Each year experts at The Toy Insider name the top 20 kids’ items for the holiday season. Below are the “Hot 20 Toys,” for 2013 categorized by age.
For ages 0-2:
Big Hugs Elmo (Playskool-$60). Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo loves getting hugs, but he really loves giving them! Along with getting a hug from this hugging plush toy, little ones can pretend with Elmo, and even dance, sing, nap, and cuddle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street pal!
Go! Go! Smart Wheels Construction Playset (VTech-$35). Construction time is fun time with the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Construction Playset by VTech! Push the included SmartPoint Dump Truck to hear imaginative phrases, music or sounds at each of this toy construction set’s six SmartPoint locations. Pick up and dump play pieces into the waiting toy dump truck with a tall, rotating crane and working claw to develop motor skills with role-play fun. Your little one will learn about numbers, weight concepts and shapes. The SmartPoint Dump Truck engages your child with three sing-along songs and many unique phrases teaching the letter “D” and more. Maneuver the toy truck around to the cargo loader, move the pieces along the conveyor ramp and stop at the weigh station. The learning doesn’t stop there! This toy construction set’s sixteen track pieces reconfigure and connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets (sold separately) to encourage your child’s creativity. It’s playtime with miles of learning! Unsure if 15 or 16 track pieces.
Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car (Fisher-Price-$60). The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car puts baby in the driver seat of a fun-filled stationary vehicle with all-around learning and play. The interactive lights and sounds dashboard keeps baby busy with a light-up baby “GPS”, horn to honk, gears to shift, and more. With over 75 sung songs, tunes and phrases, and three modes of play, there’s plenty of fuel for learning adventures and fun!
Twilight Turtle Tunes (Cloud b-$52). Twilight Turtle Tunes T3 – the first Cloud b character to feature wireless Bluetooth technology! Utilizing a new free Twilight Turtle Tunes app provided by Cloud b, parents can choose from a pre-set library of melodies and sounds that can be combined to create a customized mix to play wirelessly via Twilight Turtle Tunes’ speaker. A premium app will also be available for $1.99 which will allow users to access their personal music libraries to create totally unique mixes. By utilizing Bluetooth, the melody and twilight effect can be programmed for up to 24 hours.
For ages 3-5:
Despicable Me 2 Talking Dave & Laughing Stuart Minions (Thinkway Toys-$50). Dave has 55 Minion sayings & SFX. Press his pocket to hear Dave talk with funny expressions! Press his pocket again or move his head for another response/expression! Banana Mode – Press the back of Dave’s tongue and he will think you are feeding him. Then press his pocket or move his head to hear him make a farting sound! “Feed” him more than once to hear super fart sounds!
Stuart has over 45 Minion sayings/giggles in Original Voice! Press his pocket to hear Stuart talk with funny expressions! Press his pocket again or move his head for another response/expression! LOL Mode – Quickly press Stuart’s pocket 6 times to activate his Laugh Out Loud mode. Press the pocket again or move his head to hear him laugh out loud!
Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center (Just Play-$90). The Doc McStuffins Get Better Check Up Center is a terrific new roleplay toy for kids who want to be just like Doc McStuffins and diagnose and treat the many ailments afflicting their toys. This large playset has 10 different built-in features, including lights and sounds, the talking Big Book of Boo Boos (which is featured in the show), light-and-sound x-rays, a movable scale, a growth chart, a bandage sticker dispenser, and an eye chart. It also comes with a Lambie figure that activates sounds and phrases. There are also purple-and-pink versions of all the tools necessary to provide a complete check-up. The set also includes a pretend cell phone.
Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole (Innovation First-$50). This new breed of gravity defying Nano V2 bugs can now climb up vertically, horizontally, around corners, through loops and tubes, to the tip top of any Nano V2 habitat set. The Black Hole enables Nano V2 super-fans to customize the design and layout of the three-story set, unleashing kids’ creativity.
LeapPad Ultra (LeapFrog-$150). The LeapPad Ultra learning tablet comes packed with 11 apps and tons of fun features, designed by educators just for kids.* Write. Draw. Snap photos. Make videos. And enjoy new peer-to-peer play that’s safe out of the box. With so many ways to create and explore, LeapPad Ultra is the ultimate kids’ tablet to inspire a love of learning.
Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends (Mattel-$38). When Sofia becomes Sofia the First, she must adapt to an extraordinary life of royalty and learn how to be a princess – inside and out! Her lessons are taught by a variety of teachers, including Sleeping Beauty’s fairies, fellow princesses and her many animal friends. Thanks to her magical amulet from the King, Sofia has the power to speak with animals, and this doll celebrates that gift in grand scale. Beautiful large-scale Sofia doll interacts with the included animal friends: Clover the Rabbit, Mia the Bluebird and Robin the Robin – just like in the Disney Junior series! To activate, girls simply bring one of the sculpted animal figures close to Sofia’s amulet. Her amulet will glow, and the two will “talk” with one another. All together, Sofia and her three animal friends unlock more than 30 phrases! Sofia is princess-perfect in her signature purple dress, and her matching purple amulet is a matching purple looks magnificent with her glittery tiara and loose wavy curls. Girls will love reliving moments from the Disney Junior film and series with the added fun of sound to really bring the characters to life! Includes 10-inch Sofia doll and three animal friends.
Wing Control Dusty Crophopper R/C Plane (Mattel-$35). The amazing RC plane that lets you become the heroic “flyer” from Disney Planes! The controller makes Wing Control Dusty Crophopper follow your every move, and his propellers start spinning when you drive him forward. He even has 3 pre-programmed moves he’ll perform at the touch of a button!
For ages 6-8:
Battroborg (TOMY-$35). Get ready for the most advanced battling robots ever created! Battroborg motion controlled battling robots are here, and they are giving you all the power. You control the battle, you control the robot, you control your destiny. Knock out your opponent by serving up five contact punches to the head. Or take your robot to battle boot camp where you can master the art of combat by taking on the training drones. Battroborg’s advanced radio control technology also allows for you to host a Battle Royal where up to 20 robots can battle at one time. The game play continues in auto drone mode where you can battle against a self-activated Battroborg robot for up two minutes.
Blingles Glimmer Glam Styler (Moose Toys-$25). Dust on the diamonds and bring bling to a whole new level! With the Blingles Glimmer Glam Styler girls can create and design their own glittering stickers that stick to any smooth surface. Complete with four different glitter colours, gems, a glitter roller glimmer pen and brush. Simply pick from a fun range of cute stickers, choose your glitter colours and get sparkled! Finish off your design using some Blingles Gems and your stickers are transformed from drab to fab!
Disney Infinity (Disney Interactive-$75 Starter Set). Think of your favorite Disney characters and Pixar characters. The ones who took you on unexpected adventures and taught you about entirely new worlds. The characters you watched as they gained some great insight about their lives. The ones you watched through tear-filled eyes as they said goodbye to their loved ones or celebrated their new freedom. Think of all those characters and moments and answer this question: Which ones do you want to be? In the new Disney Infinity game, you get to choose! Play as dozens of your favorite Pixar and Disney characters across the various worlds they inhabit, and follow the classic stories you’ve memorized as you get to experience brand new twists and turns. Disney Infinity gives you the chance to be the good guys, the bad guys, and even the guys that just pop up from time to time. Fight the British and your former crew mates as the Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. Try to destroy the world and Mr. Incredible as the evil Syndrome. Make your own decision on if you want to wreck something or not as Wreck-It Ralph, and so much more! Disney Infinity is more than a game. It’s a whole new way to experience your favorite movies of all time.
Flutterbye Fairies (Spin Master-$35). Turn a young girl’s dreams into reality as they watch Flutterbye Fairies effortlessly dance through the air. Every enchanting flight puts the magic directly in their hands. Flutterbye’s gracefully glide across the sky guided only by the hands of young girls. There’s never been a more magical experience. Put the magic in their hands with the charming flight of Flutterbye Fairies.
Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘N Play Super Star Stage (Mega Bloks-$60). Get ready to rock ‘n roll with a packed crowd as Barbie and her friends put on the hottest show in town with the Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Play Super Star Stage. Build this huge two-story rock show any way you want with 5 stage pieces and real concert controls that let you direct the show in two different ways. Mode One lets you start up the real multi-color flashing lights and change between four different songs as Barbie and her friends play their latest hits that will be sure to get all of her fans rocking. Mode Two lets you choose the music. Play or sing along to your favorite songs on the radio and the concert lights will flash and right along to the music. Put on a show filled with all of your favorite songs that Barbie’s fans will never forget. Special concert pieces like silver scaffolding, huge amplifiers, glittering blocks and a sparkling disco ball set the mood, while the stage elevator and large video screen lets everyone enjoy watching Barbie perform anywhere at the concert. Hit the lights, check the sound and roll camera as Super Star Barbie, Raquelle and Teresa get up on stage and rock the roof off with a keyboard, guitar and 3 different microphones.
Skylanders Swap Force (Activision-$75 Starter Kit). Embark on an exciting new adventure with the Skylanders and the SWAP Force. For generations, the SWAP Force protected the volcano that replenishes Skylands’ magic. That is until an epic battle caught them in an eruption that blasted them apart, sent them to Earth and gave them the ability to swap powers. Only you can mix and match their tops and bottoms, put them on the new Portal of Power™ and save Skylands.
For ages 9 and up:
Air Hogs Elite Helix X4 Stunt (Spin Master-$80). The Helix X4 Stunt is a high-performance RC stunt quad-copter! It is aggressively maneuverable and incredibly fast! Perform 3 incredible stunts with the push of a button as you flip, barrel roll and 180 flip. Its full 4-channel control enables the Helix X4 to easily out fly any obstacle and out stunt any other RC vehicle. Nothing moves like a Helix! Experience the future of flight with the agile Helix X4 Stunt!
Draw Something Party Game (Hasbro-$25). Draw the party together with the unscripted, spontaneous fun of one of the most popular social games from Zynga. The Draw Something Party game has a lightweight, illuminated tablet with click-and-clear technology. This not only provides fast and easy pass-and-play, but there is no paper to waste. Everyone can play at the same time, and enjoy the unpredictable and silly experience of this social party game.
Kurio Touch 4s (Techno Source-$100). The Kurio Touch 4S Android Handheld comes preloaded with over 30 games and apps as well as the Kurio Store, which provides access to thousands of videos, songs and more. With four fully customizable profiles, you can create one that suits your child with individualized content controls and time limits. Viewing and browsing are easy with the 3.97″ multi-point touch screen and 800 x 480 resolution, and the HD video player, music player and microphone offer a variety of entertainment options. 8 GB of integrated memory is extendable up to 40 GB with a microSD card (sold separately) to provide plenty of storage space for your files and apps. The handheld features a 1 GB RAM Dual Core processor for lightning-fast speeds and comes with earbuds that are specially designed for kids’ ears.
Lego Chima Cragger’s Command Ship (Lego-$80). The ultimate swamp battle is on. Leonidas and Lennox are making a jet-bike escape with the Croc tribe’s CHI, but it takes more than that to outsmart croc prince Cragger. Fire up Cragger’s Command Ship and go after them! Activate the huge snapping mouth, swipe the croc tail and fire the CHI-powered missiles! Call in their Raven ally Rawzom to track them from the air or to swoop down from above and catch those CHI-nabbing cats! Then, deploy the stealthy mini boats and high-flying croc helicopter to stop them from ever leaving the swamp. Includes 6 minifigures with assorted weapons.