The Toy Insiderone of the toy industry’s most influential organizations and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers, today unveiled its expert picks for the best kids’ toys and gifts in its 14th annual holiday gift guide. The hottest and most coveted items for 2019 are broken out into three lists: the Hot 20 (the most wished-for items of the year), the STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering and math toys that make learning fun), and the brand-new 12 Under $12 (affordable toys packed with play value and unboxing experiences).

The addition of the first-ever 12 Under $12 list reflects a shift in the toy industry toward toys that, while small in size, offer layers of fun and interactivity at a price that’s affordable for most families. These tiny and collectible toys gained popularity on YouTube and have showed great staying power over the last few years with no sign of slowing down.

“Our team of experts is always keeping an eye on the latest and greatest trends. We know that kids are obsessed with watching unboxing videos and all the surprise reveals that come with these collectible toys. Our 12 Under $12 list offers the best of the best so kids can take part in the experience, too!” said Laurie Schacht, Chief Toy Officer, The Toy Insider. “More importantly, who says you need to splurge to find the perfect gift? Everything on this list is affordable, perfect for any budget, and even small enough to gift as a stocking stuffer!”

This year’s hand-picked selections represent an extensive variety of must-have craft and DIY activity sets, interactive tech toys, screen-free traditional playthings, and active play products to get kids up and moving, among many more categories that are sure to make kids of all ages holly and jolly this holiday season.

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20

0-2 years 
Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Puppy (Mattel)
LeapBuilders ABC Smart House (LeapFrog)

3-4 years
Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile R/C (Mattel)
FurReal Cubby, The Curious Bear (Hasbro)
Kindi Kids (Moose Toys)
Myla the Magical Unicorn (VTech)
PJ Masks PJ Seeker (Just Play)
Rizmo (TOMY)
Ryan’s World Super Surprise Safe (Just Play)
Scruff-A-Luvs Real Rescue (Moose Toys)

5-7 years
Blume (Skyrocket)
FGTeeV Giant Mystery TeeV (Bonkers)
Hatchimals WOW (Spin Master)
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Doll (MGA Entertainment)
Lucky Fortune (WowWee)
Mega Grave Digger RC Truck (Spin Master)
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Beast-X Ultrazord Figure (Hasbro)
Tic Tac Toy XOXO Friends (Blip Toys)

8+ years
Blinger Diamond Collection (Wicked Cool Toys)
Jumbo Loot Llama Pinata (Jazwares)

The Toy Insider’s STEM 10

Air-Walker (Thames & Kosmos)
Amazing Rescue 50-Piece Set (Magformers)
Artie 3000 (Educational Insights)
LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander (LEGO)
Coding Critters (Learning Resources)
Discovery Prehistoric Slimygloop Dig (Horizon Group)
K’NEX Dragon Revenge Coaster Building Set (Basic Fun!)
Music Kit: Electro Guitar Kit and Record & Remix Kit (Tech Will Save Us)
My Robotic Pet – Tumbling Hedgehog (Thames & Kosmos)
Vex Robotics Build Blitz by HEXBUG (HEXBUG)

The Toy Insider’s 12 Under $12

5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 2 (Zuru)
Cry Babies Magic Tears (IMC Toys)
Cutetitos Series 3 and Cutetitos Babitos Series 1 (Basic Fun!)
Fluffy Cloudz (WeCool Toys)
Foodie Surprise (Redwood Ventures)
Jixelz (Fat Brain Toys)
Orb Odditeez Morphimals (Orb)
Müshmeez (Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co.)
Nanables (Jazwares)
Piñata Fiesta (Jakks Pacific)
Pop Pop Hair Surprise (MGA Entertainment)
Unbox Me Girls (Jay@Play)

The Toy Insider‘s 2019 holiday gift guide will appear in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on Oct. 4. An extended guide appears online at starting today. This year’s print guide features nearly 200 toys from 85 different manufacturers, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 120 toy companies in total.

Parents and gift-givers can easily search by a child’s age (broken out into 0-2, 3-4, 5-7, and 8+ age groups). They can also view the guide online with their children, making holiday shopping easy for friends and family.

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 hot list submission is open to all toy companies, of all sizes. Toys must be new for 2019 and available to consumers for purchase for the holiday season, either on the company’s website or widely available through any retail partner. When evaluating toys, the team considers play value, originality, skill building, product integrity and, of course, fun factor. 

To join in the holiday toy fun on social media this season, use #weknowplay and find @TheToyInsider on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Snapchat.