Hottest Toys For Christmas 2016
More 2016 Hot Toy Releases!
CHECK OUT THE LATEST HOTTEST TOYS OF 2016 BELOW
This year is going to be a big one for toys! There are a ton of new releases coming soon this summer 2016 and fall 2016. I am expecting quite a number of toys to be a little more high-tech than previous years, meaning that more toys will be connected to an app of some kind.
A lot of toy manufacturers are going for the STEM learning type toys, (STEM =toys focusing on teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). STEAM toys provide was of teaching kids by using art. Whether these will catch on is something we will find out later on in the year however bear in mind that learning toys have always been popular and always will be.
Regarding the usual brand names such as LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, Imaginext, Fisher-Price, Funko, Jakks Pacific, Leapfrog, McFarlane Toys, Tomy and many more…they will be churning out new releases of their previous hits.
LEGO will have new Duplo sets for 2016 targeting the toddler group and also new Junior LEGO sets for kids aged 4 – 7. There is also LEGO Creator sets and fun collectable Mixels. LEGO for girls is still going strong with the new Friends sets and new for 2016 is LEGO Elves.
Mattel have the new Barbies – Curvy Barbie, Petite Barbie, Tall Barbie and Original Barbie all set for release soon. They also have Hello Barbie Dreamhouse being released for true Barbie fans. The company will also be launching the new Ghostbusters figures so stay tuned!
Mattel also have another amazing new toy that will undoubtedly be a huge hit.
The Thingmaker 3D Printer is exactly what the title says it is…..a 3D printer that allows you to make “things”. Easy to use and targeted towards kids hence the not so expensive price tag as opposed to adult 3D printers.
The usual superhero toys will be back including Superman Vs Batman, Captain America, Avengers and more. Let’s also not forget that Star Wars toys will most likely dominate Christmas 2016 once again with even more new toys.
There are some newer entry toys that have never been seen before but whether they will be best sellers or not will yet to be seen. Two examples are Razor Jetts Heel Wheels and AtmosFlare 3D.
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AtmosFlare 3D Pen Set Review
Drawing as we know it has changed forever thanks to the new AtmosFlare 3D Drawing Pen. This pen-like glue gun allows the user to create free-standing 3D pictures from a quick drying ink. The pen uses a blue LED light to dry the ink, allowing structures to take on a plastic like quality. Mimicking the idea of 3D printing the Atmos Flare 3D Drawing Pen brings together creativity and simplicity in one pen.
The pen is easily assembled and the instructions provided are clear. The battery is placed in an easy to open compartment and the ink cartridge secured into the larger area. Putting the pen together is simple and because it is battery operated there is no cord, allowing for mobility when using it. The pen does not heat up while using it and the overall building the pen is simple.
Using the Atmosflare Pen
The pen is comfortable to hold and not heavy, even though it does look bulky and very ‘space ship like”, it feels natural in- hand. The ‘ON/OFF’ button for the light is easy to press while drawing and allows you to quickly turn the light on in order to start the ink drying process. The ink does heat up when the light is shone over it but cools down quickly, so there are no real concerns of burning. You may see a light vapour when setting the ink in place, but this is not harmful and is just a process of the ink drying.
The drawing process is not easy. The cartridge needs to be carefully squeezed in order for a constant stream of ink to be produced, otherwise, you create these spindly little lines that topple over onto one another. The process feels like a baker with a piping bag. It is easy to change from the red and blue cartridge and extra 10 colours can be bought. The process is strange and I think that it takes a lot of practice to make anything as intense as you see in the advertisements. You need to really learn how to squeeze the cartridge, which I think only comes with real practice something I am not sure if an 8-year old would put effort and patience into.
Where I think other reviews fail is that the process is no longer like drawing. It is slower and in itself is a new form of art. The process of ‘drawing’ has to be slowed down in order to allow the ink to set. If you do not have patients the ink will collapse on itself and not hold the “3D-ness” that you are aiming for.
The Atmos 3D pen is a new addition to the arts and craft basket. It is a fun and is a very futuristic way of creating 3D images. While I don’t think it will have long-term appeal, I do think that it allows for a way of doing schools projects and art. The artistic possibilities are endless but the patience required is more than an 8-year-old can hold. The Atmos Flare 3D Drawing Pen is a great beginners step into the world of 3D printing.
Barbie Hello Dreamhouse Review
Barbie has just moved into the best house on the block! And you don’t want to miss out on being part of the future. The Hello Barbie Dream House by Mattel uses your voice, WIFI, secret panels on the floor and even an app on your cell phone to control the house.
It is just like talking to your best friend, but the house actually listens to you and before you know it something exciting happens. You can tell the lifts to go up and down, turn the oven and shower on, change the lights, and play funky music all day long. There are so many possibilities and something new to do in each room.
Barbie Dreamhouse Design
The Hello Barbie Dream House looks like any other doll house. It is pink, white, and blue and comes with accessories like couches, a bed, a chandelier and kitchen appliances. It is a double storey house which allows for more rooms for Barbie to share with her friends. But, that is not what is exciting about the house.
You can change the color of the lights and how bright they shine just by pressing a button on a cell phone. So make it as bright or dark as you like. Say “Hello, Dreamhouse. Turn on the bedroom light” and the light will turn on in the bedroom. TADA! This is more amazing than your real house and will make you and the other Barbie’s jealous. You can turn the oven on and cook pancakes by just saying the secret words.
The shower works the same way. Another exciting thing you can do is use the secret panels on the floors. You just need to set Barbie down on the panel and something exciting happens in the room she is in. Every room does something different. Voice commands are simple as long as you know what to say. You will have to do a little homework and read the short manual to learn what to say in order to start the magic.
The house comes with 3 modes, the most exciting being Party Mode. Party Mode turns the house into the type of party no Barbie would want to miss out on. There are disco flashing lights and music to set the mood. Barbie and all her friends can party all night. The stairs turn into a fun slide so Barbie can enter in style. What a way to make an entrance! This mode is also controlled by voice so all you need to say is “Hello Dream House. Turn the Party Mode on”. And your once quiet house will light up playing whatever music you want to dance to.
So if you want your Barbie to have the best house in town you have to get the Hello Barbie Dream House by Mattel. You will be able to throw parties, control the lights, bake pancakes in the oven and play the best Barbies tunes!
Blaze Transforming Monster/Fire Truck by Fisher-Price Review
Monster trucks are cool. Fire trucks are helpful. Now, put the two together and you have a 2 in 1 toy that every fan of Blaze and The Monster Machines will want. Blaze Transforming Monster Truck / Fire Truck – by Fisher-Price is the newest Blaze toy and start the sirens, everyone, because it’s a great one! It is quick to transform from a monster truck into a fire truck, and then right back again.
It’s the most helpful toy in town so get ready to be the hero in any adventure. Fans of the Nickelodeon show will know about how cool Blaze and his driver AJ are, and how they rush around the Axle City helping people and other monster machines.
Blaze Truck Features
This toy really is something special with Blaze having 25 unique phrases. Blaze has a sentence or sound for everything and anything. He shouts “I am a Firefighting Monster Machine” before you make him zoom to the emergency. The sounds are clear and crisp and you never know what Blaze is going to say as you transform him.
This is half the fun of turning him from his usual monster truck self into a sparkling new fire truck. He also has a siren that sounds so real you will think there is a fire truck right outside your window. You thought that was all? NO way, this Blaze toy also plays songs from past episodes as well as the theme music from the show. Blaze the Monster Truck/ Fire Engine is loud and proud. He will be playing theme music, saying unexpected things and blare his siren to let everyone know he is around.
Transform from Monster Truck to Fire Truck
Transforming Blaze from Monster Truck to Fire truck is easy. You need to flip the top section on the normal Blaze in order to turn him into a fire truck. In one quick clean movement he goes from the Blaze you know to a new Blaze, one that puts out blazes. That joke just had to be made. The transformation is really simple and allows anyone of any age to change between the two modes depending on what adventure you want to send him on.
In Fire truck mode he has an extendable ladder as well as a hose, which are both handy when you are a firefighter. Both accessories can be easily extended. While the hose is a little short and does not allow real gameplay, it is still an important part of any fire truck. So you better have good aim. Blaze the Monster truck is his wonderful bright red and his big wheels allow him to wheel around at great speeds.
So, if you are a fan of Blaze and AJ, or just want a cool toy that is a monster truck with something special, then this is the toy for you. Blaze Transforming Monster Truck / Fire Truck – by Fisher-Price is a 2 in 1 toy that gives you noises, fast turning wheels and all the features that make all the other toys in the range much loved. If you are looking for a monster truck to tear through the city or a fire truck to put out fires and help people, this Blaze toy is the perfect combination of the two.
Razor Jetts Heel Wheels – by Razor Jetts Review
First, we used our feet to get to places. Then the wheel was invented. Then we put wheels on our feet and say Hello to The Razor Jett Heel Wheels by Razor Jetts. Similar to the wheelies and heelies that were popular in the early 2000s, these strap-on wheels make going anyway a little more fun. Choose between wheeling around normally or with a trail of sparks behind you.
Razor Jetts Does Not Require Assembly
Razor Jett Heel Wheels require NO assembly. This means they are ready to be strapped on to any shoe as soon as they are out the box. They are an easy buy for easy fun.
The spark pad is put onto the bottom of the shoe and with this simple addition, the once boring heelie /wheelie gets an upgrade. The sparks are best created on smooth surfaces such a roads and even tiles. They act like small flints and hit the surface that is being wheeled along. Stay away from trying to wheel on water and gravel, unless you want to see sparks in the air and stars in your vision. Slap on some knee pads, (there will be some little falling over), and a helmet before anyone goes sparking along. The Razor Jetts come in two colors: purple or green. The designs may vary, and as they start to fly off the shelves there will be more exclusive pairs.
Using the Razor Jetts Heel Wheels
The Jett Heel Wheels are easy to use and are adjustable to any foot size. There is both the adjustable foothold as well as the strap that allows for extra support. All of this helps balance. What this means is that one pair can be used by more than one person. Versatility is the name of the game with these shoes, and between the ‘one size’ fits all part and the changeable spark part, these shoes really are better “heelies”. The Jett Heel Wheels do require some skill and beginners should use a wall or a strong shoulder before taking to the open road alone. You need to have some balance.
While fiery sparks may be cause for concern the Jett Heel Wheels are just as dangerous as any skateboard or rollerblades. The sparks should be kept away from skin and clothing and having well-tied shoelaces would be helpful too. Throwing on a helmet for little ones or adventurous older users is a good idea and it is important that they not be used on busy roads. So just be ready for a courageous bump or bruise that comes along with a toy like this.
So, what The Razor Jett Heel Wheels allow is a fun way to turn boring walking into something with a little more show. The sparks will delight people and the tricks that can be done with the wheels are only as limited as the courage of the person wearing them. They are no more dangerous than a skateboard and twice as stylish.
Power Rangers Dragonzord RC – by Imaginext Review
With the release of the new Power Ranger movie in 2017, this toy is creating a lot of excitement. Not only is it remote controlled but it combines everything that people love about both the crime-fighting teenagers and their gadgets and gizmos. The Power Ranger Dragonzord RC by Imaginext is everything one would want in a remote controlled, projectile shooting, mega – dinosaur.
Basic Dragonzord RC Features and Functions
As with any remote controlled toy The Power Ranger Dragonzord comes with a remote control. Not just any boring control, but one shaped like a dagger that the Green Power Ranger runs around with. The controls are simple enough allowing Dragonzord to go forward and backwards. He also has the ability to do his signature tail whip. Top this all off with the ability to shoot projectiles from his chest. What is not to love? This is all done with the push of a button. The Dragonzord makes noises and offers a lot in the way of a simple remote controlled devices. With added noises as well as the ability to ‘change up’ his look there is no doubt this toy is worth its hype.
The Imaginext ‘twist’
As with all Imaginext toys, there has to be a little something special, and this toy offers big in that department. By turning the Green Power Ranger in his foothold on the back of Dragonzord a secret compartment opens up. The now ‘cockpit ‘allows The Green Power Ranger to get in on the action, as he would in any episode of the show. Not only does this change allow for a change in look, but be prepared for the grand finale.
By pressing the golden disk in the centre of the remote control the user is able to fire ALL the projectiles at once. This also actives sounds from the Power Ranger movies as well as sets lights flashing. The makers of the toy have tried to remain as true as possible to the show itself. This will leave both fans of the show in anticipation, and will get new fans itching to join the Power Ranger gang. The sounds are crisp and the controller easy to use.
Using the Dragonzord RC Remote Control
The remote control for the Dragonzord is easily hand held and the unique shape makes it stick out from the usual dull controls. The fact that the controller ties in with the movie is clever and fans will be getting 3 for the price of 1: The Green Power Ranger, the Dragonzord and The Green Power Ranger’s sword. The controls are simple to use and the gold disk in the middle allows for easy firing of projectiles.
Power Rangers Dragonzord RC by Imaginext is a clever combination of Power Ranger elements with the fun that comes with remote control toys. It is versatile and yet easy to use. With the Power Rangers set for Spring 2017, this toy can start building up the hype that will come when the box office movie hits screens.
ThingMaker 3D Printer by Mattel Review
If you can’t find a toy to buy, why not print it from your home? Sounds like something from the future but with the NEW ThingMaker 3D Printer by Mattel, it really is the present. 3D printing has moved forward fairly rapidly over the past few years and the fact that kids can now print their own toys from their bedrooms is beyond amazing.
The ThingMaker is relatively cheap, for the technology it holds and with 101 possibilities there is no doubt that this is going to be a MUST HAVE. I need to say upfront that this printer is set for 13 years and up and really is more of a project creator than it is a toy. You will see why below.
3D Printer Technology
The ThingMaker has two basic aspects to it: the printer and a cell phone app called ThingMaker Design. Combined, these two parts make one easy usable ThingMaker. The user has to do very little in terms of setting up the printer, leaving time to the fun part: the design.
While the printing is happening the maker’s door is locked shut, which stops curious hands from finding their way onto the hot bits. Depending on the size, the creations do take a long time to print, with the average printing time being 10 hours. So, it would be a good idea to find something else to do while the 3D printer does its thing.
How the ThingMaker 3D Printer works
Users have to download an app onto their cell phone in order to actually design the toys. The process is simple. It is like PAINT, but with more choice and you are not drawing squiggly outlines just to color them in. You pick and choose the parts you want to combine as well as the color, texture and overall look. There are also pre-made designs to start you off with. The app is easy to use and as long as there is a strong Wi-Fi it will have the printer making your toys without any hiccups.
You can also print the design in its 2D form from any other printer. You can make monsters, robots, scorpions, rings and bracelets as well as combinations of a whole lot of pre-made designs. The printer makes ‘Lego-like’ pieces that need to be clipped in together to make your toy.
The toys themselves are made of a soft plastic which allows for easy assembly and can be stored and taken apart pretty quickly. Overall, the ThingMaker does work like a printer. It has a choice of wonderful colors and allows the user to make toys unique to their wants. However, it is not a quick process and toys will only be printed a good while after the fun of the design has happened.
The ThingMaker 3D printer by Mattel brings a unique view on toys and the freedoms that you can have. It lets you be in charge of the whole process and play with something that you have made. It really is creativity at its best. The combination of the app and the printer make this very forward thinking and I have no doubt that other 3D printers will follow in the footsteps of the ThingMaker.
Batman v Superman “Big-Figs” By Jakks Pacific Review
With the release of Batman vs Superman just around the corner, there is no doubt that the caped superheroes will be turned into toys. As they have ,time and time again. Action figures are usually stiff and are made to sit pretty on top of a shelf getting dusty and boring.
JAKKS Pacific Batman vs Superman “Big-Figs” By Jakks Pacific is a massive toy that is both for the collectors and for the more playful tykes. There are 4 toys at the moment: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and an additional Armor Batman. And there is no way you want to miss out on owning a giant.
Batman v Superman Big Fig Features
While most companies are scaling down their toys to just over 3 inches, Jakks Pacific is taking a new direction. The new 19 inch scale is unique to the JAKKS brand and exciting. The figures have seven movable joints; making this a toy as well as the figurine. The toys can be played with or left in a pose for display purposes.
The Superman and Regular Batman come with full length cloth capes. The scaling is well done and the capes are not stiff. All the toys come in an open package making them easily removable for the those wishing to play, or act as great stands if they are going on display.
Jakks Pacific Batman v Superman Figures Play vs Display
What makes these figurines so great is their versatility. Thanks to the 7 movable joints the superheroes can be used as toys by younger players or as center pieces in a display for older collectors. JAKKS was also clever in bringing out the Armored Batman, a character we will only see in the upcoming movie.
For many collectors this will be one of the first times they have seen the new Batman in a figurine format. Making him worth something in the long run. Playing with the 19 inch toys is hassle free as they are hard plastic and do not have removable accessories.
Superman v Batman Detail and Paintwork
At 19 inches tall these figurines let players see their heroes in all their wonder. The Batman Armor comes with bumps and kinks in his armour, making him look like he just came back from taking on some bad guy. Capes are included for Superman and regular Batman. Wonder Woman’s hair is pretty lifelike for being plastic and her stance is that of a warrior princess. [f4] While the paint jobs are not the best, this does not matter when you can see every jawline and muscle.
So, if you are looking for a toy that brings the wonder of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to life then these are the toys for you. Their size makes them one of a kind and the fact that they can move and actually be played with is rare in a toy this big. Children will marvel at the size of the toy. So get ready for JAKKS Pacific Batman v Superman, a set of figurines that make playing so much more.
New Barbie Fashionista Dolls 2016: Tall Barbie, Petite Barbie, Curvy Barbie and Original Barbie
We all know Barbie. She is blond. She is beautiful and she just got the biggest makeover of her life. With all the conversations about diversity and defining ‘beautiful’ Mattel stepped up to the challenge and introduced four new types of Barbies: Curvy Barbie, Petite Barbie, Tall Barbie, and a remake of the Original Barbie.
All of these dolls embody the playful nature that has always been Barbie but now gives her a more realistic and diverse look. She really is one of the girls now. It’s not only her curves and height that has changed but there is diversity in everything from her skin color to her eye shape. This is why these 4 new Barbie shapes are exciting. It’s like Barbie evolved overnight into a doll that looks like us.
Barbie’s New Fresh Look
Mattel has not only put out four new Barbie body shapes but has brought out 7 different skin colors as well as numerous hair lengths, hair colors, clothing styles, eye shapes and color, and foot shapes. All the dolls still have the 5 classical movable parts and are made of the same plastic as regular Barbie. In terms of height, the Fashionista dolls, (the name for this new collection), are mostly shorter than the old Barbie giving them a realness that is new.
The exception to this is the Tall Barbie. All these NEW features change the way we view Barbie, and Mattel has made sure that there is a Barbie doll to suit, and to represent everyone. Fashionista Barbies are unique and no two are exactly alike. These new Barbies will be great for younger kids as well as the collectors who will want to add these ‘evolved dolls’ to any Mattel collection.
The Tall and Short of it – Tall Barbie & Petite Barbie
Two new doll shapes in the collection are Tall and Petite. These dolls are not only different in terms of height but also offer something in the way of body shape. Tall Barbie, which comes in at 12 inches is similar to the height of the old Barbie. However, this is where it gets exciting, she comes with flat feet and shoes.
The yellow platforms on Tall ‘White and Pink Pazzas,’ (Doll 30), are trendy and set her a good head above the other Barbies in the collection. This change in foot mould also means that not all Barbies will have interchangeable shoes, something to take note of. Tall Barbie also comes with a bit of a body change and her waist as well as her general appearance is sleeker without being skinny.
On the other hand, there are the little ladies that are Petite Barbie. These dolls come in under 11 inches, which just shows you the difference between this doll and her taller sisters. Petite Barbie is particularly well done. It is not just the height that has changed but the petite girl is just more compact. Below are two of my favorite from the Tall and Petite sections. All the dolls in the Fashionista collection are numbered so you really can start to collect them all one at a time.
Favorite Tall Girl: Barbie Fashionistas™ 44 Leather & Ruffles Doll & Fashions
This spunky little lady has short blond hair, a ruffled skirt and little silver purse. She reminds me of those Rockabilly girls from the 60’s. She comes with a ‘Hello Kitty’ like set of clothes and her silver shoes and blue party dress really set her apart.
Favorite Petite Girl: Barbie Fashionistas™ 42 Blue Violet Doll & Fashions
Colorful hair and the funkiest outfit in the range. This Barbie may be short but she really is one of my favorites. She has two toned colored hair and pink tights. If any girl looked like a girl without fear, it is this little lady. Popcorn dress, yellow shoes and caramel skin. She is a keeper.
Re-imaging the Curves and the Straights – Curvy Barbie & Original Barbie
While Tall and Petite are exciting additions to the Barbie family, there is one doll that has been particularly talked about: Curvy Barbie. She is a unique creation by Mattel, and there is nothing else like her being sold by anyone. I mean, she made it onto the cover of Time Magazine, how can she not be important. She stands at just under 11 inches and has a cinched waist, hips and overall a more voluptuous figure. Curvy Barbie also comes with the style. She is not that less fashionable because she is a girl with hips.
Curvy Barbie is that fashionable curvy creature who is not afraid to show off what she was born with. Talking about being born, the Original Barbie has changed her stripes. Barbie was introduced in 1953 as the tall blonde lady we loved to hate. The reworked Barbie is shorter, standing at 11.5 inches and comes with either a raised foot or a flat foot. Their proportions are more realistic and overall make her look “realer” and less plastic. As ironic as that may sound. Called ‘ Original Barbie’ this remodel will be setting the trends for future dolls made by Mattel and this is exciting.
Favorite Curvy Girl: Barbie Fashionistas™ Doll 27 Sweetheart Stripes
With blue-black hair, sunglasses and shoes to like totally die for’ this Barbie is a must have. She comes with a denim skirt and peplum top. Her legs are also fuller making her top curves flow into creating one stylish little lady
Favorite Original Girl: Barbie Fashionistas™ Doll 16 Team Glam – Original
This girl is so different from anything Barbie has done. She is red-haired, she is freckled and his flat-footed. She looks nothing like Barbie. If this does not scream new and improved, I don’t know what does. She is sporty chic and has a ring that says ‘Love ‘on it. Her hair is really well done and her coloration is spot on.
The new Barbies are showing how Mattel is trying to ‘evolve the doll’. With the inclusion of the new body types as well as features they aim to make the dolls inclusive in as many ways as possible. They are pushing for every girl and collector to own a doll that mirrors them. With all the options, I have no doubt that there is a doll out there for everyone and that in time Mattel will bring out, even more options and accessories to make sure that no one is left out.
New Monster High 2016 Collections – Shriek Wrecked & Welcome to Monster High
If you see a two-headed doll, a fished- faced guy and cute zombie girl… it must be Monster High! The creepy cute ladies and guys were first introduced by Mattel in 2010 and have continued to inspire fans with every new collection. 2016 is the year of two new collections: Shriek Wrecked and Welcome to Monster High.
Both of these come with new unique dolls as well as tie in with TV shows and merchandise already out there. Welcome to Monster High is also the name of the new Monster High Movie that is coming out later this year. While there are so many dolls and people may not see the hype, the new dolls in these two collections bring some unseen additions that are worth getting ‘ghoulish’ over.
New Scary Faces?
One thing to note before we dive into the depth of Shriek Wrecked is that the Monster brand is remodeling the faces of its dolls. Some of the popular like ‘ Draculaura’ have a noticeable change in face shape as well as eye size. Some long standing fans love the changes and some not so much. The changes which were unveiled at the New York Toy Fair 2016 were not as drastic as the artwork that was leaked and scared fans. All the toys in the new collections have the new looks.
This collection cleverly named “Shriek Wrecked” replaces the 2015 circus themed collection “Freak to Chic”. The focus on this collection is around pirates, treasure hunting, boats and overall sea adventure. There are 8 new versions of the classic dolls and one NEW doll; Dana Treasura Jones. The collection has added pirate inspired aspects to all the dolls ranging from eyepatches to captain hats. The packages also retain their usual coffin shape but have added nautical ‘niceties’, like a treasure map background and shells.
I personally find the packaging a little too busy but I can see how it would be eye-catching to new buyers and bring back the old fans. The collection ties in with the TV shows and DVD which younger fans of the show will already be watching.
The characters such as, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Rochelle Goyle, Gil Webber, (the male in the collection), all make an appearance in this collection, and in true Monster High fashion are all starkly different from one another. All the dolls are well thought out and there is a unity between each of them. The dolls may not come with many accessories, apart from a bag here and there, but they are still wonderfully unique.
NEW DOLL in the Collection: Dana Treasura Jones
There is one NEW doll to the collection and her name is Dana Treasura Jones. This blond girl gets her surname from the infamous Davy Jones a mythological pirate made popular by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. She looks nothing like her scar covered dad.
She comes with a clever reversible skirt which allows her to go from a light day time look to a darker and starry look. Possibly used to drag sailors into the depths of the sea? She is very wide eyed and her skin color resembles that froth you get on the top of waves. Her addition to the collection makes her a collector’s item as we have not seen her before in doll form.
Welcome to Monster High
The second collection released this year is titled Welcome to Monster High. While less themed than the Shriek Wrecked collections there is one exciting addition to the gang, and I think she beats out the daughter of Davy Jones. The collection focuses on the origin of Monster High and how it got started.
This collection has been made to attact a younger generation of players who may not be familiar with the dolls. Again, seeing as we are going ‘back in time’ we get fan favorites like Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile and Draculaura.
Welcome to Monster High also offers fans the chance to buy sets of dolls together as well as larger setups such as Dance the Fright Away, which is a copy of the prom scene that happens in the movie. It comes with Draculaura, props such as tables balloons, a rotating dance floor as well as a stand that holds a smartphone in order to take clear pictures of the party. All the dolls in this collection come with a mask to wear at the prom.
NEW DOLL in the Collection: Ari Hauntington
I don’t know where to start with this see-through beauty. Ari Hauntington “Singing Popstar” is a new interactive doll in this collection. Not only does she sing but it is the technology, as well as her look that makes her such a standout. She has a button in the center of her chest, as well as a sensor which you use to control her voice. By holding your hand in front of the button you can activate her voice.
Being a ghost girl her skin is translucent and yes, you may or may not have guessed it but she lights up as she sings! So between the button that controls the music, the sensor that controls her voice, and her glow in the dark capabilities I don’t see what is not to love about her. I think by my enthusiasm it’s pretty obvious how I feel. She is a new character who is set to be truly unveiled with the Welcome to Monster High film, but if she is anything like her doll we can expect her to be a diva who will light up the room.
The two new Monster High Collections offer fans of the popular dolls something new in terms of theme and technology. Shriek Wrecked provides a wonderfully colorful new look that ties the collection together with all the dolls following the pirate life. Welcome to Monster High is a little more orientated around the technology aspects that fans may be looking for in a collection. With the addition of the singing – lighting up Ari Haungtingon as well as the possibility to buy an interactive set, I think this collection is clever with its additions. So, while you are waiting for the new Welcome to Monster High Movie to hit DVD get your hands on some of these new cute gals and guys brought to you by the ever creative Monster High.
Think&Learn Code-A-Pillar by Fisher-Price Review
At age 3 many of us did not know what a fork was, let alone how to code a robot. I still have no idea what coding is, but with Fisher- Price’s NEW Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar coding literally becomes child’s play. The robotic caterpillar aims to teach kids important skills, such as sequencing, problem-solving and planning. The Code-A-pillar is set to crawl onto shelves in July 2016 and really is worth investing in.
The Technology Behind the Fisher-Price Codeapillar
The Code-A –pillar comes with 8 detachable segments, not including his head. Each part has a different command as well as colour, (the command is in the form of an arrow action), printed on the top. These light up as do the bugs eyes when he is in action. Sounds un- technological right? Well, each segment also has a USB connector and port. You click the segments together like a chain and so the commands are in order. So, for example, if you click ‘forward’ followed by ‘music ‘and then ‘turn to the left ‘your litter caterpillar will be coded to do just that.
Once you have picked your sequence press the “power” button and away he will go. Each segment lights up as the action is being done so the junior coder can keep an eye on what part of the process The Code-A-pillar is in. The Code-A-pillar runs along any flat surface and stops once it comes to the end of its commands. Some of the commands that you can place in a chain are:
- Turns 180° to the left
- Play music
The Think&Learn Code-A-Pillar Cute Factor
While the technology is what is exciting about the caterpillar, it is pretty cute itself. Each segment is a different colour and its big blue eyes and smile make it endearing. There is no doubt that it brings together the happy playfulness of a kids toy with the clean whiteness of technology. The caterpillar itself has light up eyes and the wheels on each segment give it smooth gliding action. By rearranging the segments, a new colourful caterpillar is made every time.
Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar Logic
The Code-A-pillar is above all an educational toy. It gets kids involved in the process of both making their own toy, watching it in action and asking “How does that work?”. While I think that the concept of coding will be lost on the little ones they will learn some important lessons about planning, sequencing and about being the master of your own toy. The lack of remote makes this hands-free controlled critter perfect for little kids who just have to press a button
The Code- A-pillar by Fischer -Price brings together innovation and fun in a cute critter. The USB ports will get kids familiar with this type of technology while they learn important skills that will later set them up to be the coder that Fischer -Price envisions. Overall, the Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar is about giving kids the power to make their own toys while learning.
Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice – Batman™ Voice-Changer
Wanting to be a superhero is a big ask, but sounding like one is possible. The Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice – Batman™ Voice-Changer allows anyone the chance to sound like the hero from Gotham. The mask is easy to wear and lets the user adopt the deep voice that fans have come to love. The mask does exactly what you expect of it …or does it There is a special feature that adds flash to the voice changer, and makes it more than a cheap Halloween mask. Batman vs Superman is out in March 2016.
Batman vs Supreman Armor Mask
The mask is based on the new armoured look that Batman wears in the film. It is grey and it is really big. Most adult faces just fit into the mask, making kids look like Batman bobble heads. But, who really cares when you can be the Dark Knight The masks come with two adjustable head straps that allow for a snug fit. One goes across the forehead and another along the back of the head making sure that the mask is well adjusted to any head size. The mask is made from plastic but has foam both in the nose and the forehead making it comfortable to wear. The yellow button on the side of the mask make it easy to turn the voice on while not ruining the overall look of the mask when looked at from straight on.
Batman Armor Mask Voice
The voice changer comes with 15 sounds and phrases from the movie. Some of the pre-recorded phrases you can say are
• “I am the knight”
• “I am Batman”
• “Gotham City needs me “
These may be exciting, but it is not the real reason to buy the mask. After the pre-set phrase or sound has finished the fun time truly begins. The voice changer works as you speak. You now have the chance to say anything and sound like Batman. The sound is a little robotic, but with the hours of fun that will come out of speaking like Batman the clarity wont decrease the fun.
Batman vs Supreman Voice Changer Special feature
So while the mask is big and the voice gruff there is one extra feature. The area framing the eyes lights up blue and flashes as the pre-set phrases or unique Batman talk happen. This feature looks great in the dark and with added voice there is no doubt that The Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice voice changer is great for putting on a show.
So, if you are looking to become Batman for a day and say things like “Get me some tea” in the famous deep voice, then this is the thing for you. The Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice – Batman™ Voice-Changer is an easy to wear, flashy and all around does what is says it does. The voice is gruff and the pre-recorded phrases really make you one with the Bat winged hero.
VS Rip Spin Warriors by Mattel
VS Rip Spin Warriors by Mattel is a fresh take on the classic spinning tops and with added speed and choice of funky characters, there is no doubt that this play set will be one of the hot toys for this Christmas 2016.
The ‘tops’ themselves are based on characters from well-known Nickelodeon shows as well as the DC universe heroes and villains. The VS Rip Spin Warriors allows for one player action as well as multiplayer. By picking your favourite “spinning top” players can battle one another to death, which in this case means until the losing top is shot off the board or loses its head.
The Battle Basics
The VS Rip Spin Warriors ‘Action battle’ system literally looks like a mini roller coaster. Characters are loaded at the top of the ‘twin tornado arena’ where they wait for the battle call. By pressing the center bottom the two characters are launched off into a spinning frenzy down the track and into the arena. Each character top has a faceplate as well as arms that can get knocked off in the spinning battle by the other top.
Additional warriors can be added at any point in the battle until only one top is left standing. The technology is simple, the outcome fun. What makes the VS Rip Spin Warriors so exciting is the speed of the action. It’s like watching a sped-up version of a Bruce Lee film with legs and arms flailing everywhere. The actual style of gaming is very similar to the Beyblade spinning top games.
There are currently about 10 characters available with the addition of more on the way. The VS Rip Spin Warriors idea takes off by combining both DC universe characters as well as much loved characters from other TV shows, (namely shows that air on the Nickelodeon TV channel). Each specific character comes with a weapon that is linked to their character. The Joker, (the villain from Batman), comes with a tiny bomb, Spiderman with his web and a personal favorite is the Hulk with the word SMASH printed on his hand.
Seeing as there are so many characters, VS Rip Spin Warriors encourage players to collect them all, in order to have a complete set. All the characters are well detailed and give players the chance to pick their favorite and send them into spinning battle. By picking a warrior, players can either challenge their friends or pitch characters against one another in order to figure out who the best warrior is. Some special characters to look out for:
- The Joker
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Captain America
Hands-free, fast-paced, colorful and diverse; these are some of the buzz words that can be linked to the VS Rip Spin Warriors by Mattel. These toys let users play alone or bring as many friends as they have spinning characters. The setup is simple and the action battle system makes the thrill that much more exciting. So… sound the battle call the VS Rip Spin Warriors are in town.
With everyone wanting things to be bigger and better Mattel’s My Mini Mixie Q’s show how small can be fun. Set to hit shelves this Fall these collectable dolls will be sold by the pair in blind boxes. That is not all, there will be ‘mystery figures’, accessories and play sets. Mattel released the little dolls at Toy Fairs earlier this year and it is amazing to see how versatile something so small can be.
My Mini Mixie Q’s are small, plastic and cute. They have removable headpieces and outfits, making them easy to mix and match. If you collect the lot, there are over 400 unique combinations that can be made. The dolls come in 3 different categories:
- Common – dolls in this category will come in everyday outfits.
- Rare – Think dolls dressed as hotdogs and other fun “Halloween” costumes.
- Ultra rare – These unique dolls will be identifiable by special features. The dolls will either have see through parts, have unique décor or be creatures themselves. There is a cute zombie and unicorn which are personal favourites.
As if this is not awesome enough, Mattel will also offer multi-figure packs, (containing 3 or more characters and extra clothes), as well as “Mystery Figures”. These special combinations allow for Mixie Q fans to collect them all, as well as swap extras that they have with friends. There are also colourful cubes that act as little display cases for you to keep your Mixi Q safe. These can be clicked onto keyrings or backpacks.
While there may be hotdogs and unicorns the little accessories that have been released are what make the sets exciting. There are tiny cats and dogs and the ‘Bunny Lover’ set is particularly cute. With the Mixie Q’s being so small already, their accessories are even smaller, so smaller kids should be kept away from the teeny- tiny bones and hairdryers.
Mini Mixie Q’s are great alone but they need somewhere to live and play. The cubed living spaces that have been released are clever. The open cubes, which can be stacked up one on top of the other allow for easy play. Each cube comes decked out like a little hair salon, vet or an office. The details in such a small space are well done and stacking the rooms allows a skyscraper of a Mini Mixi Q city.
The larger playsets or ‘closed cubes’ open up to reveal fully furnished house, parks, playgrounds and the arcade. Each set comes with three movable parts allowing for action. The playsets can be set out next to one another and interlock creating the full Mini Mixi Q world. And once play time is over, each set can be refolded up again in the cube, all the bits and pieces kept inside.
So, you can either set out to collect all the My Mini Mixie Q’s or keep a few and mix them and make your very own dolls. The rooms, accessories, as well as mystery figures, make this more than just some toy to collect it really is about creating a world for you to play in.
With Batman vs Superman everywhere you may be sick of the caped heroes. However, Imaginext has brought something new and exciting onto the market. The NEW DC Superfriend Super Hero Flight City combines Batman and a Superman themed playset with simple flight technology. Unveiled at the Toy Fair 2016 this toy offers both DC comic fans as well as kids the chance to own a slice of Gotham and Metropolis. The technology is fun to play with and the two sets really are great selling points.
The Play Sets
The Flight City comes with two playsets: Gotham for Batman and Metropolis for Superman. The sets are about three stories high, (including the top landing pad), and are designed around their specific hero, with details related to them cleverly incorporated.
Batman’s Gotham: Comes in Batman’s signature black and grey. There are secret reveals as well as an area that looks to be in The Jokers signature purple and green. Look out for the Bat light and the Bruce Wayne logo up the front of the building.
Superman’s Metropolis: Set up as the building of Clark Ken’s workspace “The Daily Planet “this play set comes in light blues and red. Again, Imaginext has given us all the trap doors and dungeons that they are known for. The landing pad is revealed when the globe at the top is flipped down by pressing a hidden button.
The two playsets are free standing allowing them to be moved around whether or not the flight tower is included as part of the game play. Both sets come with secret hidden chambers and the extras that Imaginext is so good at providing.
The Flight Technology
The best part about this DC heroes toy is the flight tower. By hooking up either Batman or Superman into the flight harness you prepare the hero for flight. The helicopter-like wings are controlled by turning the bevel disk on either of the playsets. You can control the speed that the hero flies at, as well as the height allowing you to aim for perfect landings. Batman can take a flight over to Metropolis wage war and fly right back home for dinner. The simulator is multi-functional and any other Imaginext superhero toy could be placed in the harness and sent off on adventures. Being free standing the flight tower can be moved around allowing for the heroes to fly in at different levels. The landing pads at the top of each play set act as the perfect platform for a clean landing.
So, if you are looking for a versatile playset as well as the chance to see Batman and Superman in flight then this is the toy for you. It brings together two DC comic worlds in one set as well as offers something NEW in the way that the two heroes can fly between worlds in order to battle it out in true Batman vs Superman style.
When American Girl teamed up with MegaBloks a creative gem was born. American Girl NEW Mega Bloks brings the fun of building with all the sweetness that comes with the American Girl dolls. Out in July 2016, the new playsets and dolls will be available in all major toy stores. American Girl will use its past Girl of the Year dolls to inspire the playsets and will be focused around each girls’ hobbies and likes. So, get ready to build houses, bakeries and art studios for all the little ladies of American Doll of the Year.
American Girl has always prided itself on making dolls that girls can relate to, as well as allow girls to custom make dolls to look like them. The little dolls have articulation in their limbs as well as removable parts that allow for easy mix and match. Their hair comes off as well as their shoes and clothes. There are a variety of skin tone, hair colours, face types as well as shoes allowing players to either make the GIRL OF THE YEAR or making mini- me versions. There are some fan favourites with past Girl of the Year making appearances in the play sets.
Girl of the Year 2015: Grace
This little baker comes with all things sugary sweet and baking-related goods.
Girl of the Year 2012: Makkena
Makkena is the sporty one. She is all about gymnastics and swishing her ribbon around.
Girl of the Year 2013: Sage
Sage is the artist in the group. She paints and has an artsy flair to everything around her.
The Building Bloks
The building part of these playsets bring the interactive element of the sets together. The Bloks are assembled like LEGO blocks and with easy instructions the houses and playsets can be built. The Grace Home is the biggest in the NEW collection. It is a double story wonder that comes with Grace’s signature kitchen as well as 4 other fully furnished rooms. The pieces come in 11 bags with an instruction manual as well as a story about the American Girls. The house is cleverly made so that once it is taken apart it can be built into two different sets: Slumber Party and Grace’s Patisserie.
The smaller playsets are made up of just over 198 pieces and link with the hobbies of that specific Girl of the Year. So, the artist Sage comes with her easel, fabric curtains, as well as little paints while Nicki comes with a whole stable as well as a horse and puppies. The sets are sold separately allowing players to collect all the sets as well as the dolls from previous years.
So, if you like the American Girl dolls and the fun of building houses then the American Girl NEW Mega Bloks are for you. The dolls are fun to mix and match and the inclusion of the Doll of the Year range makes them nice collectables. The playsets are unique and the mega Grace’s House allows for one set of BLOKS to be made into 3 different sets. Overall the team up between American Girl and BLOKS makes play time that much more fun
Zootopia is a Disney original movie about a bunny with a big heart and crime fighting skills. Being the blockbuster that it is there are many exciting toys set to hit the market. So, I have picked a few that I think any bunny or junior detective would love to play with. Made by Tomy, these playsets, figures, and exciting extras are great collectibles for Zootopia fans. All these toys will be out Fall 2016. So, get ready to buy playsets and figurine, recording devices and police badges all in the name of Zootopian justice.
Zootopia Judy’s Police Cruiser and other playsets by Tomy
Being the lead character of Zootopia Judy is a police lady not to be messed with. In this toy set, she comes with a police cruiser as well as a law breaking mouse. After all, Judy needs someone to arrest. The cruiser comes with flashing police lights which are activated as the wheels roll across any flat surface. This play set is part of a collection which allows for collectors to create the whole of Zootopia. There are 4 playsets to collect with the Zootopia Exclusive Deluxe set coming with 12 of the characters from the animated movie. Some other playsets to look out for are:
- Zootopia Meter Maid Pursuit – comes with Judy, traffic cones as well as a poor little mouse who Judy has just given a traffic ticket.
- Zootopia Nicks Convertible – comes with Nick and his classical red convertible car. He also comes with an expired parking meter. The reason he meets the law abiding rabbit.
Zootopia Judy’s Carrot Recorder and Badge by Tomy
When Judy is on duty she has two things: her badge and her recorder pen. In the shape of a carrot her recorder pen both writes and takes her voice notes down. With the toy by Tomy, you can record your own voice and play it back. There are two simple to use buttons on the side of the pen; one that is held down while recording and the other for playback. The pen also comes with pre-recorded phrases that Judy says in the movie.
Zootopia Police Station by Tomy
Having the figurines and badge is all great, but criminals need somewhere to go. The Zootopia Police Station playset by Tomy is a replica of the jail from the movie. There is a jail cell with opening doors as well as elevators and a high-tech computer station. This playset is pretty cool as it comes with Officer Clawhauser and the security squirrels in their little helicopters. The playset can be used with any figurines and makes the adventures of Detective Hopps and her team of crime fighting animals to light.
So, get ready to start collecting all the good and bad guys of Zootopia with these figurines and playsets. The carrot pen and the badge will really get you in the spirit of crime fighting and when all the hard work is done the Zootopia prison will keep the bad animals locked up.
If you know anything about Bob the Builder, then you know about Scoop. The silly yellow bulldozer is an important member of the construction team, and now he has been released as a remote controlled toy. Bob The Builder RC Superscoop by Fisher-Price is everything you would want in a remote controlled toy. He is simple to use and comes with secret extras such as movable front and back buckets, as well as a SUPER SCOOP MOVE. Fisher-Price has tried to remain as true as possible to the Scoop that fans will know from the TV show and the SUPER MOVE will have junior construction workers in awe. He will hit stores later this year.
The remote control to move Scoop is cleverly designed. Made to look like Bob’s “smartphone” from the TV show the remote is simple and colourful, with Bob’s signature yellow and orange being used for the buttons. The controller has 3 buttons which control the yellow bulldozer. Being a remote control toy for younger kids the simplicity of the controller makes this RC great. There are no knobs to turn or pressure pads, it has soft silicon arrows and buttons. The basic movements are:
- The Super Move
In addition to the RC controls, Scoop can also lift up the back bucket and front bucket by pulling little levers. This allows for even more interaction as now Scoop can carry sand, mud or whatever else he wants to in order to help Bob’s team. This is great, but it is not the real cool part of this toy.
The Scoop Super Move
Being the silly tractor that Scoop is, he needed to have a SUPER move. By pressing a button on the remote control Scoop stands up on his back wheels and raises his arm and bucket. This circus trick is actually Scoop’s way of giving a hi5. He does this movement 3 times before getting back on all four wheels without any command or help. This is a move that Scoop does a few times in the TV show, so fans will recognise his ‘hi 5’.
Even though Scoop is a member of the Bob the Builder team this RC is classically a bulldozer. There are big googly eyes and the classical yellow and grey looks good. What this means is that both fans of Bob the Builder as well as kids who just like construction toys can get in on all the action. The details are well done and the overall Scoop looks the part.
So, if you are looking to add Scoop to the Bob the Builder team or just a really cool yellow bulldozer, then Bob The Builder RC Superscoop by Fisher-Price is the toy for you . He is simple to use and comes with his unique Super Move. There is no other RC that can do that move. The movable buckets are a great addition and all in all both Bob and you can be proud to have Scoop on your team.
Lionel Mega Tracks
Many people know Lionel for train tracks and their NASCAR slot cars. For a company that is 116 years old, their NEW Lionel Mega Tracks really is a fresh take on an old toy. It brings together the basics of engineering with creativity in one interactive playset. The buildable track technology will have both kids and slot car enthusiasts excited, and the types of tracks you can create are totally unique. Cars are no longer just going around basic curves, but now go whizzing in crazy shapes through the air. Set to hit shelves in time for Christmas 2016, this racing car set should be on your Christmas list.
The NEW Track Technology
Made from lightweight plastic the track can be twisted and turned into any shape. The sheets are light blue and the end product looks like a rollercoaster. The plastic is strangely flexible and the shapes your track can be are truly epic. Every Lionel Mega Track set comes with:
- 20 feet of plastic track
- 55 clamping parts ( including stands)
- One Racer
- Remote control
The track sheets are joined together by using clamps. These are easy to use, and with a ‘pop and lock ‘concept anyone can put them together. What this also means is that your track is as long or short as you want. Once you have built the track you need to secure it to the frame that holds it all together. Again this is done with clamps. You are basically racing in the air. The cars defy gravity as they race around the track at crazy speeds.
You can only have one car on the track at a time which may seem kind of boring. But….Lionel is one lap ahead of you there. The remote controller can hold a smartphone allowing you to time the speed of the cars with any stopwatch application. So, you can try and beat your own best time or challenge a friend’s. The track possibilities are endless and learning to control the car around the dips and turns is lots of fun.
The ‘clamp cars’
The cars are clamped onto the track. That may sound strange, but with the types of tracks they race around it is essential. Each vehicle also has a removable shell making them easy to customize. The cars are controlled by the remote and look very futuristic. Racers to look out for are:
- The Night Racer: This is a glow in the dark shell that can be snapped onto any of the Lionel
With two expansion packs expected the possibility for shells and tracks is ever exciting.
Lionel Mega Tracks really are a step into the future of electric track racers. They allow for versatility, make you think, and the design element is pretty cool too. The plastic track is clean looking and the cars look like F1 cars of the future. Play the slot cars alone or try and beat your friends. The cars can be changed up and the track can go in nearly any direction. Goodbye train tracks and hello Lionel Mega Tracks.
There are very few remote controlled toys that can look terrifying and act terrifying too. Mattel’s New Tyco Terra Climber Radio Control Vehicle is two parts scary and two parts awesome. Made to climb stairs as well as scuttle over rough terrain the Tyco Terra is an exciting addition to the remote control toy family. Mattel is reintroducing its Tyco brand with this climber that has all the ingredients for being a hit with both children and remote control enthusiasts. It is set to launch in stores in Fall 2016. The Terra Climber moves like a mechanical spider and its abilities are amazing for something branded as a “toy”.
The Skills and Abilities
The Tyco Terra Climber has two rotating arms which are spiked and orange. Each arm can move independently or together, depending on the task in front of the climber. The arms rotate 360° allowing for total domination of any obstacle. The Terra practically climbs over and onto things using its rotating arms. The body also rotates 360° and its tail acts as a counterweight. The belly of the beast is orange, making it easy to know if the climber is the right way up or upside down. This means that it will always right itself if it falls down. Sounds more accomplished than most humans I know. The climber is controlled by a remote with 2 buttons; one per each leg and by pressing the two together the body flips. It is easy to use and with its ability to scurry around corners, the types of tasks the climber can do depends on the controller’s imagination.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Stair Climbing
According to Mattel, there is no other remote-controlled device that can successfully climb stairs. Watching the Terra Climber in action is fascinating. By alternating the arms, much like human legs, the Terra Climber can make its way up a flight of stairs. Due to its ability to flip over its body as well as its legs, it allows for a manic climb but a climb no less. For its price, the Terra offers a unique set of crawling and climbing features.
The Monster look.
As if the climbing ability is not technologically scary enough, then the look of the Terra Climber should be. It looks like a lizard crossed with some fanged creature. Both the remote and the climber are the same green which is well contrasted with the orange of remote’s buttons and the spikes around the arms. The face of the climber is basic but still gives the controller a monster- like look. Overall, the look of the Terro climber fits perfectly with its abilities making it that much more fun to play with.
So, if you are looking for a top of the range remote controlled vehicle then the NEW Tyco Terra Climber Radio Control Vehicle Toy by Mattel is the toy for you. It brings together the look of a monster with all the abilities of the something that could roll around on Mars.
What Could Be The Hottest Toys for Christmas 2016?
Every year thousands of people flock to the New York Toy Fair, the largest in the industry, to catch a glimpse of some of the newest toy releases. Big toy companies like Hasbro, Mattel, Fisher Price, LEGO and more battle it out in the fair to try to get the media attention they need to advertise these toys. They offer previews of the hottest trends in the toy industry. This year’s 2016 Toy Fair was no different.
So what kind of toys are we to expect this year?
Tech Toys – Robots and drones
Drones have become hugely popular over the past few years and this year it looks to be reaching new heights with a number of companies investing time and money into creating some of the coolest flying toys. These drones don’t just appeal to children either. Adults are taking up the hobby of flying drones many of which have some amazing features such as built in cameras and even voice activation.
Robots are also growing in popularity as the prices get lower and the technology improves. Sphero are a company known for creating cool robots and have updated their hugely successful BB-8 droid for 2016. Wowwee are also top of the list for creating fun and imaginative robots for kids and have a few new hot releases of their own this Christmas 2016.
Other tech toys also include a go-cart that can be controlled by an app, (Smart-Kart) and integrates Wi-Fi technology. This means kids can go out and play in their cart but the parents can control the speed from their app if they think the child is going just a bit too fast.
STEM and STEAM
The newest category of trending toys has to be the STEM and STEAM toys. These toys focus on teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEAM toys seek to teach STEM-related ideas by using art.
Yes education can be fun if it is taught in a fun way. Kids do want to learn but they also want to be entertained while learning. The STEM toys are designed to do just that. These toys tend to come in kit for and can teach a variety of subjects and can include many parts that may need to be put together.
These toys encourage kids to use their imagination to invent or create a variety of different things depending on the type of kit. These toys target boys and girls and some are electronic while others involve more creative art. New art toys such as the Goblies allow kids to create colorful splatter designs with the paintball kit.
Classic Toys and Family Play
The old school classic toys will never go out of fashion. These are innovative toys and gadgets that kind of update the old school style of toys and playing with toys. Toys that focus not only on the younger children but also the whole family. A sort of traditional way of playing with updated traditional type toys.
I am talking about LEGO and their many different categories of play and themes. LEGO have branched out to so many themes these days it is just hard to keep up. The list of LEGO themes is endless including Architecture, BIONICLE, City, Creator, DC Comics Super Heroes, Disney Princess, DUPLO, Elves, Friends-(LEGO for girls), Juniors, Marvel Super Heroes, Nexo Knights, Ninjago, Speed Champions, Star Wars, TECHNIC. Then you have the really old classic toys like Slinky, Mr.Potato Head and a whole number of board games that have been around since the 1960’s.
Collectable toys or kid’s collectables in general have been around for decades. They are always super popular all year round and many become hot Christmas toy best sellers. Kids enjoy collectables because they have their favorite characters or brands that they can keep and display. Collectable toys are also great for social activity amongst kids, socialization where kids trade and hang out with friends and create their own story lines.
There are a ton of companies producing collectable toys for young and old. Some toy themes even expand through many different company brands such as anything to do with Star Wars or the Avengers Super Heroes. Brands such as Jakks Pacific, Legos, McFarlane toys, Hasbro, Marvel and more dominate this market.
Movie and TV Toys
Well, we all know that this area of toys has broken out into blockbusting proportions. Big toy companies are making millions of being part of movie franchises that spread out into the toy and general product creating market. Need I mention Star Wars…..or The Avengers….or Disney?
Products will vary from, dolls, action figures, clothing, books, collectables, video games, building sets, plush toys, art sets, tech toys and more. Toys that feature characters from blockbuster movies and popular TV shows are huge business and many make the top hottest toys for Christmas in every year. New movie toys that will hit the stores this Fall and Christmas time will be based on “Trolls,” “Moana,” “Life of Pets,” “Zootopia,” “Inside Out,” “Angry Birds” and more.
Check out the Hot Christmas Toys 2017 List