you’re going to need the characters that were in the film.
Hasbro’s Legends series figures are a little pricier, but I think they look more authentic and accurate to the characters than some of the other larger figures available for kids. If a child is younger, you can always hold onto some of the smaller pieces so they can just play with the action figure.
The downside: You can’t purchase Bro Thor or Hulk by themselves. You need to buy six other figures, including Iron Man and Captain America to build Bro Thor. You have to buy another seven to build Hulk from “Endgame.”
ShopDisney has an alternative, more affordable set, with 20 of the “Endgame” characters for $US40. The downside is that they’re not poseable.
Hasbro’s Anna and Elsa dolls sing two of the new songs from “Frozen 2.”
“Frozen 2” is definitely going to be popular after having the best opening for an animated movie in November. If you can’t get some of the sequel’s songs out of your head, each of these dolls sings 30-second clips from new songs in the Disney animated feature.
The Elsa doll sings part of “Into the Unknown,” while Anna sings “The Next Right Thing.” The dolls also light up as they sing and have removable boots. Unfortunately, they’re sold separately.
The $US200 Ultimate Arendelle Castle is five feet tall and is anticipated to be one of the most popular toys this holiday.
The new “Frozen 2” castle has seven rooms, including a throne room with a moving carpet, a music room, kitchen, and 14 accessories ranging from a vanity to a piano. Olaf has his own little tower at the top.
The castle was predicted to be one of the most sought-after toys this holiday season at the TTPM showcase I attended in September.
Hatchimals’ hatching Toothless is something any “How to Train Your Dragon” fan will want.
The miniature Toothless was one of the cutest things I saw at Toy Fair in February and small enough to easily tote around.
Kids get to hatch their own baby dragon by hugging or tapping on it until it comes out. Once he breaks out of the shell, the little Toothless makes noises, moves his wings and ears, and his eyes light up. If you hold his belly for a bit, his mouth will glow to give a plasma blast. The little guy also comes with a toy fish you can feed to him.
The Hot Wheels Colossal Crash track set is the largest track Mattel has released.
The five-foot wide playset lets you race multiple cars at the same time on a figure eight track. The playset comes with two cars which you can send along the motorised track. You can continue adding more cars to inevitably crash or you can try and master timing them so the cars cruise around the track, making for a mesmerising spectacle. Little levers on the track let you send the cars flying into the air.
If you’re worried about the large size, I saw a demonstration of how easily it can fold up for storage.
Cool Maker’s Go Glam Nail Stamper provides an inexpensive way for kids to do their own home manicures.
I was asked to try out the Go Glam Nail Stamper at the New York Toy Fair in February and was impressed by how quickly and easily we were able to stamp a design onto my hands.
I put my finger in a little machine, a stamper button was pushed, and just like that, there was a design on my nail. The stickers stayed well on your nails. I didn’t have any issue with it chipping or fading away. For the price, you’re able to decorate 125 nails with five different designs. That’s a little over 12 manicures in total if you’re decorating each nail. This is the perfect item if you’re having a group of kids over for a play date.
You should be aware that you can only stamp your nails if you use the nail polish included with the kit. I’ve seen kits come with blue, purple, and pink polish.
Forky was one of the break-out stars of “Toy Story 4.”
If you head into any retail store, you’ll find a lot of “Toy Story 4” merchandise, but you may have a tougher time finding as many Forky action figures on shelves.
There are a few different talking versions of the popular spork, but I think the most movie-accurate one with multiple phrases is shopDisney’s interactive figure. He says 12 different phrases and his little stick figure feet move up and down when you wheel him around. The coolest feature is that if you have other shopDisney “Toy Story” figures, he’ll interact with them. Kids will think Woody and Forky or other characters are having real conversations.
If you’re looking for a Forky with even more phrases, Target is selling a $US40 version of the spork that has over 35 phrases and dances.
Barbie takes to the skies this year in her own plane.
I feel like I see a new Barbie Dreamhouse every year and they’re all pretty similar. There’s some sort of pool and an elevator that goes up and down throughout the house. If it’s not a house, then Barbie usually has a cool car or RV.
This year, I was excited to find that Barbie received a massive upgrade in the form of her own jet. There’s enough room for her and a friend and another seat for a pilot in the cockpit. The love is in the details here as there are overhead compartments for luggage and a snack cart that has little trays and food items. The set even comes with a puppy to bring on board because pets should also get to travel first class with Barbie.
The best part is that the Barbie Dreamplane playset is much more affordable than any Dreamhouse.
You have to water this toy in order to reveal your Blume doll.
Everyone wants to have the next hot unboxing experience and Skyrocket offers a fun one with Blume. Upon first glance, it looks like a potted plant. The trick is to water the top of the plant with a water can provided. In seconds, a doll will rise up out of the canister. The pot itself opens up to reveal a playset for one of 22 different dolls.
The Nerf Ultra is super easy to use and can shoot darts over 100 feet.
I have fired many Nerf blasters in my day. I’m not always particularly great with my aim, but none of them was easier for me to fire than the Nerf Ultra One which purrs as you pull the trigger back and a the motorised blaster seamlessly fires nerf dart after nerf dart after nerf dart at your intended target.
If you’re looking for distance, I was told the Ultra sends the soft darts up to 120 feet, which is farther than any previous Nerf blaster. For a large-sized blaster, I was equally surprised this one doesn’t cost a bit more. If you’re looking for fire power and something that shoots far, the Ultra will do.
WowWee has the Baby Shark plush you’re looking for.
Personally, I thought we were past the Baby Shark phase, but every toy convention I went to this year featured WowWee’s adorable little shark crew that comes in three colours. (The mum is pink, the dad is blue, and the baby is yellow.)
If your little one is obsessed with the Baby Shark song, you better believe this trio sings the catchy song.
My Partner Pikachu will give kids their own Pokemon companion.
If you’ve ever wanted your own miniature Pikachu, this is for you. My Partner Pikachu reacts to your touch with sounds, movements, and lightning sounds. Pikachu’s tail and cheeks also light up.
Wicked Cool Toys claims he has over 100 different reactions, but a lot of them sounded pretty similar to me. Still, I found Pikachu made for a delightful role-playing toy for kids who want to act out Pokémon quests. The little pocket monster is pretty tiny to carry around to bring on the go. If you get tired of hearing cries of “Pika Pika,” there’s a simple off switch to give the Pokémon (and mum and dad) a rest.
“Paw Patrol” has a new lookout tower with real sounds from the TV show.
Nickelodeon’s “Paw Patrol” remains very popular with young children. I’ve seen firetrucks and playsets dedicated to the dogs the past few years. The newest lookout tower stands two-and-a-half feet tall.
The tower offers plenty of interactive play options for young children – from a garage that shoots out vehicles to a light-up deck. There’s a working elevator and buttons that activate real sounds from the show. The main pup, Chase, can slide down a pole that wraps around the tower. The tower also has easy storage for cars in a 360-degree garage that’s on the first level.
Baby Yoda merchandise is a safe bet if you can find it.
The late contender for most-wanted toy of the holiday season is any Funko, stuffed animal, or toy of the Baby Yoda character from “The Mandalorian.”
Baby Yoda Funkos and a plush from Mattel are now available for pre-order on shopDisney.com. According to Disney, both will ship starting in February 2020.