Debuting at Holiday of Play in New York City, the Toy Insiderthe toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers — has unwrapped its 16th annual Holiday Gift Guide. Published by Adventure Media & Events — the team behind the Toy Book and the Pop Insiderthe Toy Insider Holiday Gift Guide breaks out this year’s most coveted new toys and games across three lists, including the legendary Hot 20, the STEM 10, and the 12 Under $20.

The Toy Insider’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide will appear in the November issue of PARENTS magazine, on newsstands on Oct. 4. An extended guide appears online at thetoyinsider.com starting today. This year’s print guide features more than 200 toys, and an additional 145 toys can be found online, representing more than 136 toy companies in total.

The Toy Insider’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide | Source: Adventure Media & Events

“While we always recommend shopping early to avoid disappointment, this year brings a unique challenge. Due to supply chain disruptions across all categories of consumer products, it is impossible to predict if or when particular toys will be restocked once they sell out,” says Laurie Schacht, Chief Toy Officer, the Toy Insider. “If you’ve got a wishlist full of must-have toys, it’s never too early to begin shopping. We reviewed thousands of toys all year long to ensure this year’s guide features the best toys that reflect a diverse set of interests, from engaging interactive pets to toys that inspire kids’ imaginations and fun games and activities that bring the whole family together.”

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20 

0-2 years 

  • Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot (LeapFrog)
  • Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot (Mattel)
  • Flybar Bumper Cars (Flybar)
  • Little Tikes Learn & Play 2-in-1 Activity Tunnel (MGA Entertainment)

3-4 years 

  • Batman Bat-Tech Transforming Batcave (Spin Master)
  • Blues Clues & You! Cook-Along Play Kitchen Set (Just Play)
  • CoComelon Deluxe Interactive JJ Doll (Jazwares)
  • Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Castle (Hasbro)
  • Gabby’s Purrfect Dollhouse (Spin Master)
  • Ryan’s World Lost City Adventures – Mega Adventure Chest (Bonkers Toys)

5-7 years 

  • Akedo Ultimate Battle Arena (Moose Toys)
  • Got2Glow Fairy Finder (WowWee)
  • KidiZoom PrintCam (VTech)
  • LOL Surprise OMG House of Surprises (MGA Entertainment) 
  • Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron (Moose Toys)
  • Pokémon Trading Card Game: Celebrations Elite Trainer Box (The Pokémon Co. International)
  • Chuckle & Roar Pop It XL (Buffalo Games)
  • Squishmallows Food Squad (Jazwares)

8+ years

  • Beyblade Burst Burst Speedstorm Motor Strike Battle Set (Hasbro)
  • Tamagotchi Pix (Bandai America)

The Toy Insider’s STEM 10 

  •  Ada Twist, Scientist On-the-Go Lab Set (Just Play)
  • Artie Max (Educational Insights)
  • Candy Claw Machine (Thames & Kosmos)
  • Coding Critters MagiCoders (Learning Resources)
  • Game Builder Garage (Nintendo)
  • HEXMODS Pro Series Elite Raceway (HEXBUG)
  • National Geographic 100-Piece Makeway Magnetic Marble Run (Blue Marble)
  • Osmo Math Wizard and The Amazing Airships and Osmo Math Wizard and the Enchanted World Games (Osmo)
  • Paper Butterflies Science Kit (Crayola)
  • The Young Scientists Club Future Veterinarian (Horizon Group USA)

The Toy Insider’s 12 Under $20

  • 5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 3 (ZURU)
  • Care Bears Cutetitos (Basic Fun!)
  • Cats vs. Pickles Bean-Filled Jumbos (Cepia)
  • Compound Kings 5 Stack Donut (WeCool Toys)
  • Crystalina (Skyrocket Toys)
  • Dimpl Pops (Fat Brain Toys)
  • Koosh Mondo (PlayMonster)
  • My Squishy Little Dumplings (WowWee)
  • Needoh (Schylling)
  • Nickelodeon Cra-Z Sand Bucket (Cra-Z-Art)
  • Pom Pops (Sunny Days Entertainment)
  • Treasure X Monster Coffin (Moose Toys)

The Toy Insider is an independent organization. Its team of experts attends major toy industry trade shows and events, and conducts briefings with manufacturers, retailers, and analysts throughout the year. The Toy Insider gift guide submission process is open to all toy companies of all sizes. Toys must be new for 2021 and available to consumers for purchase during the holiday season, either on the company’s website or through any retail partner. When evaluating toys, the team considers play value, originality, skill-building, product integrity, and, of course, the fun factor.