What's Hot (and What's Not) in Christmas Toys This Year

The holiday season is upon us once again, whether we like it or not. The aisles of seemingly every store you walk through this time of year have the same basic progression: Halloween décor, candy, and costumes at 40 percent off. Thanksgiving and other harvest-themed wreaths and centerpieces at 25 percent off. And before you can even see the endless aisles of Christmas paraphernalia, the smell of those cinnamon-scented pinecones lets you know that lawn ornaments, lights, ribbons, wrapping paper, hand towels, and all manner of wintery-themed items for your home are ready for the purchasing.

Also readying themselves for the onslaught of holiday buying? The toy departments. And in light of the Hatchimal Hype of 2016, many retailers, merchants, and even parents are attempting to predict what the hottest toys will be this year. I’m no expert, but I am a mother of three. And my intuition tells me that some predictions are spot-on, while others are just wishful thinking on the part of toy manufacturers and distributors.

The Hot List:

Hatchimals

Hatchimals Surprise (Image via Amazon)

The residual Hatchimals craze has managed to linger slightly, though supply and demand have evened out. And while it’s highly unlikely the interactive toy will be going for hundreds of dollars on eBay again, the Canadian toy maker Spin Master did manage to keep their forward momentum by introducing a second generation toy called “Hatchimals Surprise.” What’s better than one automated furry creature that needs love and nurturing to hatch and grow? Twin automated furry hybrid creatures that will emerge and thrive from the care and attention given to them! While I wouldn’t invest in a storage unit full of these guys to sell for a profit, I can safely say that any child who wasn’t lucky enough to get their paws on one of these eggs last year will not be disappointed with a pair of surprise twin Hatchimals this year.

L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls

L.O.L. Surprise Big Surprise (Image via Amazon)

In keeping with the “surprise” theme, L.O.L. Surprise! dolls have been making quite a scene over the last few months. These self-contained packages offer different layers of clothing and accessories before finally revealing a mystery doll. The manufacturers here were smart and played up a lot of best-selling angles: the surprise and mystery surrounding which character you end up with, a collectible series mentality that encourages you to never be completely satisfied with just one, and the anticipation of getting additional pieces with each opened layer. While most little girls would be thrilled with one or two of whatever “series” L.O.L. Dolls you can get your hands on, the Holy Grail for the holidays this year is the L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise ball. Redundant? Yes. Expensive? Absolutely. But totaling 50 individual accessories, outfits, and dolls inside, the Big Surprise ball will be a big hit.