The Toy Insider Unveils the Hottest Toys for Holiday 2016

November 6, 2016
Hottest Toys for Holiday 2016

The Toy Insider unveiled its expert picks for the best kids’ toys and tech in its 11th annual holiday gift guide. The hottest items for 2016 are broken out into three lists: the Hot 20 (the items expected to top kids’ wish lists), Top Tech 12 (drones, wearables, robotic pets, and more) and STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering, and math toys that make learning fun). With lots of options for kids of all ages, these 42 items are sure to wow kids this holiday season, and are expected to be hard to find or sold out by Christmas.

The Toy Insider team of experts reviews toys 365 days a year. When evaluating toys, the team considers play value, originality, skill building, product integrity and, of course, fun factor. “At The Toy Insider, we know play, and the toys in our holiday gift guide will have kids laughing, learning, and playing in meaningful ways,” says Laurie Schacht, co-publisher and Chief Toy Officer. “Playtime is all about bringing the whole family together, and whether it’s an engaging new board game, an interactive play set, or an adorable tech pet, the toys on our list will get everyone having fun all season long and well into 2017.”

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20

0-2 years

  • Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center (Fisher-Price)
  • Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace (VTech)

3-5 years

  • Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa (JAKKS Pacific)
  • Disney My Time Singing Elena of Avalor (Hasbro)
  • FurReal Friends Torch My Blazin’ Dragon (Hasbro)
  • Lion Guard Training Lair Playset (Just Play)
  • PAW Patrol Monkey Temple (Spin Master)
  • PJ Masks Headquarters Playset (Just Play)
  • Pokémon My Friend Pikachu (TOMY)
  • Talk-to-Me Mikey (Playmates Toys)

6-8 years

  • Animal Jam—Club Geoz Dance Party Playset (Jazwares)
  • Hatchimals (Spin Master)
  • Hot Wheels AI (Mattel)
  • Shopkins Happy Places Happy Home (Moose Toys)
  • Snuggles, My Dream Puppy (Moose Toys)
  • Skylanders Imaginators (Activision)


  • LEGO Star Wars Resistance X-Wing Fighter (The LEGO Group)
  • Nintendo MarioKart 8 Quadcopter (Carrera of America)
  • Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon (Nintendo)
  • Speak Out (Hasbro)

The Toy Insider’s Top Tech 12

  • Air Hogs Helix Sentinel Drone (Spin Master)
  • Barbie Hello Dreamhouse (Mattel)
  • BOSEbuild Speaker Cube (Bose)
  • CHiP (WowWee)
  • CodeGamer (Thames & Kosmos)
  • Kurio Watch (KD Interactive)
  • LUMI (WowWee)
  • Mebo (Skyrocket Toys)
  • Meccano Meccasaur (Spin Master)
  • Sky Rover Voice Command Drone (Auldey Toys North America)
  • Sky Viper Hover Racer (Skyrocket Toys)
  • Zoomer Chimp (Spin Master)

The Toy Insider’s STEM 10

  • 3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set (WobbleWorks)
  • Barbie STEM Kit (Thames & Kosmos)
  • Bloxels (Mattel)
  • Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set (Learning Resources)
  • Geckobot (Thames & Kosmos)
  • Mighty Makers Director’s Cut Building Set (K’NEX)
  • Project MC2 We Heart Chemistry Kit (ALEX Brands)
  • Roominate Cotton Candy Carnival (PlayMonster)
  • Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar (Fisher-Price)
  • VEX Robotics Zip Flyer (HEXBUG)


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