ASTRA Unveils 2020 Best Toys for Kids Finalists

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) unveiled the finalists for its 2020 Best Toys for Kids list.

A total of 85 specialty toys across 14 categories have been chosen as finalists that will be voted upon by independent specialty toy retailers. According to ASTRA President Kimberly Moseley, the annual list represents the collective experience of the ASTRA membership in watching kids play in their stores combined with parental feedback and individual expertise in toys and child development.

The 2020 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Finalists are:


  • Creatto Light-Up Crafting Kits | Thames & Kosmos
  • Happy Monsters | DJECO
  • Make Your Own Tiny Camper | Klutz
  • Sketch Pals | Boogie Board
  • Spirograph Scratch and Shimmer Set | PlayMonster
  • World Colors How to Draw Faces | Faber-Castell USA Premium Children’s Art Products


  • Classic Paddy Teddy Bear | Steiff North America
  • Kwik Stix | The Pencil Grip, Inc.
  • Labyrinth | Ravensburger North America, Inc.
  • My First Train Set | Playmobil
  • Palace House | Le Toy Van
  • Sprite Deluxe | Micro Kickboard
  • The Cool Tool PLAYmake | The Cool Tool


  • Clipstix | Popular Playthings
  • Mechanics Challenge Strike | Geomagworld
  • Plus-Plus GO! | Plus-Plus
  • Terra Kids Cork Boat | Haba USA


  • Blockaroo | Blue Marble
  • Mirari SkillDillies | PlayMonster
  • Petilou Sensory Shapes | Le Toy Van
  • Shape Factory | Fat Brain Toy Co.
  • Toniebox | Tonies
  • Zippee Activity Toy | Möbi


  • Bear Down! Game | Amigo Games
  • Bull’s Eye | Roo Games
  • Catch of the Day | Epoch Everlasting Play
  • Drone Home | PlayMonster
  • Hand Me a Candy Game | eeBoo
  • SmartGames Froggit | Smart Toys and Games
  • Tac Tac Jack | FoxMind Games
  • Throw Throw Burrito | Exploding Kittens/ACD Distribution


  • BUILDZI | Carma Games
  • Cover Your Kingdom | Grandpa Beck’s Games
  • Cupcake Academy | Blue Orange Games
  • Hues and Cues | The Op (USAopoly)
  • Letter Jam | Czech Games Edition
  • Pana Po’o | Outset Media Corp.
  • Shipshape | Calliope Games
  • SmartGames Cube Duel | Smart Toys and Games
  • The #UpsideDownChallenge Game | Vango Toys


  • Mystery House | Asmodee North America
  • Pando | Roots Family History
  • Tag | PlayMonster
  • Telestrations: Upside Drawn | The Op (USAopoly)


  • 4Fun ChangeUp | b4adventure
  • Air Square | Mukikim
  • AirFort | XM Works Inc.
  • Birdie Golf | Hog Wild
  • Capture the Flag Redux | Starlux Games, LLC
  • Plum BOWL Freebound Trampoline | b4Adventure
  • Slackers Adventure Treehouse | b4Adventure
  • Swingin’ Shoes | Fat Brain Toy Co.
  • Whippet | Diggin Active, Inc.


  • Bird’s Nest Cafe | Tender Leaf Toys
  • Doctor’s Bag | Le Toy Van
  • Face Paintoos | PlayMonster
  • Fun Fan Fryer | Hape International Inc.
  • Janod Shaving Set | Juratoys U.S.


  • Adventure Tree House | Schleich USA Inc.
  • Fire Eagle | Schleich USA Inc.
  • Large Horse Stable with House and Stable | Schleich USA Inc.
  • Little Friends Camper | Haba USA
  • Mermaid Cove with Illuminated Dome | Playmobil
  • SCOOBY-DOO! Mystery Machine | Playmobil


  • Drive & Blast | Odyssey Toys
  • Railway Bucket Builder Set | Hape International Inc.
  • Snap Ships | PlayMonster


  • Karmagami | Fun In Motion Toys
  • Monster Math Scale | Hape International Inc.
  • STEM Blocks K25 Super Mega Awesome! Kit | Kontu, Inc.
  • SumBlox | SumBlox


  • Carnovsky Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle | Ginger Fox
  • Genius Star | Mukikim
  • My First Rush Hour | ThinkFun
  • Scratch Off Puzzles | 4D Cityscape Inc.
  • SmartGames Jack & the Beanstalk Deluxe | Smart Toys and Games
  • Votes for Women 100 Piece Puzzle | eeBoo


  • Fuel ‘N Duel Rocket Racers | Be Amazing! Toys
  • InterActive Human Body | Be Amazing! Toys
  • KC3: Keypad Coding Robot | Elenco Electronics, Inc.
  • Mega Cyborg Hand | Thames & Kosmos
  • Robotics: Smart Machines – HoverBots with BalanceTech | Thames & Kosmos
  • Smartivity Retroscope | Smartivity
  • Snap Circuits: MyHome | Elenco Electronics, Inc.
  • The Amazing Tightrope-Walking Gyrobot | Thames & Kosmos

ASTRA members may vote for their favorites through May 10. The 2020 Best Toys for Kids list will be revealed in July.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.