Sure, you can watch the toy commercials on TV and read the advertising inserts in your local newspaper. But if you want to know what the hot toys for boys and girls are, you need to see our picks this holiday season.
In the meantime, happy shopping and merry everything!
Cool Toys for Boys
Quadcopter with HD Cam (Ages 12+)
This is the first-ever, indoor and outdoor remote-controlled helicopter that can take pictures and capture 720p hd video while flying. Once done flying, just hook it up to your computer via the included USB cable and instantly upload the files to view, share and edit.
Sphero BB-8 (Ages 8+)
Thanks to the advancements in technology over the years, it’s now possible to bring a new part of Star Wars into our home. This iOS & Android & Window Phone compatible App-Enabled Droid has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play based on your interactions. Set it to patrol and watch it explore autonomously, make up your adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. BB-8 is more than a toy; it’s your companion. It listens and responds, recognizes and reacts to your voice.
Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack Xbox 360
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition is a combination of Marvel, Disney, and DisneyPixar characters, stories, and worlds. New heroes can join forces with characters from previous editions and embark on adventures as big as your imagination. Disney Infinity encourages you to explore open-world creation or story-driven gameplay inside Play Sets!
OWI Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit
With the award winning Robotic Arm Edge, OWI has made robotic arm technology more exciting and hydro-mechanically fun. How does this equate to fun? Your children will have a total command and visual manipulation using the science principles of a hydraulic system and its application.
Meccano MeccaNoid G15 KS
Meccanoid G15 is your personal robot friend that you get to build using the latest Meccano parts. It is an advanced, yet easy-to-use, Robotics Building platform.
Razor Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride-On
The GFD Fury has a go-kart style frame and rear wheels with added flash that leaves sparks in its wake. It’s a perfect gift for kids who are into drafting or go-karting.
Hot Wheels RC Stealth Rides (Ages 8+)
Stealth Rides is the first remote control vehicle to fold flat and fit in a super slim carrying case. A touch of a button transforms the flat vehicle into a fully functioning RC vehicle with the carrying case now doubling as the remote control.
NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster (Ages 8+)
The NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster is the first fully automatic NERF Clip System blaster. The blaster features a new pop-out bipod, which doubles as a handle, and a removable shield allowing players to transition to Attack Mode. It also comes with one six-dart clip and three extended clips which hold 18 darts each, offering the highest clip capacity from the NERF.
Real Construction Deluxe Workshop (Ages 6+)
Real Construction reinvents construction play by using Kid Wood, a durable foam material that looks, saws and nails just like real wood, but is safe and easy-to-use with little clean-up required. Real Construction playsets come with cool, easy-to-use tools that work just like real tools on Kid Wood material, allowing kids to design safely and build real projects.
Toy Story Blast Off Buzz Lightyear (Ages 4+)
Buzz’s rocket pack comes to life with awesome bursts of light and blast-off sound effects. Press the ‘Mission Mode’ button and he responds with related phrases and sounds. The 12-inch tall figure comes with pop-out wings, a retractable helmet, and an arm button for laser sounds and light.
TRON: Legacy Zero Gravity Light Cycle (Ages 8+)
The remote control TRON: Legacy Zero Gravity Light Cycle, featuring industry leading Air Hogs technology, can be driven on walls or ceilings as kids act out their favorite movie moments from TRON: Legacy or their stories. The Light Cycle features light-emitting trails as it speeds, and different frequencies of the Sam Flynn and Clu Light Cycles allow for simultaneous racing.
Top Activity Toys
Crayola Color Wonder Sound Studio (Ages 3+)
The Crayola Color Wonder Sound Studio gives a voice to a child’s imagination. Children can add sound effects to their coloring pages and play them back as they color and hidden images make every coloring page an adventure. Once a child has created an imaginative story, he or she can play back the sounds or erase and start all over.
LEGO Atlantis Neptune Carrier (Ages 6+)
LEGO builders help treasure hunting heroes construct impressive underwater vehicles and overcome dangerous sea creatures that guard the mythical treasures that lead to the greatest discovery of all the portal to the lost city of Atlantis!
LEGO Toy Story Western Train Chase (Ages 6+)
Buzz Lightyear and Woody get together with other favorite characters in mini figure form as the adventure builds in the playroom with LEGO sets inspired by the classic Toy Story franchise.
Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory (Ages 3+)
The Mega Fun Factory takes the play to a whole new level with its motorized conveyor belt that provides nonstop action. This Fun Factory world will provide a nonstop action as kids crank out their favorite toys.
The Best Educational Toys
Alphie (Ages 3+)
Alphie, the loveable, learning robot encourages children to learn and have fun. With the help of their treasured, talking pal, preschoolers can learn about the alphabet, rhyming, counting, color and shape recognition, matching, animal names, instrument sounds and much more.
Furnished School Building (Ages 4+)
The Playmobil Furnished School Building includes nine figures, a school building with a functioning bell, a furnished classroom, a science room, art and music room, and many other accessories. Kids can even write on the chalkboard.
iXL Learning System (3 to 7 years)
iXL Learning System is a 6-in-1 smart device that wraps learning and fun into the ultimate handheld gadget. The System includes six great applications – digital e-reader, game player, learn-to-write notepad, art studio, music player and photo viewer – for endless creativity and fun. You need to purchase the character licensed software separately.
Leapster Explorer Learning Experience (4 to 9 years)
The new Leapster Explorer offers the latest in high-tech design for young children, featuring finger-touch interactivity and the biggest, brightest full-color screen ever from LeapFrog. The powerful processor allows for dozens of downloadable Leaplet™ learning apps including e-books, videos, flash cards, and includes an ever-expanding library of games that covers school skills, creativity, and life skills.
Math Dice Jr. Kid’s First Mental Math Game (Ages 6+)
Math Dice Jr. helps build math confidence in early learners. Roll the Target Die to obtain the target number – then roll the chunky, brightly colored Scoring Dice. Using addition and subtraction, players combine the Scoring Dice to match the target – the first player to reach the finish line on the scoring track wins.
MobiGo (3 to 8 years)
Preschoolers will get in “touch” with learning math, logic, and categorization on MobiGo. Young learners can mimic Mom and Dad’s smartphones with the touch-screen controls that allow tap, flick and drag interaction. The slide-open QWERTY keyboard introduces older kids to typing skills. And the Learning Lodge, an online library of downloadable content, ensures that children and parents have a constant stream of new content.
V.Reader (3 to 7 years)
V.Reader is the first interactive e-reading system for children. Stories come to life with animation, sound and touch screen features. Reading games help build critical early language skills while keeping the play pattern fun and engaging. And the Learning Lodge, an online library of downloadable content, ensures that kids and parents have a constant stream of new stories to explore.
Cool Toys For Girls
Doc McStuffins Checkup Center (Ages 6+)
Your little ones can care for their favorite stuffed animals with the Just Play Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center. Performing yearly check-ups is fun at the checkup center, which features an electronic stethoscope and a kid-powered EKG for monitoring heart pulses. The otoscope lets your children check for ear problems. Your child can use the thermometer to make sure the pet isn’t running a temperature. If the puppy is too warm, your little ones can give it a quick bath in the bathtub using the pretend sprayer to cool him off.
KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen (Ages 10+)
Time to cook up a little fun! The Kitchen has a hip, modern look that young chefs are sure to love. This wooden kitchen has an Innovative speckled countertop design and is full of fun details like a cordless phone and a chalkboard for writing the daily specials.
Pie Face Game (Ages 6+)
The exciting Pie Face game is full of fun and uncertainty, and somebody’s bound to get splatted! Just put some delicious whipped cream from home or the wet sponge on the hand of this hilarious game unit and start turning the handles.
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon
Another adventure begins in a galaxy far, far away with the LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon Set. Join our old friends, Han Solo and Chewbacca, as well as the new pals Rey, and Finn, as they battle to protect the Millennium Falcon in a fight against the dark side.
Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck
Barbie Video Girl (Ages 6+)
Barbie Video Girl features a camera lens in her necklace, a color LCD screen on her back and ‘real time playback’ capability. With close to 30 minutes of recording time, Barbie Video Girl provides girls the opportunity to capture moments through her point-of-view, which they can then turn into real movies with the free downloadable editing software.
Furreal Friends GOGO, My Walkin’ Pup (Ages 4+)
Girls can get em-“bark” on their very own adventures with the Furreal Friends GOGO, My Walkin’ Pup. She’ll wag her tail, pant, and bark just like a real pup to let you know she is excited to get moving. GOGO loves to be petted and will respond to your touch.
Disney Elena of Avalor Elena Isabel Singing Doll (Ages 3+)
Disney’s singing dolls are based on the cartoons Elena & Isabel. Each highly-detailed 12″ figure sings and comes with accessories to match the music.
Monster High Doll Assortment (Ages 6+)
These four students are the coolest ghouls in school with their trendy fashions and scary (but cute) pets. Draculaura is the daughter of Dracula; Clawdeen Wolf is the daughter of the Werewolf, Frankie Stein is the daughter of Frankenstein and Lagoona Blue is the daughter of the Sea Monster. Includes one fully articulated doll, pet, accessory, diary, brush, and stand.
Princess & Me 18″ Dolls (Ages 5+)
The Princess & Me collection features beautifully sculpted 18″ “friend” dolls based on favorite Disney princesses (Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Tiana, and Belle). The collection features doll fashions and accessories and stunning matching dress-up for girls. Authentic details and high-end fabrics draw girls into a royal world and allow them to “grow” with their favorite Disney Princess.
Squinkies Cupcake Surprize! (4 to 12 years)
From the popular Squinkies friend and pet mini-doll world, Squinkies Cupcake Surprize! Bake Shop deluxe playset lets girls cook up fun and fantasy! Load the Squinkies bubbles into the Cupcake Dome. Insert the coin and twist the dial for a Squinkies surprise! And what looks to be a yummy looking Cupcake from the outside changes into a bake shop play environment on the inside complete with surprise themed accessories! Squinkies Cupcake Surprize! Bake Shop includes nine exclusive Squinkies figures each in their bubbles!
Zoobles (4 to 9 years)
There are over 100 new Zoobles characters to collect, and each comes with a Happitat equipped with a hot spot to magnetically transform and display your Zooble. Happitats also open to reveal a rest area to tuck away your Zooble. Each pack comes with One Zooble and One Happitat.
The Best Toys for Infants and Toddlers
Explore N’ Grow Musical Gear Center (9 months+)
Spinning colorful gears and music make the Musical Gear Center toy perfect for active babies! As baby’s fine motor skills begin to develop, the Musical Gear Center toy offers exciting new ways to play. Baby can now stack and reconfigure the interchangeable gears for even more fun.
Laugh & Learn Learn & Move Music Station (9 to 36 months+)
The Laugh & Learn™ Learn & Move Music Station™ is a musical toy that can be played on its own, or connected to the TV to bring baby’s favorite characters to life. With five interactive worlds to discover on two levels, baby’s every interaction with the Music Station activates animation, music and learning right on the TV. Baby can explore real instrument sounds and learn about colors, counting, animals, greetings and more with over 50 songs.
LEGO DUPLO (18 Months+)
This versatile box of LEGO DUPLO bricks opens young minds to building and counting. Using the numbered blocks, parents can create endless games to promote counting, sorting, stacking, color matching and more. Includes bricks numbered 1-10 and printed with corresponding images, dog, figure, car chassis and accessories.
Lil’ Zoomers Spinnin’ Sounds Speedway (6 to 36 months+)
The action-packed Lil’ Zoomers Spinnin’ Sounds Speedway features two roller-ball cars that make fun rattle sounds when kids shake it. Babies can roll the cars into the light-up spinning Speedway and down the race ramp or pull the gearshift to start the fun. The track features cool raceway sounds, lively music, and five flashing lights that ramp up the excitement.
Little People Lil Pirate Ship (12 months+)
The Little People Lil Pirate Ship is a multi-dimensional play set perfect for pint-sized builders. With features such as a catchy musical tune, crew, a working cannon, a friendly shark and a treasure chest, it combines building fun with discovery and imagination.
My First Disney Princess Baby Dolls (Ages 2+)
Choose from cute, cuddly dolls Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Ariel, and Tiana. Each 12-inch, soft-bodied My First Disney Princess Babydoll is dressed in an adorable onesie in her signature color and a tiara and is a wonderful first introduction to the Disney Princesses and their magical world. Little girls can take care of their Disney Princess baby dolls just like a real mommy does!
My Own Leaptop (Ages 2+)
Toddlers can pretend computer play with My Own Leaptop which has six learning activity stations including music playlist, email messages, the alphabet, pretend play, music and sounds, and animals. For customized learning ideas and insights, parents can connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path.
Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
Shake it baby! The perfect playtime pal for singing, dancing and groove fun. Who likes to move? BeatBo does! Get the dance party started by pressing BeatBo’s tummy or any of the buttons on his feet to activate fun songs, learning content and dance moves. This futuristic friend even allows mommy or baby to record a phrase, and he’ll remix it into his favorite song.
Top Indoor Games
5 Second Rule (Ages 10+)
Time’s not on your side when you’re playing 5 Second Rule, the game that asks you questions – like “Name 3 breeds of dogs” – as time twirls down on the unique twisted marble timer. Say the first things that come to mind and risk ridiculous answers slipping out!
LEGO Games Creationary (Ages 7+)
Imagine playing charades by building with LEGO bricks! Players roll the dice to select one of four exciting building categories, and then sift through the LEGO pieces to make their object. Cards offer three levels of difficulty, challenging players’ creative building skills so that kids can guess what others are creating.
LEGO Games Minotaurus (Ages 8+)
The mighty Minotaur, a mythical creature, protects a secret temple hidden deep inside a labyrinth. Players should be the first to lead their three heroes to the temple. They should avoid the Minotaur and cleverly place walls to block opponents. By changing the LEGO dice, players can change gameplay, and by re-building the maze, every game is a new adventure.
LOOPZ Game (Ages 7+)
Loopz is an interactive memory game with four independent semi-circular rings or loops. Combining music, motion and memory, Loopz gets people moving as they match the patterns of light and sound that emerge. As each ring beats, players must quickly put their hand through the lit loop to keep the music sequence going.
Rory’s Story Cubes (Ages 8+)
Rory’s Story Cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator. It provides hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory’s Story Cubes, anyone can become a great storyteller. Just roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination. Cubes reinforce artistic expression and vocabulary development.
Scrabble Flash (Ages 8+)
Scrabble Flash provides a fast, frantic play experience as players slide, swap and shuffle five electronic letter tiles in a race to try to find as many 3, 4, and five letter words as they can in 75 seconds. Digital letter tiles contain ‘Wonder-Link Technology’ which recognizes formed words when the tiles are placed side by side, and keeps score of correctly spelled words. Players can compete individually against the game and try to earn the highest score possible or as an elimination game in a social setting.
Spot It (Ages 7+)
Spot It! Contains four fast, challenging mini-party games in which all players play simultaneously. With fast action and endless fun, this unique card game is sure to be a splash at your next party and to become a family favorite. There is always one matching symbol in between the two cards in this game. Spot it and you win!
Top Outdoor Toys & Games
Flickin’ Chicken (Ages 6+)
Flickin’ Chicken is a wacky fun game that’ll get everyone up and move. One player throws the flying target, and then each player takes a turn flicking their rubber chicken at the target. Keep flicking until every player’s chicken lands on the target. After nine rounds of chicken throwing, the player with the lowest score is the winner.
Wooden Sandwich-Making Set (Ages 2+)
Make a perfect sandwich every time with this incredible outdoor kitchen set, featuring a wooden storage tray. Perfect for toddlers. Best of all, no batteries needed.
Nerf Super Soaker Shot Blast (Ages 6+)
The NERF Super Soaker Shot Blast can drench your opponents from up to 25 feet away. All you need is a single pump to unleash a massive blast of water and soak them all. The water blaster is compatible with the Tactical Rail System accessories and features adjustable and removable shoulder stock for maximum customization.
Razor Siege (Ages 8+)
The Razor Siege, the latest in hybrid ride technology, is a mash-up of the original Razor kick scooter and the RipStik casterboard, so riders can kick like a scooter or twist and propel for an entirely new ride. With the steel, reinforced twistable deck and 360-degree inclined rear caster wheel, the Razor® Siege™ enhances turning performance and sideways drifting.
Sky Ball and Bat (Ages 6+)
With a bounce of up to 75 feet, Sky Ball is the world’s highest bouncing ball. And it can bounce up to 300 feet if you hit it with the Sky Bouncin’ Baseball bat, which is the farthest hitting plastic bat.
Frog Scooter (Ages 5+)
Frog Scooter is part casterboard, part scooter. Kids can ride it like a traditional scooter when they’re young, and as they grow older and have better coordination they can learn to carve and drift like the casterboard. Frog Scooter teaches balance, coordination and works core stability all while having fun!
YBIKE (2 to 4 years)
The YBIKE’s extended front fork angle and two closely aligned rear wheels allow toddlers to lean safely from side to side while turning. It has an amazingly unique design. The unbeatable features enable children to ride a bike independently. The high ground clearance and the larger wheels ensure high-level safety regardless of terrain. A perfect gift for kids for Christmas!
Top Innovative Toys
Spy Net Video Watch (Ages 5+)
The Spy Net Video Watch features a hidden video camera and sound system with onboard memory to record and store video, music, and photos, all displayable on a built-in, full-color video screen. You can also analyze evidence with lie detector software, conduct video/audio analysis, crack secret codes, receive mission briefings, and more.
The Sing-a-ma-jigs! (Ages 3+)
The Sing-a-ma-jigs are plush characters that set off unexpected laughter and excitement when the kids squeeze their tummies. Their tiny mouths open wide for each note when they sing, showing off their cute little teeth and creating a charming look and sound. First, they chatter, then they each sing their song, and when kids put them all together and squeeze their tummies one more time, they erupt in harmony.
Paper Jamz Guitar (Ages 8+)
Paper Jamz lets kids fill the shoes of their favorite rock stars by playing along with one of the three built-in songs or kick it into Freestyle and create their own “Jamz Session” with real chords for limitless play.
HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set (Ages 3+)
The HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set challenges kids to build unique environments for their lifelike HEXBUG Nano Micro Robotic Creatures to explore. Kids use connecting track parts to create an infinite variety of mazes for their Nano to explore. The expandable set comes with two tiny, collectible, robotic creatures which scurry and explore, unpredictably finding their way through each new maze. The physics of vibration propels the bugs forward in a surprisingly lifelike way.
Shrinky Dinks Fantasy Forest (Ages 7+)
This kit contains 268 pieces of jewelry making set with a variety of designs, including 60 Shrinky Dinks, jewelry tree, butterflies, sticky gems, beads, colored pencils, earring hooks, string, glue dots, jump rings and needle. Use your creations to make charm bracelets, gift tags, hair clips, and more. The package also includes a pencil sharpener and hole punch.
Solitaire Chess (Ages 8+)
In this addictive logic game, players set up the chess pieces on the board according to one of the 60 challenge cards and then eliminate all but one piece using only the moves allowed. The innovative solitaire board stores all game components, making this game perfect for home or travel.
UPPY Uglydoll (All ages)
You’ll never meet anyone more optimistic than UPPY, the UGLYDOLL. He’s super confident! Also, he’s certain that the snack you have in your hand belongs to him, and your bank account should be in his name, not yours. He’s sure that you guys would make the perfect team, and that your team should make it’s way down to the bakery to order something delicious. You handle the money part and UPPY; he can do all the eating. UPPY stands 14″ tall.
The Best Toys For Preschoolers
Dance Star Mickey (Ages 2+)
The amazingly lifelike Dance Star Mickey gets kids up and dancing to six different songs with styles including Disco, Latin, Techno and the Moonwalk. Mickey’s versions of hit songs broaden the appeal of this hilarious toy to kids of all ages, including parents. Mickey also features interactive games for more laughter and dancing fun.
Tabletop Puppet Theater (Ages 4+)
Create your show and have the characters act it out with Tabletop Puppet Theater. The set comes without the figures but you can buy them seperately.
Tonka Chuck Stunt Park (Ages 3+)
Preschoolers will be excited to accompany their adventuresome friend. Chuck the Dump Truck zips, zooms, and flips through this interactive, hands-on stunt set. The set features lights, sounds, moveable track pieces and a hand-crank elevator. The easy-to-assemble track lets kids build and rearrange the set to create a variety of tricks and tracks.
Learning Resources Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run
Get critical thinking skills rolling! Create your unique marble run with long, short, and curved magnetic pieces and then drop the marble from the highest point to see your design come to life! Take the challenge to the next level by building the models pictured on the Activity Cards.
Top Big Media Toys
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien (6 to 11 years)
The Ben 10 franchise has solidified its position as a top global evergreen brand, becoming a multi-category success since debuting on shelves in the U.S. in 2006. Led by a master toy line from Bandai, a top-selling interactive franchise from D3Publisher and a broad range of product categories, Ben 10 has enjoyed consistent global growth because of its high-quality products and CNE’s commitment to keeping the brand and its consumer products line relevant to today’s consumers.
Chuggington Big Build Adventure Set (2 to 6 years)
Chuggington is a modern television series that appeals to children ages 2 to 6 that made its finale in 2015, but the kids still love them. Using feature-quality CGI animation, Chuggington follows the adventures of Koko, Wilson, and Brewster – Chuggington’s ‘trainees’ – as they learn to ‘ride the rails’ of life. Chuggington features fast-paced action, social readiness lessons and stories that resonate with kids and parents around the world.
Dinosaur Train Set (3 to 6 years)
Dinosaur Train is a colorful toy that embraces and celebrates the fascination preschoolers have. Both dinosaurs and trains encourage basic scientific thinking and skills. The Dinosaur Train is a locomotive customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs. It can visit the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous worlds, while the Trains’ Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with fascinating facts along the way.
Monster High (Tween to Teen)
Monster High brings together the teenage descendants of the world’s most famous monsters to brave high school. Grounded in a fun and humorous storyline that captures the awkward moment’s teens experience, Monster High explores the powerful bonds of friendship and the challenges of fitting in all delivered through a “monster” chic aesthetic and tone. It offers rich publishing, the web, and entertainment content, as well as an array of consumer products like apparel, accessories, and toys.
Thomas & Friends (2 to 5 years)
Thomas & Friends has been making tracks to great destinations for over 65 years with classic stories of adventures from the railways on the Island of Sodor. The blue engine and his friends invite kids to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. As children embark for fun and excitement with their engine friends, adventures unfold that lead to timeless life lessons such as discovery, friendship, and cooperation.
Toy Story Figure Playset (All ages)
Toy Story first delighted audiences 15 years ago when Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang jumped out of the toy box and into our hearts. Proving that you can’t take the toys out of the Toy Story, Disney Consumer Products, and its best-in-class toy manufacturing partners created a robust selection of toys and an unprecedented retail marketing program inspired by Toy Story, the highest-grossing animated film of all time.