Every September, the big toy retailers and toy associations announce their predictions for the years’ top hottest toys.
Many of the same names that topped the lists last year, like L.O.L. Surprise, Lego and FurReal Friends, are favorites again, and we’re also seeing STEM educational toys topping the lists. I’ve selected a few of my favorites for your shopping pleasure and will continue to add to this list as I fall in love with others!
Hottest Toys of 2018
Hatchimals Mystery ($60)
Hatchimals have topped toy lists for three years running, and in this “mystery” version, it’s anyone’s guess what creature is inside. What we do know is that once the new pet emerges from its shell, it will mature over time with a little love. This one is available at Amazon, but it’s sounding like Walmart – and maybe others – will have Hatchimals that are exclusive to them.
FurReal Friends Star Wars Ultimate Copilot Chewie Interactive and Munchin’ Rex ($130 & $50)
Kids love FurReal Friends for their interactive features. This year, FurReal is back with a lifelike Chewbacca and a baby dino, perfect for the Star Wars and dinosaur trends. For seemingly endless entertainment, Chewie has 100+ sound and motion combinations and Munchin’ Rex has 35+!
WowWee Fingerlings Untamed Jail Break Playset ($40)
If you loved the tiny Fingerlings monkeys last year, there are two new creatures to add to your collection; a Fingerlings T-Rex and Raptor. These dinos will break out of jail when kids pull the lever and will react to touch, movement and sound. If you have a soft spot for the monkeys, try the Fingerlings Hugs, an interactive plush monkey, available at Walmart.
Playmobil Hidden Temple with T-Rex Building Set ($60)
Are you sensing a dinosaur trend? This Playmobil Hidden Temple with T-Rex Building Set includes a fabulous temple to explore with a dinosaur, people and even a dog! There’s also a UV flashlight that kids can use to check out glow-in-the dark features as well as an interactive treasure map.
L.OL. Surprise! Bigger Surprise! ($90) and L.O.L Surprise! House ($200)
You may remember the huge L.O.L. Surprise ball from last year, which was packed with tons of individually wrapped dolls, critters and accessories. There will be new “surprises” this year, which will surely include lots of unboxing and adorable characters.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus ($60)
I’m a firm believer of introducing music at a very early age, so the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus is one of my favorites for young kids. This colorful character has 15 different musical sound pieces, which can be mixed and matched in the octopus’s tentacles to play a variety of different music styles.
Little Live Scruff-A-Luvs ($20)
Little Live Pets are another “best of” favorite. New this year, the Scruff-A-Luvs are rescue animals that are lumps of matted fur at first. Once they are washed, dried and brushed, they emerge as adorable puppies, kittens or bunnies!
Hasbro Don’t Step In It, Unicorn Edition ($19, Amazon Exclusive)
Poop never seems to go out of style, and who can resist the allure of unicorn poop? This unicorn version of the last years’ “Don’t Step In It” game is sure to be a smash hit (pun intended!).
Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck ($60)
Paw Patrol is hugely popular with younger kids, and inevitably, there is a Paw Patrol toy on the best of lists! This truck is a blast to play with, with a 2 ft. tall extendable ladder, water cannon launcher, lights, sounds and more.
Moj Moj The Original Claw Machine Playset ($50)
The lure of a claw machine is undeniable, and this Moj Moj The Original Claw Machine Playset is small enough to play with – and master – at home! There are three joysticks, lights, sounds and six surprise gift eggs to capture. Kids can re-pack the eggs with tiny toys of their choosing.
Pomsies Patches Plush Interactive Toys ($15)
These little creatures use sounds and their light-up eyes to tell kids when they’re hungry, tired, or cold. Thanks to special touch sensors, Pomsies Patches Plush Interactive Toys react with over 50 sounds when they are touched. And you can’t beat the price for an interactive toy!
Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit ($100)
For the builders on your list, this 878-piece Harry Potter Lego set features the grand Great Hall of Hogwarts and comes with 10 miniature figures of Harry Potter characters. Know someone who prefers pirates? There’s a top-rated Lego Pirate Roller Coaster available at Walmart.
Huffy EZ Build Bikes (under $100, Amazon)
If you have a kid on your list who needs a bike, these EZ Build bikes come in a wide range of designs and sizes. Parents will love that they come out of the box 90% built and don’t require any additional tools. Kids will be up on their new bike in minutes!
Ozobot Bit Coding Robot ($60, Amazon)
STEM toys have become a mainstay on top toy lists and this little bot not only teaches those important skills, but also is screen-free and fun to play with.
A couple of my other STEM toy favorites are from Learning Resources:
Learning Resource Botley the Coding Robot 77-piece Activity Set ($44.93, Amazon)
The Learning Resource Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set is the winner of a whopping 12 awards and the first early coding robot to be STEM Approved™ by STEM.org for children 5+. While Botley follows looping commands and detects objects while navigating obstacle courses, kids learn early STEM skills, like critical thinking, and basic coding. Botley is completely screen-free and has an easy-to-use remote programmer that transmits commands.
Learning Resources Beaker Creatures ($24.96, Amazon)
This fun, working science lab is for kids five and up. Kids conduct a bubbly experiment with the mysterious science reactor pods, which reveal a collectible Beaker Creature from outer space. The Learning Resources Beaker Creatures set also comes with everything kids need to perform amazing real-world science experiments inspired by the creatures and their home planets.
What to expect when toy shopping in 2018:
Due to the Toys “R” Us store closings, we’ll see a broader selection of toys – and exclusive offerings – at Walmart, Target and Amazon. Walmart and Target will also be hosting in-store events and activities, which could be fun for you and the kiddos. Kohl’s is also getting in the game with an enhanced toy range this season.
There will be other places to shop for toys as well. Party City plans to open 50 “Toy City” pop-up stores alongside their seasonal Halloween City stores, and iconic toy retailer, FAO Schwartz, which closed a few years ago, is promising to open a store in New York City’s Rockefeller Center and an outpost at Laguardia Airport, just outside NYC.
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