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The Toy Insider Finds Popular Toys That Won’t Break the Bank

Yes, it’s almost holiday shopping time again. If you have kids on your list there’s…

  • October 6, 2019

Yes, it’s almost holiday shopping time again. If you have kids on your list there’s some good news this year: many of the cool toys are also reasonably priced, according to toy industry resource The Toy Insider.

The Toy Insider has unveiled its expert picks for the best kids’ toys and gifts in its 14th annual holiday gift guide.

The hottest and most coveted items for 2019 are broken out into three lists: the Hot 20 (the most wished-for items of the year), the STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering and math toys that make learning fun), and the brand-new 12 Under $12 (affordable toys packed with play value and unboxing experiences).

According to the org, the addition of the first-ever 12 Under $12 list reflects a shift in the toy industry toward toys that, while small in size, offer layers of fun and interactivity at a price that’s affordable for most families.

These tiny and collectible toys gained popularity on YouTube and have showed great staying power over the last few years with no sign of slowing down.

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20 

0-2 years 

Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Puppy (Mattel)

LeapBuilders ABC Smart House (LeapFrog)

3-4 years 

Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile R/C (Mattel)

FurReal Cubby, The Curious Bear (Hasbro)

Kindi Kids (Moose Toys)

Myla the Magical Unicorn (VTech)

PJ Masks PJ Seeker (Just Play)

Rizmo (TOMY)

Ryan’s World Super Surprise Safe (Just Play)

Scruff-A-Luvs Real Rescue (Moose Toys)

5-7 years 

Blume (Skyrocket)

FGTeeV Giant Mystery TeeV (Bonkers)

Hatchimals WOW (Spin Master)

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Doll (MGA Entertainment)

Lucky Fortune (WowWee)

Mega Grave Digger RC Truck (Spin Master)

Power Rangers Beast Morphers Beast-X Ultrazord Figure (Hasbro)

Tic Tac Toy XOXO Friends (Blip Toys)

8+ years

Blinger Diamond Collection (Wicked Cool Toys)

Jumbo Loot Llama Pinata (Jazwares)

The Toy Insider’s STEM 10

Air-Walker (Thames & Kosmos)

Amazing Rescue 50-Piece Set (Magformers)

Artie 3000 (Educational Insights)

LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander (LEGO)

Coding Critters (Learning Resources)

Discovery Prehistoric Slimygloop Dig (Horizon Group)

K’NEX Dragon Revenge Coaster Building Set (Basic Fun!)

Music Kit: Electro Guitar Kit and Record & Remix Kit (Tech Will Save Us)

My Robotic Pet – Tumbling Hedgehog (Thames & Kosmos)

Vex Robotics Build Blitz by HEXBUG (HEXBUG)

The Toy Insider’s 12 Under $12

5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 2 (Zuru)

Cry Babies Magic Tears (IMC Toys)

Cutetitos Series 3 and Cutetitos Babitos Series 1 (Basic Fun!)

Fluffy Cloudz (WeCool Toys)

Foodie Surprise (Redwood Ventures)

Jixelz (Fat Brain Toys)

Orb Odditeez Morphimals (Orb)

Müshmeez (Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co.)

Nanables (Jazwares)

Piñata Fiesta (Jakks Pacific)

Pop Pop Hair Surprise (MGA Entertainment)

Unbox Me Girls ([email protected])

The Toy Insider’s 2019 holiday gift guide will appear in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on Oct. 4. An extended guide appears online at starting this week.

This year’s print guide features nearly 200 toys from 85 different manufacturers, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 120 toy companies in total.

Parents and gift-givers can easily search by a child’s age (broken out into 0-2, 3-4, 5-7 and 8+ age groups). They can also view the guide online with their children, making holiday shopping easy for friends and family.

Find out more at

Do you have a Christmas Club account? Consider starting one for 2020.