The toy industry is always churning out the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos guaranteed to delight kids. But with so many options on shelves, which toys are likely to be the most sought-after and in demand this year? Here’s a look at some of the hottest toys ready to fly off shelves and into toy boxes.
Smart Toys: The Smarter the Better
From talking robots to interactive gaming, the popularity of smart toys continues rising. These toys engage minds through technology, teaching important skills like coding, problem-solving, and STEM fundamentals. Top picks in this space include:
- Osmo Genius Starter Kit: These iPad-compatible pieces transform the tablet into an interactive learning tool spanning math, reading, arts, and more. Kids can play solo or with others.
- Botley 2.0: This coding robot teaches programming through 100+ actions. Kids “write” code by arranging directional blocks that Botley then follows. Screen-free fun boosts critical thinking.
- Meccanoid G15: Budding engineers will love this build-it-yourself robot kit with endless customization options. Bring the humanoid bot to life and watch it speak, move, and interact.
With their blend of learning and play, smart toys let kids sharpen skills while having a blast. The technology involved makes them hot tickets for digital-native children.
Unboxing Toys: YouTube Craze Drives Demand
“Unboxing videos” showcasing new toys have become a phenomenon among children on YouTube. Their popularity is fueling demand for some of the very toys featured, including:
- L.O.L. Surprise dolls: These come bundled in layers of packaging for kids to unwrap, revealing mystery accessories, clothes, and dolls. The toy reveal creates exciting unboxing moments kids love to watch and recreate.
- Ryan’s World Surprise Eggs: Packaged like an egg, these open to uncover various themed toys inside. They tap into the unboxing craze made famous by kid YouTuber Ryan Kaji.
- Hatchimals: Inside each speckled egg is a surprise interactive creature for kids to hatch and nurture. Unboxing adds to the mystique.
Part of the fun is the mystery of what’s inside. By mimicking the unwrap/unbox format of popular YouTube videos, these toys let kids live out the experience themselves. The play value and kid-approval factor makes them in demand.
Interactive Plush Toys: Cute & Cuddly Playtime
From pets to baby dolls, interactive plush toys allow for imaginative playtime fun. Bestsellers in this category include:
- CoComelon Musical learning toys: Based on the hit kids’ show, these soft, huggable characters sing songs and say phrases to boost learning. Great for toddlers.
- Present Pets: Each adorable “unboxed” puppy or kitty makes over 35 sounds as kids pet, feed, and care for them like a real pet.
- Baby Alive Lulu Achoo: This life-like doll sneezes, coughs, and gets a “runny nose” for kids to care for. Extra outfits and nursery accessories encourage role play.
The cute faces, soft textures, and interactive play make these plush characters irresistible. Their ability to engage kids in nurturing activities gives them unique play value that parents love too.
Throwback Toys: Vintage Classics Make a Comeback
Capitalizing on parents’ nostalgia, many vintage toy brands have relaunched for a new generation. In demand retro picks include:
- Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldron: This modern take on ’90s classic Bubbling Brew Potion lets kids “brew” a magical creature by adding ingredients to the cauldron.
- Pound Puppies: These plush pups were a hit in the ’80s and ’90s. Fans old and new are loving the comeback of Lucky and his adoptable friends.
- Masters of the Universe: He-Man action figures from the ’80s have been reinvented with a fresh look but the same nostalgic charm.
By reintroducing classic toys with new twists, companies tap into parents’ happy childhood memories. This builds hype and demand as grown-ups want their kids to enjoy the magic too.
So in the fast-moving toy industry, these categories represent what’s shaping up as most in-demand this year. From high-tech to cuddly throwbacks, toys that engage imagination, deliver excitement, and provide interactive play will always be popular picks making kids’ wish lists. By keeping up with the latest trends, parents can find toys that become beloved additions passed down for generations.