To kick off the holiday season, the team of toy experts at www.TimetoPlayMag.com recently announced their Most Wanted List of 16 hot holiday toys and games, guaranteed to be topping wish lists through the season. Wondering what makes these toys tops? Read on.
AIR HOGS MOTO FRENZY (Spin Master/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
The R/C category is hot at retail, with the sweet spot being the $20-$40 price points with cool functionality. Spin Master, the leader of this category, has once again brought innovation at a great price point with a small motorcycle that really is cool to drive, and you can even pop those wheelies.
DISNEY PRINCESS & ME DOLLS
(JAKKS Pacific/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
When Disney combined their princesses this past decade, they created princess power in the toy aisles. This toy takes the princesses to a new high in the large doll category, and they are the most beautiful dolls ever made of the Disney Princesses. With their glass eyes and high detail, these are not just for play, but they are sure to be dolls that girls will collect and hold on to.
HOT WHEELS R/C STEALTH RIDES
(Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
When we first showed this toy to young boys, their jaws dropped to the ground. Taking the Hot Wheels brand to the R/C category, hereís something youíve never seen before. The cars come flat in a thin card holder and then pop into a vehicle you run.
LEAPSTER EXPLORER (LeapFrog/Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $69.99)
When a person hears Leapfrog, the words associated with it are Learning Fun. Leapfrog has updated its Leapster hardware and software to make playing educational games better than ever. This is a toy not only kids love, but so will their parents.
LEGO Games - LEGO Systems
(LEGO/Ages 7 years & up/Approx. Retail Price $29.99)
Last year, Lego introduced its game line in the UK and achieved a 12% market share of the games category by year end. We happen to love all of the Lego Games, and our favorite is the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle. You build the game, you play the game and it has some of the Hogwarts magic built into the play.
LOOPZ (Mattel/Ages 7 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99)
Last year Mattel used brainwave technology to make a hit game with Mindflex. This year they are bringing sensor technology to the gaming aisle with Loopz, which has seven skill games that require quick hand-eye coordination and a good memory.
MONSTER HIGH DOLLS (Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $16.99)
Timing is everything! Twilight and Vampire Diaries are the hot genre right now, and Mattelís timing couldnít be better with this homegrown brand thatís scorching at retailers. The looks of these famous monsterís daughters couldnít be more relevant than now with girls.
NERF N-STRIKE STAMPEDE ECS BLASTER (Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
The Nerf brand has grown from $40 million to over $150 million in the past decade. Quite simple, this toy is the BEST NERF EVER for kids of ANY age! Seeing is believing! With three clips, each with 18 foam darts, you are the king of the room with this blaster. This toy is one every Dad needs too.
PAPER JAMZ (WowWee/Ages 5 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
When we first saw this toy a year ago, we guessed the price of it would be double. Kids love music, and not only does this flat guitar deliver, it has tremendous value. The best part is as you get better at playing, there are different and more advanced ways to play.
REAL CONSTRUCTION (JAKKS Pacific/Ages 5 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
When I first saw this line, I immediately thought of Tim the Tool Man from Home Improvement. In my 27 years covering the toy business, Iíve never seen anything like this. This is a natural toy for young boys, which might make them useful husbands later in life. Itís construction for kids!
SCRABBLE FLASH (Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99)
Start playing with this toy and you wonít put it down. Taking one of the best selling games of all time, and incorporating it with a modern RFID flash cube technology, this is the most addicting game to hit the market for those who love word games.
(Mattel/Ages 3 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $12.99)
Our team all instantly fell in love with the simple addicting fun of these toys. We canít put them down! I love the simple play, and the fact that a basic toy can entertain a child and bring a smile to their face.
(Blip Toys/Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $6.99)
This year, the surprise hit comes from a small company called Blip Toys. This is proof in the dream that any company with a great idea can have a hit toy. With these toys already scarce, Squinkies brings the collectibles you would receive from those kidsí vending machines to your home.
TONKA CHUCK & FRIENDS CHUCK'S STUNT PARK PLAYSET (Hasbro Playskool/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99)
Chuck my Talking truck has been a leading seller for the past two years. I love toys that allow kids to customize, and the Stunt Park lets kids build their own stunts to watch Chuck maneuver through.
(VTech/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99)
This toy is educational, fun, and stylish. In three words, itís a Kindle for Kids. Itís as simple as that!
ZOOBLES(Spin Master/Ages 4 years & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $4.99)
Last year, Bakugan dominated the boysí aisles with sales exceeding $400 million. Taking the magic of Bakugan and translating to a girlsí collectible line wasnít easy, but Spin Master pulled it off. These collectible spheres are magical fun to young girls when they pop to life.
- By Jim Silver
Jim Silver is recognized as
one of the preeminent experts in the toy, licensing, and family
entertainment industries. As editor-in-chief of family entertainment
Silver and his team provide adults with information on whatís fun for
children and their families, including toys, games and trends.
is also editor in chief of trade publications Royaltie$: The Journal of
the Licensing Industry and Toys & Family Entertainment at aNb
Media. You can follow him on Twitter.