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These are the hottest toys of 2020, according to experts | #parenting | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


This year’s holiday toy season is going to look unlike any other. But while there won’t be long lines at the doors or elbow jabs to snatch the hot toy of 2020, there are still toys that are expected to sell out.

We spoke with some of the toy world’s top trend forecasters for insight into the toys that made them go “wow,” as well as predictions of which ones will be flying off virtual shelves. You might want to buy these before the Black Friday rush.

1. The ultimate must-have toy

Credit: Disney / Hasbro

The star of Disney’s “The Mandalorian” is THE toy of the season.

Best for ages: 4 and up
The force will be strong for the breakout star of The Mandalorian this season. Hasbro’s animatronic Baby Yoda toy sold out immediately back in February, so trend insiders say if you find one, buy it now before its holiday rerelease. “If there’s something collectible that your child wants, I wouldn’t wait,” says Stephanie Oppenheim, cofounder of Toy Portfolio.

The Mandalorian just returned to Disney+ so interest is renewed (like it ever waned). According to Oppenheim, it won’t just be little kids with this toy on their list: “This toy is going to be a major hit this year—not just with kids but with collectors,” she says.

Get the Star Wars animatronic The Child toy at Amazon for $59

2. The year’s new “Hatchimal”

presentpetsCredit: Spinmaster

These toys are the latest in a line that utilizes the “self-unboxing” trend.

Best for ages: 3 and up
Chris Byrne, aka The Toy Guy, says he expects the unboxing trend to play large in what kids want for Christmas. “Unboxing is a trend that, while popular in the past, has really picked up steam this year and we’ll start to see that in the toys kids want,” he says.

Present Pets is one of the toy top toys that uses the unboxing model, and Byrne predicts it will be this year’s version of the Hatchimal. Like its predecessor, the element of surprise is what makes this toy so appealing, as it features an adorable pup who claws its way out of the gift box. It then interacts with over 100 different sounds and movements. “It’s kind of that magical thing and kids get to relate to it and it’s almost alive,” says Byrne.

3. A pop culture play on kids’ toys

squeakeeCredit: Moose

A Jeff Koons sculpture meets kids toy!

Best for ages: 5 and up (and adults!)
Kids love this balloon animal come to life because it makes fun noises and does tricks. You can train him to sit and beg with his squeak toy, or tickle him to to have him roll over and beg. Pop him with his pin and he’ll play dead. Inflate him with his pump and he’ll pee or fart.

“Kids really love this toy,” says Byrne. But he says the appeal of Squeakee doesn’t stop with little ones. Because it looks like the iconic Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture, adults love this one too. “It’s one of the toys I keep in my living room,” says Byrne.

Get Squeakee the Balloon Dog at Target for $54.99

4. A remote control bird that’s almost smarter than the real thing

zingbirdCredit: Zing

This animatronic, remote-controlled bird is part animal toy and part drone.

Best for ages: 7 and up
Byrne said this toy made a huge splash at the Hong Kong toy fair, and it’s easy to see why. This animatronic, remote control bird with real flapping wings looks like a real bird in flight and can reach heights of up to 200 feet.

Just gently toss it in the air and it immediately starts to fly, controlled by an easy-to-maneuver and easy-to-master remote. With internal smart features it can avoid obstacles from 6 feet away, and its LED lights make it possible to fly at night, which ups the coolness factor with older kids.

5. A Barbie that encourages mindfulness

barbieCredit: Mattel

Breathe with Me Barbie is a new favorite of collectors.

Best for ages: 3 and up
“Barbie is having a really good year,” says Oppenheim, noting that at last check, Barbie sales were up by 29% this year. While Barbie is always a popular toy, Oppenheim thinks this spike in sales may be due to children craving interaction and projecting that need through imaginative play.

“[Dolls] function as a totem where kids can project,” she says. She thinks this year’s Breathe with Me Barbie is particularly timely. It can go from standing to sitting cross-legged as it takes kids through five meditations. It also comes with a little pooch that relays emotions to help kids articulate what they are feeling.

It’s a toy that seems to appeal to kids and collectors alike. One Target reviewer notes, “I’m mostly a collector, but fell in love with this Barbie and for the first time in a long while, I want to take a doll out of the box and actually ‘play with it.’”

6. A fresh take on fashion dolls

FreshDollsCredit: Fresh Dolls

These super-stylish dolls are listed as one of Oprah’s favorite things for 2020.

Best for ages: 3 and up
While Barbie is the iconic doll for imaginative play for kids 3 and older, there are some new toys on the scene that are making a big impression. Oppenheim says she expects Fresh Dolls to be very popular this season. Considering these dolls made Oprah’s Favorite Things list this year, it’s probably a good bet.

“We are seeing a lot more diversity in toys,” Oppenheim says. These dolls were made by university professor Lisa Williams, who saw a void in the multicultural doll market. “She found that kids were still feeling embarrassed by the color of their skin and she created the most gorgeous dolls to remedy that,” says Oppenheim.

These dolls truly are impressive, with some of the most stylish clothes (even my 6-year-old son was impressed and said I should start dressing like them) we’ve seen. Reviewers say the hair and the quality of the toy overall is top notch. She also created a line of male dolls called The Fresh Squad.

Get the Fresh Dolls Jacqueline doll and Deluxe Set at Walmart for $24.25

7. A Lego set for Mario lovers

marioCredit: Lego

This Lego and Nintendo collaboration is combines a toy and a character kids love.

Best for ages: 6 and up
Every toy forecaster we spoke to said Legos will continue to be popular this year. Byrne, The Toy Insider editor-in-chief Ali Mierzejewski, and sources at Kids Insights all point to Lego’s Super Mario collaboration as one reason why.

This year marked the 35th anniversary of “Super Mario Bros.” for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and there are more gaming releases planned through early 2021, so Super Mario and its spinoff toys will stay steadily in the minds of kids.

Get the Lego Super Mario Kart starter set at Target for $59.99

8. A boundary-breaking Mario game

MarioKartCredit: Nintendo

This live-action game is described as “magic” by game reviewers.

Best for ages: 7 and up
If you’re looking for a boundary-breaking video game to go with last year’s Nintendo Switch, the “Mario Kart Live” home circuit game is a great buy. It’s gaining accolades from all of the top gaming sites, even being hailed as a “hell of a lot of magic for $100” by GamesRadar.com. Byrne found this game to be incredibly impressive: “[It’s a] play pattern we’ve seen over the years but Nintendo has finally gotten it to be really cohesive and it’s really cool.”

Get the “Mario Kart Live” home circuit set at Target for $99.99

9. An amphibious Megalodon toy

MegaCredit: Spinmaster

It’s a big year for dinosaurs and this toy will use that trend to beat the stay-at-home blues.

Best for ages: 4 and up
Marianne Szymanski, founder and president of Toy Tips says that while dinosaur trends come and go, 2020 is definitely “a dinosaur year,” partially driven by the popularity of Netflix’s “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous”. Byrne says that for the younger set, the Megalodon remote-controlled car from Spin Master is poised to do well.

This is a “high performance” RC car that can go from water to dirt and can also perform well on carpets—making for a perfect toy for beating the shelter-in-place blues. “There’s lots of great play in this and, really, it’s hilarious,” say Byrne.

Get the Monster Jam Official Megalodon Storm All-Terrain Remote Control Monster Truck at Target for $43.99

10, 11 & 12. Three games that will make family night more fun

gamesCredit: ThinkFun / Ravensburger / Gamewright

Our experts say that games are going to be a big seller this season. These three choices make for a fun, screen-free night with the fam.

Best for ages: 8 and up
Both Oppenheim and Byrne say that games are going to be big sellers this holiday season, and both had great things to say about Splurt, the fast-action word game where players have to be the first to blurt out a word associated with a clue on a given card. “It’s a lively game that involves flexible thinking and grammatical terms that kids know but may not use; a kind of trivia game based on words rather than pop culture,” says Oppenheim.

Byrne also recommends the deductive reasoning game of Dog Crimes, the award-winning follow up to Cat Crimes. “It’s a game but it’s also a deductive reasoning puzzle,” says Byrne. Players solve a silly crime, like which dog ripped the pillow. “There’s reasoning and sequencing, which is, at the bottom line coding. It’s a game but it’s a puzzle and it’s a challenge and, best of all, you can play with a friend or play solo.”

Villainous is another game that our experts say will attract attention. It’s a game where the most diabolical villain wins. Depending on the board you buy, it uses immensely popular and iconic Disney or Marvel villains as each moves towards their most sinister objectives. “It’s a strategy game but only takes about an hour to play,” says Byrne.

13. A tablet game that won’t make you feel guilty about screen time

osmoCredit: Osmo

STEM toys continue to big popular and this one will teach coding without the screen-time guilt.

Best for ages: 5 to 10
All of the experts we spoke to said STEM and STEAM toys will continue to sell well this year. Szymanski has her eye on the Osmo STEAM Coding Starter set and Secrets of the Dragon Math Wizard in particular.

“I think Osmo will be a popular choice because right now in a time of distance learning, parents, teachers, and children are looking for fun ways to apply new skills into everyday life. We live in a tech world and this platform is way for preschoolers and early leaders to start applying skills they know on screen in a way both fun and educational,” says Szymanski.

Osmo allows for guilt-free screen time. “It allows for independent play and learning for parents that want screen time to be both fun and educational,” she says.

14. A STEAM toy that’s part craft and part chemistry

crayolaCredit: Crayola

A little bit crafting, a little bit science, and a whole lot of STEAM fun.

Best for ages: 7 and up
Crafting toys are always popular around the holidays, but Byrne says this year we are likely to see the interest in them increase as parents look for more quality quiet-time toys. Both Byrne and Mierzejewski say the Crayon STEAM paper flowers kit is a perfect balance of crafting and science. It not only teaches kids important STEM skills, but it also encourages creativity making for a creative multi-disciplinary toy.

“With a lot of virtual learning and home-schooling still happening nationwide, parents are looking for screen-free ways to keep kids learning and entertained,” says Mierzejewski, “This Crayola kit is the perfect solution.”

Get the Crayon STEAM paper flowers science kit from Michaels for $29.99

14. A beautiful puzzle for independent play

EebooCredit: eeBoo

Our trend experts think eeBoo makes some of the most beautiful puzzles around.

Best for ages: 6 and up
According to Oppenheim, puzzles have been on the upswing for the past four years, and this year they are one of the highest rated toys on the market. “This year there is such a demand for puzzles,” says Oppenheim. “People are looking for a way of unplugging from all of the screen time kids have.”

Oppenheim says some of her favorite puzzles come from Eeboo, Mudpuppy, and Janco, who she says are making beautiful puzzles for younger children. “Make sure that when you buy puzzles for younger children, you start with fewer pieces and you stay in that zone,” she says, cautioning parents not to fall into the temptation of buying a puzzle that is beyond their child’s abilities. “Look for age ranges on the box and let them build their confidence and problem-solving skills within their comfort zone.”

“It’s not going to be fun for most kids if it’s 500 or 1,000 pieces and parents are tapped out as teachers. Let puzzles be a way for kids to relax,” she says, adding that the repetition of doing a puzzle again and again can even aid in child development. This puzzle by eeBoo is one of Oppenheim’s favorites and one she personally recommends for the burgeoning puzzle addict.

15. Stocking stuffers filled with mini surprises

zuruCredit: Zuru

These mini collectables are making for a lot of chatter this year.

Best for ages: 5 and up
In the strange-but-true trend of mini-obsession, Byrne says the Zuru 5 Surprise mini sets will be a coveted stocking stuffer this year. “Minis are always such a big trend for kids. The online chatter looking forward to these is huge,” he says.

Szymanksi adds, “Collectibles are ALWAYS popular—especially those that fit inside pockets. … Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars will never go out of style but the trend of mini-collectibles with ‘surprises’ always offers an element of wonder that kids really love to open.”

Validating Szymanski’s predicted dinosaur trend, and Oppenheim’s prediction that unicorns will be the popular “animal” of the year, Zuru has also released two new surprise series: ”Battling Dinos” and “Unicorn Squad.” These collectible capsules filled with mini toys are certain to be a hit.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.





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