Kids today don’t know how good they have it. I’m not referring to the selection of *things* they could have or the opportunities for travel, education, sports and arts. I’m talking about something much more important to a child: The holiday wish list.
When I was a kid, we had to beg our parents to swing by the local Sears when the holiday catalog was published. We would flip through the pages and circle the things that looked interesting, more often than not having never seen the item in person until it was opened on Christmas morning. If we were lucky, we might spot something during Saturday morning cartoons that perhaps would sway our interest one way or the other. That was the norm for our generation. With the internet and technology, consumers today are more informed about what is available as well as what might be the year’s hot commodity.
Last week I was in New York for Blogger Bash where the main event is Sweet Suite, a showcase of toys, games, gadgets and stocking stuffers that we can expect to see on countless “I Want” lists this holiday season. I spent every minute of the four-hour expo talking to large and small brands about everything from the latest games to toys of all sizes and types. While there are a multitude of things available, here are a few trends that you’ll want to keep your eye open for even before your child submits their wish list. Because, honestly, by the time you get said list, those items may already be sold out.
Five Holiday Trends to Watch
I’m not sure what the allure is, but my kids are drawn into the idea of unboxing, unwrapping and opening blind bags of all sorts. From the cupcake that turns into the doll to the egg/sphere that hatches or peels into any number of other types of toys, this is a huge trend. What used to be filler for stockings is now becoming a gift unto itself. Here are some to watch for:
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles from Spin Master (Original, Glitter and blind bags)
LOL Surprise! by MGA Entertainment (Original and Lil Sisters)
FlipaZoo from Jay@Play (Large and small stuffed animals and blind bags)
Cupcake Surprise Dolls from Haschel Toys (Come in 2 sizes and are scented!)
Pikmi Pops Surprise! from Moose Toys
Mini Mojis from Kidz Toyz Inc.
Had I known a half-deflated balloon would become a thing, I would be a millionaire. These squishy plastic toys come in different themes, shapes and styles. Some kids play with them, some kids collect them and others use them like stress balls. Whatever their reason, kids are loving them. Some to keep an eye out for:
Kawaii Squeezies by New Dimensions Toys (Select from food or animals in these blind boxes)
Marvel, Cars 3, Care Bears, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and more Mash’ems from Tech 4 Kids
Squish-Dee-Lish from Jakks Toys
STEM / STEAM
Technology and toys continue to merge and result in so many cool gadgets! VR headsets, building systems, kits and more. There are a many different ways to encourage STEM / STEAM through play and this holiday season will have several to choose from. If the kids don’t know they are learning, are they more likely to want to use it? Products that make learning fun are worth every penny.
Structural and Mechanical Engineering Experiment Kits from Thames & Kosmos
Merge Cube from Merge.VR
Star Wars Science Death Star Electronics Lab from Uncle Milton
Chemistry, Cooking and Explosive Science Kits from Science4You
I think we’ve proven over the past few years that games are really a thing. Kids of all ages are gravitating toward a variety of games. You know how we feel about board games, but here are a few that were showcased at Sweet Suite that are sure to be a hit! Shout-out to Destiny from Suburban Wife City Life for sharing her photo. I was too busy playing and laughing that I forgot to take one!
Yogi by Gigamic (Think Twister without the invasion of your personal space.)
Happy Salmon by North Star Games (New design – color-blind friendly!)
Exit Escape Room series by Thames & Kosmos (1st series is already on back order!)
This category has one main product that you’ll need to watch for: Teddy Ruxpin from Wicked Cool Toys. Yes, it’s coming back this holiday season and I suspect it will be a very hot commodity as parents add it to their kids’ lists for them.
As with last year, closer to the holidays we will be crafting gift guides to help you come up with ideas for the gift recipients you’ll be shopping for. Unfortunately, sometimes supplies are limited and our readers aren’t able to get the hottest items. We figured a heads-up in July should be enough notice to keep an eye out for sales and promotions but also to simply be able to GET something that may sell out later. And if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to secure some of these items for our holiday mega giveaway!
Which of these trends do you think will be the hottest?