From Baby Shark Fingerlings to Dragon Hatchimals, Here's the Best of Toy Fair for 2019
Baby Shark Fingerlings - Best Toy Update
Baby Shark, you had us at doo doo doo doo doo doo! This Fall the Fingerlings line will include Baby Shark, and the famously catchy tune plays as you make the shark "swim" with your hand. Hold the shark up to your cheek and it gives a kiss! Wowwee will release other Baby Shark items as well, including an incredibly cute singing puppet and a push toy for babies. But we think this $15 Fingerlings version is the most brilliant mashup of a favorite toy and a famous character!
For ages 5+ wherever toys are sold starting early fall.
Buzz Lightyear Space Command Center - Best Multi-Use Toy
This is an awesome addition to your kid's room any way you place it. Upright, it's a space command center for your child to stand at, pretending to be Buzz Lightyear. Lay it on the ground, so it's horizontal instead of vertical, and it's instantly a spaceship for your child to sit in and zoom through space. When he lands back on earth and back to reality, the controls flip over and the spaceship becomes a desk for doing homework. Sad trombone for the kid, happy news for mom who got a great toy and piece of furniture all in one!
It's from Jakks Pacific and will be $199 for kids 3+, launching this September.
Carpool Karaoke Mic - Best Family Toy
Road trips are going to be a zillion times more fun this summer! This mic from Singing Machine connects via Bluetooth to whatever device you use to play songs—for instance, the Spotify or Music app on your phone or tablet. Then you tune your car's radio to an empty channel and start. Sing along to whatever you like and your voice comes through the speakers along with the song. We suggest belting loud and proud!
It's $50 and for any age that can hold the mic, available this summer
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Dreamworks Dragon Hatching Dragon - Best Movie Toy
We thought we were over hatching Hatchimals, and then we saw that baby a Night Fury can hatch from one! Too cute! And no offense to the creatures in previous Hatchimals, but we suspect a baby Toothless will be more familar and fun for kids. The Spin Master toy, based off of How to Train Your Dragon 3, will be out in the fall for $60 and ages 5+.
Popohver Builder Set - Best Wooden Toy
The Popohver Builder Set, from a toy company called Kangaroo, slides right over a kitchen chair (or any similar chair). Your kid can be happily occupied with the instant workbench, full of cool wooden tools, while you get things done—you know this toy was mom-invented!
Others sets, including a pretend stove set, are out now, and the Builder Set will be out in June for $70 and ages 3+.
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Treasure X Aliens - Best Creative Unboxing
There's no bigger recent toy trend than toys that can be "unboxed" or revealed in one way or another. Toys hatch, or come out of balls, or in the case of Treasure X Aliens, a character is uncovered when your kid (wait for it) dissects an alien. Each set comes with an alien and the operating equipment; your kid opens the stomach up, then digs through slime to find an adventurer figure and other toys trapped inside. It's so disgustingly fun that a kid might be tempted to bury other things in there and do it all again.
Each alien is $15 from Moose Toys and out in July, suggested for ages 5 to 10.
Adorbs - Best Dress Up
The princess dress-up phase hits some preschoolers hard! Adorbs embraces it with simple dresses in an orb (get it? Adorbs?) that are easy for kids to pull on themselves, right over whatever they're wearing. It's a money-saver, frustration-saver, and probably even a playdate-saver as kids can keep switching characters with minimum drama.
They'll be out in the fall at just $10 each for ages 3+.
S'more Fun Campfire - Best Role Play
There's a new line of role-playing sets coming from Fisher-Price that are so fun and creative! It includes a doctor set and a cleaning set but this camp-themed set tickles us the most, with a fake log fire and s'mores that can be flipped over to look roasted. Best part: bear gloves for a game of "chase." (Any game that can involve running around screaming is kid heaven.)
Out this fall for $25 and suggested for ages 3 to 6.
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Doll Seat - Best Takealong Toy
DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile - Best RC
We do our Parents toy testing each June, and remote-control vehicles are always popular. Our leading favorite from the 2019 Toy Fair is from the Fisher-Price Imaginext line, a Batmobile that speeds along just the way a kid would want it too, then pops open to reveal a weapon that shoots disks and, of course, Batman himself. It can move in its "open" formation too, looking like a rolling Batcave headquarters.
Out this fall for $80 and suggested for ages 3 to 8.
Design & Drill Space Circuits – Best STEAM Toy
We know from toy-testing that kids find drilling plastic screws to be fun and satisfying. This set, from Educational Insights, combines that play pattern with circuits and learning about electricity. Watch your child learn to construct a circuit that sends the purple alien spinning around the spaceship! The set comes with 20 “missions” for your child to complete with a working motor, light and more.
The set comes out this summer and will be $50 for ages 5+.
LeapBuilders – Best Learning Toy
Little hands can easily snap together the chunky blocks of this new building system from Leapfrog. The blocks are “smart” and teach words, numbers, colors, and phrases as your child builds. But they’re also just fun blocks, and your kid can freeform play with the colorful animals, people, and structures.
This ABC Smart House will be the most expensive item in the line and still only $40 at Target starting in June for toddlers and preschoolers ages 18 months+.
Vtech Mix & Match-a-Saurus – Best Preschool Toy
Preschoolers have so many feelings! This dino toy from Vtech helps them explore those in a silly way. Help your kid place the pegs in the creature’s back to give him a movement (he’ll move like a dog, a robot, or monster, for instance), a feeling (hungry, sleeping, angry) and finally, a style of music (marching, hip-hop, ballet). Once those are lined up your kid can activate the dinosaur and watch him act accordingly!
It will be out this fall for ages 2 to 5 for $35.
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PJ Masks Seeker – Best Vehicle Play
A vehicle that’s also a playset is a win for sure! This PJ Masks Seeker has a working crane, cage for villains, searchlight, ramp and disc launcher. The front detaches to be a vehicle on its own but the Seeker also comes with a zippy little Cat-Car and a Catboy figure.
The “wow” gift will be out from Just Play this fall for $60 and for ages 3+.
Lamaze Octotunes Lay, Sit & Play - Best Baby Toy
We love how this sea-themed activity mat, from TOMY’s Lamaze line, grows with your baby. It starts flat with an arch like any traditional gym, with dangling toys for your infant to admire when she’s on her back and textured, crinkly toys to explore during tummy time. Shoutout to Octotunes, a longtime favorite Lamaze musical toy with a starring role on one end of this mat! When your child starts to learn to crawl and sit and wants to play while upright, this mat is long enough to drape over the side of your couch. That gives her a new way to access Octotune’s tentacles for more months of play!
It’s safe from birth; available in December for $80.
Mr.Potato Head – Best Comic Toy
It’s fun to find a toy that makes any age lol. This new version of Hasbro’s classic, called Movin’ Lips Mr. Potato Head, really runs off at the mouth—and his mouth runs all over his face! Kids add the eye, nose, ears, arms, and accessories as usual but whatever mouth they put on moves around as face he chats.
It’s for ages 3+ and out this fall.
Pet Hotel – Best New Playset
The most fun part of a playset is often the animals that come with it, so you could say that Playmobil’s new line of pet hotels over-delivers! There’s a playset for cats (Purrfect Stay Cat Boarding), one for hamsters and guinea pigs (Small Animal Boarding), and this deluxe Tiny Paws Pet Hotel, out now, which has eight dogs and two birds along with the caretakers. In this age when so many kids’ pets spend the day at doggy daycare or vacations at a boarding place, it seems natural that this kind of play is going to resonate even more than a vet set or farm!