MOST WANTED TOYS HOLIDAY 2017
What could someone who lives in a Dreamhouse need? A Dreamhorse, of course. Barbie’s latest horse friend is fully interactive. Kids can feed, control and play games with this gorgeous steed using touch sensors and voice commands.
Doc McStuffins is a perennial top seller and the All in One Nursery gives kids all the toys of a nursery to play out taking care of your pets. From a working scale, to a stethoscope, there is so much to play with in this nursery for kids.
It’s the most exciting music game we’ve seen in a while. Create your own mixes, battle with your friends and much more. Innovative technology brings the music—and the fun to solo or party play. Truly a breakthrough in game design using today’s most popular music in a wide variety of genres.
It’s a new best friend that fits on your finger. These adorable, interactive monkeys respond to touch and sound in a nearly lifelike way. They’re super cute, collectible and a great value—a great combination for a hit in the making.
See the latest from one of the hottest toy crazes of recent years. Spin Master keeps the excitement and interaction going with Hatchimals Surprise. Check back here on October 6th to see the big news!
They really mean it when they say “Ultimate.” This dramatic garage adds more play, more parking, more racing and more engagement with the all-time favorite toy car brand. See what makes it so cool!
Find out how a hit toy gets even better. The new BatBot builds on the success of the original with expanding wings, punching fists and awesome voice change, motorcycle and so much more. Like all the Imaginext toys, it’s an inspiration for creative, imaginative superhero play.
A powerful, fun-filled personal device for kids as young as 4. Great apps, lots of engaging learning and the chance to feel “grown up” as they play like the big kids. Lots of built-in apps and many more available. See why this is the real deal for kids.
Build, program and play with this amazing robotics kit. Designed for kids 7-12, this is a dynamic way to introduce coding and more in a dynamic, elegantly designed environment. Add in LEGO construction play, and you’ve got a winning product.
L.O.L. Surprise! makes unboxing part of the play! Each ball has 7 layers that uncover different pieces. When it’s all opened up, you have a cute mini doll and an entire playset. The new series continues the fun with more characters and accessories.
The most realistic parenting play we’ve seen. Amazing technology brings these dolls to life inspiring boys and girls to nurture their own interactive baby. Rich play with a doll that grows and becomes more sophisticated adds playtime magic to the most classic of all toys.
Check out this amazing innovation in blaster and car play! Nerf combines well-engineered foam cars with innovative blasters, taking toy car play to new levels of fun!
This amazingly versatile, sophisticated and elegant video game system goes from TV to tablet in an instant and without missing a beat. Cool, interactive two-person gaming, new games and adaptations of classic Nintendo games make this the must-have system of 2017.
Oonies is a creative activity toy that kids will love. The system lets kids blow up balloons, decorate, play games and just have a blast. It’s fun, innovative and colorful...and we’ve never seen anything like it!
PAW Patrol is the hottest preschool show, and this outstanding, kid-sized set is the ultimate setting for kids to create and act out their own PAW Patrol adventures.
Colorful lollipops open up to reveal adorable, stuffed animals. Great design, kid-favorite scents and unique packaging in three different sizes make this something fresh, new and totally sweet.
Build your own customized droid inspired by the iconic R2D2. Then program and play! This is the ultimate STEAM toy that inspired creativity, exploration and tech-based learning, all at a very affordable price.
If you always wanted a personal droid, you’ll want this. BB-8 responds to you, follows you and is about as lifelike as it gets. It’s a must for the Star Wars Collector, but anyone who loves Star Wars play will want this.
Lightsabers have been favorite Star Wars toys for 40 years. Discover the trusty weapon of the series’ newest star, Rey. This is the Black Series version of her lightsaber with real F/X lights and sounds.
The breakthrough hit of the 1980s gets a whole new tech upgrade. He’s more sophisticated than ever, but he’s still ready to delight kids with storytelling, interaction and more. Teddy may be redesigned for millennial children, but he’s still all about the stories and the fun.
HOW TOYS BECOME MOST WANTED
Did you know that there are more than 160,000 toys on the market in the U.S. at any given time? That's a lot of toys! They range from the simplest collectibles and impulse toys to the most sophisticated electronic marvels.
At TTPM, we see more than 10,000 new toys every year. The process starts a year or more before our lists are revealed and the toys hit the shelves. Our teams attend Toy Fairs in the U.S. and overseas, and we visit with toy companies, getting exclusive backstage peeks at toys that are in development. Over the next months, we follow the progress of these toys as they get ready to come to market, and we review them almost as soon as they come off the assembly line.
We also spend a lot of time in toy stores—not a bad gig when you think about it. It's important to see what finally makes it to the shelves, the many ways a toy may be changed from when we saw a prototype and get an early sense of what's selling. The fact of the matter is, not every toy makes the cut. As with many industries, many more ideas are developed than ever to get to the toy shelves. Along the way, manufacturers may find things are too expensive to make, a great idea in the design studio may not appeal to kids, or retailers just may not want to take a chance on it.
Even for the toys that do make it through the process, it's not always clear sailing. There are a lot of things for parents to choose from, and in many cases kids are the ones who can make or break a toy. As we always say, it can be challenging to be in a business where your success or failure depends on what a kids wants at any given time.
Then, too, every kid is different. Over the years, we've seen again and again that every child has a different play style, as unique as his or her personality. Kids also never play with just one thing. When we've interviewed kids about what they like to play with, more often than not, they'll talk about toys in many different merchandise categories—from action figures to games and almost every category of toys they play with.
As quickly as kids tastes change, so too do the toys. We continue to see more and more technology introduced into toys, allowing them to do things that are surprising in their sophistication. While those innovations are amazing to parents and grandparents, those that are successful have one thing in common: good play.
The process of selecting toys for the TTPM Most Wanted lists takes months. Our editorial team reviews the toys. We take them out of the box, assemble and play with them. We talk to retailers and, of course, track trends in the culture from play to entertainment to fashion and more.
Here are some of the key criteria we use in making those tough choices:
- Is it New? Generally we only consider new toys introduced in the last year, or those that have been revised and updated. Many toys do come back every few years, often with innovations that make them new and newsworthy.
- Is it On-Trend? Does it reflect some part of kid culture, whether entertainment, play pattern or category? The toy industry is constantly changing, and keeping up with it is an ongoing challenge for toymakers.
- Is it a Good Toy? It is well made? Does it perform as advertised?
- Is it Available? Can people actually buy the toy?
- Do Kids Know About It? A good toy has to be well-marketed, which is part of the equation. But are they talking about it. Does a toy have that thing called "buzz?" Even if it's just getting off the ground, what's the early read on kids' reactions.
- Is it Fun? This is probably the most important criterion. Of course, what's fun for a preschooler is not the same as what's fun for an 8-year-old, so we look at these.
Over the years we've also learned that this is a lot more an art than a science, as with anything that has such an element of fashion involved. At the end of the day, our lists are a snapshot of a moment in play time—a sense of what's inspiring imaginations and letters to Santa.
And, most importantly, one thing we always say is that no list will ever encompass the wonderfully diverse nature of the toy business—or every kid. The best thing that parents and toy buyers can ever do is know the kids that they're buying for, what excites them and stimulates their imaginations. As we say every time we announce a list, "The hot toy is only hot if it's hot for your kid."
So, check out the lists, get playing, and be sure to come back often to see our latest toy reviews.