The Holidays are nearly upon us, and for kids everywhere, that means toys. Most everyone has a kid to shop for in their lives, but how to navigate the distraction-filled Toy Aisle? Thankfully, major retailers release their top toy lists to prepare shoppers, and you can expect these hot commodities to drop to competitive prices the closer we get to Black Friday, and to the holidays themselves.
From dolls and playsets, to board games and nerf guns, there are new toys out to excite every personality and interest. To find out what is really hot, let’s look at the toys that star on the list after list from store to store.
Top 10 Toys Featured on Nearly Every Big Toy List for 2017
- Hatchimal’s Surprise: After the huge sellout craze last year, it is no surprise that this popular toy has returned with a new iteration. What is the surprise you may be wondering? Twins! Get two toys in this year’s egg, featuring new creatures such as the Puppadee.
- Fingerlings: This interactive baby monkey toy is already a hot item with high reviews. This is one of those items that promote the “collect them all” mentality, so it is a good gift to double up on and at an affordable price. If your little one wants one of these, be vigilant as the sales come out, for it is frequently going out of stock.
- Playskool Friends Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo: No, you haven’t time traveled back to the 90s. Tickle Me Elmo is back with this all-new version. Like his original, this doll talks, tells jokes, and of course, laughs and laughs when tickled.
- Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn First Words Smart Puppy: It’s no secret Fisher-Price is a giant in the toy industry, particularly when it comes to melding fun with education. This toy is perfect for children starting as young as 9 months old, and goes up in difficulty levels to help your child learn all the way until 36 months!
- Little Live Pets Cuddles My Dream Kitten: Cuddles is just one adorable face in a line of must-have interactive toys. The Little Live Pets move and make noises like the animals they represent. Most attractive to young kids is that it comes with an adoption certificate. Praised by reviewers for its realistic portrayal, these pet substitutes are sure to be a big hit!
- Nerf Rival Phantom Corps Hexa: This is just one of several new nerf guns on the market this year. Nerf is a reliable brand, which manages to hold a high place of popularity year after year. This is great for all the young sharpshooters and adventure seekers! Make sure to get some extra ammo to keep the fun going longer between those inevitable cleanups.
- Paw Patrol Sea Patroller: Paw Patrol remains in the spotlight this year with their new rescue vehicle, the Sea Patroller. Along with characters, this toy comes with attachments such as a moveable crane and rescue cage.
- Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery: Immersive, play pretend stations are always big winners in the gift world. Featuring popular Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins, your little one can save their toys in their very own nursery, taking care of their friends with features such as the light and sound stethoscope, and the scale. It might be a good idea to buy some small dolls or toys to be the first “patients.” The Doc is in!
- FurReal Roarin’ Ivory The Playful Tiger: Both Ivory and her traditional Orange and Black counterpart is another popular addition to the realistic, electronic animal toy category. This fun, white tiger edition will be found exclusively at Toys R Us. No release date is known yet but it should be coming soon.
- L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise Doll: Why it may seem weird to buy what you cannot see, kids, eat up surprises. From the blind boxes (which make great stocking stuffers!) to the big players like Hatchimals, there’s no stopping this trend. These limited edition dolls have “50 Surprises” to discover.
Smart Shopping Tips
- Take Advantage of Layaway: Walmart layaway has already begun, with no opening fee to begin your process. A down payment of 10% or $10 (the greater of the two) is required to hold items. Sears and Kmart have similar layaway policies, with Shop Your Way members getting a $1 down perk.
- Try curbside or pickup services: While curbside is becoming more popular in groceries, stores like Walmart are expanding to seasonal items like toys. Other stores like Target, Sears, and Barnes and Noble will hold and reserve items for you for pickup—simply go inside and pay instead of fighting crowds in the aisles.
- Go to the actual toy section for customer service: It’s no secret most stores hire extra help for the holiday rush. And many stores staff extra customer service representatives in their popular sections of the store—especially the Toys and Games sections. Employees are not only able to find and navigate the chaos efficiently, they are working with these trends closely every day, and can offer great advice when you feel lost.
- Shop online & use retailers' apps: well before the big shopping week, Toys R Us launched multiple sale events last year that were often exclusive to Rewards R Us members (free to join). Each event featured deals 40-60% off retail prices on popular character brands like Barbie, NERF, LEGO, and so much more. Last year, Target offered 30% off all toys for their mobile app users so make sure you download apps for major retailers you're planning to shop at this holiday season for push notifications and sale updates!
When planning your shopping, particularly for toys, stay on top of release dates and sale times for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Toys often are the first to sell out and become rare hunts in the holiday season. To keep from being disappointed, get to your preferred stores early. Have a clear list of what you need, and most of all, be safe! Big crowds can get difficult to navigate.
Check Out the Top Toys Lists & Ads from the Biggest Retailers
In addition, most items can be purchased online at similar door-busting prices, and you can shop from the comfort of your own home! Follow BlackFriday.fm for the latest ads and announcements. Be strategic with the free shipping thresholds when you shop—buy a combination of things at each destination to avoid paying shipping fees. And if you want it, don’t hesitate! It may be gone the next minute.