Holiday toy trends seem to take on a pace all their own. Once the commercials start airing, and the list is posted, demand rises. Last year, some of the most popular toys were simply not available by the time December arrived.
So, what's hot this year? According to Toys"R"Us, there are several trends that kids are interested in.
To compile their 2011 list, the company's merchandizing team has spent a year scouring trade shows and hit online videos to testing products in its network of 1,600 stores across 35 countries.
Here's what they found:
Technology is hot! Adults aren't the only ones mesmerized by the digital world. Kid friendly Apps and games are high on the list.
- Disney-Pixar Cars 2 Appmatesfrom Spin Master
- iCade Arcade Cabinet for iPad from Ion Audio
- iMarker Digital Stylus + Crayola ColorStudio HD App from Griffin
- MY3D Viewer for iPhone/iPad touch from Hasbro
Another popular trend is "Quirky Stuffed Characters."
Today's toy makers know that quirky-looking, soft and cuddly stuffed toys are the way to a baby's heart.
- Uglydoll Plush from Pretty Ugly, LLC
- KooKoo Zoo 6-Inch KooKoo Birds from Jay at Play International
- Smurfs Plush from JAKKS Pacific
- 22-Inch Lion (Jackson) from Plushalicious
- Annoying Orange Talking Fresh Squeezed Plush from The Bridge Direct
Let's build it together! Although high-tech games are popular, kids still love hands-on creative expression. Put a child's favorite entertainment character together with tangible objects and you've got a winner.
- Angry Birds Knock on Wood Game from Mattel
- Mario-Kart Wii Bowser's Castle Ultimate Building Set from K'NEX
- Need for Speed Porsche GT3 RS Construction Set from MEGA Brands
- Moshi Monsters Moshling Mini-Figures 3-pack from Spin Master
- Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure from Spin Master
Parents may have a hard time exposing their kids to gross-stuff, but marketers are having a field day. Let's face it- kids love gross stuff. As Toys"R"Us promotes in their latest press release "Here are some examples of the icky, gruesome, funky toys that are as exciting as they are gross."
- The Trash Pack from Moose Toys
- Incredible Edibles Fright Factory from JAKKS Pacific
- Doctor Dreadful Zombie Drink Lab from Spin Master
- Creepy Crawlers Bug Maker Creation Station from JAKKS Pacific
That's the list of hot toy trends released from Toys"R"Us. Extended descriptions of each of the above toys can be found on the Toys"R"Us website.
While Toys"R"Us may be one of the leading toy sellers in the world, they are not the only company with a "must have" list for kids this Holiday Season.
Retail Giant, Tesco, has released its Top Ten list for 2011.
- Fijit Friends
- Kidizoom Twist Camera
- Barbie Doggie Water Park
- Optimus Prime
- Baby Annabell
- Bob The Builder Construction Tower
- Lego City Police Station
- Bopit XT
- Nerf N Strike Night Finder
- Monopoly Banking
A detailed description for these toys can be found at www.thehottoysforchristmas.com.
Yep, it's hard to even think about Holiday gift giving with everyone's busy life. Many parents are still adjusting to starting a new school and organizing after school activities.
But, it's much better to plan early, and check it off your "to do" list once the season is in full swing. Plus, it's also helpful to know what toys kids are leaning towards this year when you actually start your search.