ASTRA 2021 Best Toys For Kids | Source: ASTRA/The Toy Book

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) unveiled the finalists for its 2021 Best Toys for Kids list.

This year’s nominees were submitted by ASTRA members beginning in January and were narrowed down to a field of finalists that includes a total of 52 products spanning 10 categories.

“ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids award program is different from other top toy lists because it reflects the collective expertise of hundreds of toy retailers who know toys inside out,” says Sue Warfield, interim president of ASTRA. “We are excited to announce the list of finalists which will be voted on by hundreds of independent toy store owners to determine the winners of this year’s award.”

2021 Best Toys for Kids Finalists:

Build & Play

  • Boks Desktop Windmill | Plus-Plus USA
  • Incredible Aero Dancer | Thames & Kosmos
  • LEGO Super Mario Starter Course | The LEGO Group
  • Unit Brick Mini Unit Beams Eiffel Tower Set | Ukidz
  • Zig & Go Music | Djeco


  • Create Your Own Light Box | Avenir
  • Hat Not Hate | Creativity for Kids by Faber-Castell USA
  • Soapstone Carving Kit – Bear | Studiostone Creative
  • Space Immersion DIY Kaleidoscope | Djeco
  • Spirograph Animator | PlayMonster


  • Clack! Thwack! | Amigo Games
  • Magic Mountain | Amigo Games
  • Dragon Inferno | Smart Toys & Games
  • Kaboom Blocks | Roo Games
  • Mind the Gap | Solid Roots
  • Pancake Monster | Blue Orange Games
  • Story Time Chess | Story Time Chess
  • The Crew: Mission Deep Sea | Thames & Kosmos


  • Dohjees | Schylling
  • Fingears | Blue Orange Games
  • Hide Inside Putty – Flower Finds | Crazy Aaron’s\
  • Loopy Looper | Blue Orange Games


  • Dimpl Stack | Fat Brain
  • Dizzy Bees | Fat Brain
  • Push & Pull Puppy | Plan Toys
  • Spatial Rocket | Plan Toys

Related: ASTRA: Supporting Independent Toy Stores, Manufacturers, and Reps in 2021


  • 2 Liter Refillable Bubble Solution System | Bubble Tree
  • Drop Shot | Fat Brain
  • Rainbow Wobble Board – Regular Size | Bunny Hopkins
  • Ride-on & Foldable Engine Table | Hape
  • Skimbe | Waterline Toys
  • Surge | Gel Blaster


  • Magna-Tiles Structures Interactive Story Time – Sesame Street The Monster at the End of This Story | CreateOn
  • Musical Whale Fountain | Hape
  • Rocket Ball Air Stacker | Hape
  • Sensory Bin Dinosaur Dig | Creativity for Kids by Faber-Castell USA
  • Toniebox Starter Set | Tonies


  • Galaxy Cape | Creative Ed
  • My Forest Floor | Tender Leaf Toys
  • Pearl Dragon Wristlet | Folkmanis Inc.
  • Playdate Dolls Harper | Manhattan Toys


  • Caeser’s Codex | Project Genius
  • Escape Puzzle Kids 368 Pieces, Amusement Park | Ravensburger
  • Musical Crossroads 72 Piece Puzzle | Little Likes Kids
  • SmartGames IQ Circuit | Smart Toys and Games


  • Bio Chem Creatures | Klutz
  • Gravity Bugs | Thames & Kosmos
  • Magical Unicorn Science | Klutz
  • Smartivity Pinball Machine | Smartivity Labs (Elenco Electronics Inc)
  • Teach Tech Dizzy, The 6-in-1 Gyroscope | Elenco
  • Trigmate | Mindwatts LLC
  • Wild Environmental Science – Mars Landing Survival Kit | Learning Advantage/Wild Science

ASTRA members may begin voting for their favorites later this month. The 2021 Best Toys for Kids list will be revealed at a special virtual ceremony next month as part of the lead-in to ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy which is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis this August.

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.