Here at Parents, we get the year's new toys sent to us months before the holidays (lucky us!) and invite kids of all ages to come in and give them a whirl (lucky them!). See which toys came out on top!
Best Toys 2016 Big Kids
One of a series of affordable DIY sets, GoldieBlox Li’s Lighthouse Lookout is a quick and satisfying build that comes with its namesake character. 6 years+, $15.
Next level: In Hasbro Gaming Pie Face Showdown, two players each hit a button as fast as possible. The slowpoke gets whipped cream in the face! 5 years+, $25.
You just throw Diggin Mega Rocket, okay? No fancy tech. The inflatable is really tall—6 feet—yet throws easily and far for a superior game of catch. 6 years+, $17.
We predict Spin Master Hatchimals will be the “It” toy, mixing the thrill of a blind box with electronics and nurturing play. Kids hold and touch an egg to get the creature inside to peck its way out. It reacts with sounds and eyes that glow through the shell. By the time it finally breaks through, it’s an Instagrammable moment for sure! Kids then “raise” a Hatchimal from baby to toddler to kid. 5 years+, $60.
If you’re wondering where the boys are when it comes to 18-inch dolls, look no further than these new dudes who are joining the My Life As line. 5 years+, $28 each.
Toy cars, meet the hot movie franchise! Mattel Hot Wheels Star Wars Carships Death Star Revolution Race Track Set lets kids launch light-side or dark-side vehicles into orbit around the Death Star. Yes, there’s an occasional exciting collision! 5 years+, $50.
It’s back and really is better than ever because the Hasbro Furby Connect receives updates from an app, giving it new features all the time. Also, it comes with a sleep mask that lets you give Furby a well-deserved rest. 6 years+, $100.
Bridging Bitty Baby and Girl of the Year, American Girl WellieWishers, who each have a backstory about kindness, are made for schoolkids learning to navigate friendships. 5 to 7 years, $60 each.
Skylanders fans will go gaga for Activision Skylanders Imaginators. Players create highly customizable characters in the game, name them, and play them; they can even order a playable 3-D figure of their design. It all starts by putting a creation crystal on the portal. There are new Sensei figures as well. 6 years+, $75.
The throwback Crayola Color Spinout uses up to three markers at a time to create geometric masterpieces, a nice little break from all those coloring books. 6 years+, $15.
Sixteen figures in Lego City Fun in the Park—City People Pack include a baby in a stroller plus a dog and a hipster. Among the 157 pieces are a croissant and a soccer ball. It’s like they know us. 5 to 12 years, $40.
A Hexbug in a board game? That’s crazy! Players try to move a piece across Ravensburger Buggaloop while the bug lurks underneath; when the spastic crawler finds its way onto the game board, havoc ensues! 6 years+, $30.
Already a hit in Europe, Space Scooter debuted in the U.S. this year. Speed can be controlled by foot-pumping the board instead of pushing off, which allows a rider to go slow (riding next to a walking friend) or fast (when it’s time to zip). 8 years+, $149.
Inventors and makers find inspiration in the littleBits Rule Your Room Kit. Kids can use the pieces to arm their diary with a burglar alarm, for instance! 8 years+, $100.
Assemble a robot! Spin Master Meccano Micronoids are what Erector sets have become. You don’t just build; you program a creation to move and dance. 8 years+, $40 each.
Wonder Forge Stick Stack is a mesmerizing tabletop game that challenges players to pay attention to the colors as well as the precarious balance as they take turns putting down pieces. 8 years+, $17.
Kids adored the Spin Master Air Hogs Remote Control Batmobile, which zips faster than many RCs and just bounces off of walls and obstacles. It has to pause for charging, but when it races, it’s a thrill. 10 years+, $60.
Though they sound fierce, MGA Entertainment Air Wars Battle Drones are simple flying fun as far as our testers are concerned. They flew them side by side rather than battling; after all, having two means not having to take turns. (Or, charge one while the other goes!) 8 years+, $110.
Razor Jetts Heel Wheels turn sneakers (youth 12 to adult 12) into skates. But wait...they also send off sparks! Our testing shows that they need some practice to master but that it’s worth it. 8 years+, $40.