Hatchimals Take Over Christmas

Hatchimals are about to take this Christmas by storm – we believe it will become the hottest must-have interactive toy for 2016.  Never heard of Hatchimals before?  You’re not alone, but if you will be buying gifts and toys for kids in 2016 you need to know what they are.  Maybe you remember the Tamagotchi toys of the 1990’s – those little interactive digital “pets” that were a big craze for a few years.  Hatchimals are very similar to Tamagotchi pets and even Furbys, but exhibit more advanced behaviors due to the advanced technologies around today.

UPDATE:  Hatchimals are selling out everywhere.  Why not check out our Hatchimal Alternatives.

Hatchimals by Spin Master

Hatchimals by Spin Master

At its beginning a Hatchimal pet starts out in its own plastic egg.  After a bit of playtime (about 30 minutes) the figure starts pecking its way out of the egg.  After this initial “hatching” the toys will react and respond to a child’s play – when you tap on it, the Hatchimal taps back. When you stroke the top or bottom, it lights up and makes sounds.

This toy is designed to grow up and mature the more it is played with over the course of days and weeks.  This way children will not give up on the toy too quickly (at least that’s the hope anyway).   After its hatchling phase the pet becomes a toddler and eventually an adult Hatchimal.  As a baby you feed it by touching its beak to the floor. It becomes more interactive as a toddler (dancing and speaking) and then it will play games as it matures to adulthood.

The price is not too high for a toy like this, and we recommend that if you are interested in buying them don’t wait.  Hatchimals may sell out quickly and may not be available closer to Christmas.

Recommended for aged 5-10 years.

There are two variations of Hatchimals:  Draggles and Penguala (click image to find more information on Amazon):

Hatchimals - Draggles

Hatchimals – DRAGGLES

Hatchimals - Penguala

Hatchimals – PENGUALA


 

Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Animated Movie Toys – 2016

It is now autumn of 2016 and many of the popular animated movies have come and gone, but their merchandising will live on for months or years to come.  Disney does not have a stranglehold on animation these days.  The other prominent movie studios are churning out blockbusters that compete with and often beat Disney at their own game.  The age of fantastic animation is here, and it will only get better.

Here is a rundown of some of the hottest animated movies of 2016 and a representative sample of toys spun off from those movies.

Finding Dory

At this point in the year Disney’s Finding Dory is the #1 grossing movie of 2016.  This Finding Nemo sequel focuses on the forgetful fish Dory and has become a good example of a sequel that can be as good as the original.

Finding Dory Educational Kit

Finding Dory Educational Kit

For kids this Finding Dory 4-in-1 Educational Kit looks like it will be a blast.  Designed for kids 3-8 years old this kit has games that help children develop their observational skills as well as their memory.  It might just be a great gift for fans of Dory.

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The Secret Life of Pets

Using a very original premise for a movie Universal Studios created the widely popular Secret Life of Pets.  The animation in this movie is superb, which made a lot of the action in the movie almost believable. The movie was filled with many fun-loving characters, each with his or her own personality.

secret-pets-apartment

Secret Life of Pets Apartment Playset

The Secret Life of Pets 3-Story Apartment playset just looks so darned cute.  It includes three pet figures (Max, Gidget and Snowball) and kids will have fun pretending they are playing with the real pets themselves.  The apartments are separate and can connect together in different ways.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.

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Ty Beanie Baby Chloe Plush

Ty Beanie Baby Chloe Plush

There are many adorable Secret Life of Pets figures and plushes.  We just love the attitude of Chloe – typical cat all the way.  The Chloe plush is appropriate for ages 3 years and older.

buy-amazon-button2Zootopia

Zootopia is yet another Disney animated hit movie.  Following the theme of animal-based animated moves Zootopia follows the unlikely teamwork between a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist as they investigate the disappearance of predator civilians within their metropolis.

Zootopia Police Station Playset

The Zootopia Police Station playset puts you right into the action of this animated movie.  This set is over 31 inches wide and 13 inches tall, and includes the Clawhauser figure, and a mini-helicopter with mini-Safety Squirrel figure.  There is also a mini-projector that simulates a computer monitor with 3 different images.  There is a moving elevator, working jail cell, and lots of other fun things to play with.  Recommended for ages 3-6 years.

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The Angry Birds Movie

The hugely popular gaming app has been transformed into a blockbuster movie.  Usually it’s the movie that spawns other consumer products, but in this case the Angry Birds mobile game clearly spawned the movie, and fans of the game are eating it up.

LEGO Angry Birds Set

LEGO Angry Birds Building Set

This LEGO Angry Birds building set offers hours of fun.  It includes 859 pieces which includes a wide array of movie-specific accessories and figures.  It is highly-rated on Amazon, as are most LEGO building sets, and we think most kids will get a real kick out of this set.  Recommended for ages 8-14.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Best Robot Toys for Kids – 2016

Kids of all ages love robotic toys.  They are interactive and they are instructive.  And they are just plain fun.   In the 2 years this site has been active we have seen a great interest in interactive, remote control, and robotic toys.  There is no reason to believe that these toys will not continue to grow in popularity in years to come.

Here is our selection for the Best Robot Toys of 2016!

Sphero BB-8 Droid

BB-8 Droid

BB-8 Droid

We have previously highlighted the Sphero remote control ball. Now there an ultra-cool version of this toy, now with a Star Wars angle. It’s the BB-8 Remote Control Droid by Sphero. This new generation of a very popular remote-control toy is much more interactive than it was before, and that’s what makes it so great. It is a bit pricey, but if you are the kind of person that just needs to have the coolest Star Wars toys then this is for you.

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The BB-8 Droid rolls around the floor, controlled by an app on your smart device. But beyond that this toy also recognizes and reacts to your voice, and also records holographic video for you. It has an autonomous mode in which it will explore its environment. You can even say that it has an adaptive personality – its attitudes and actions evolve as you interact with it.

Recommended - 8 and upbuy-amazon-button

Cozmo – Robot with a Personality

Cozmo Robot

Cozmo Robot

Cozmo promises to be a very hot robot toy in 2016.  It was released in October 2016, and since that time it has become a fast-seller.

Cozmo is a game-playing robot with a personality that evolves the more you play with it.  Cozmo expresses real emotions in response to your actions.  And as you continue to play you get to unlock additional games and upgrades.

To see videos and additional information about this really cool robot click through to the Cozmo Amazon page and check it out.

Recommended - 8 and upbuy-amazon-button

WowWee MiP Robot

WowWee MiP Balancing Robot

WowWee MiP Balancing Robot

The MiP Balancing Robot is a very, very cool new toy.  It has technology (called GestureSense technology) that allows any hand motion to control it. Also by using its free app you can drive it, play games & more all while MiP balances on two wheels!  The MiP robot responds to motions, be it your hand or an object.  It reacts to your actions, for example if you show it some praise, and MiP will be your new best friend, but push it down, and you’re in for an angry robot.

Recommended - 8 and upbuy-amazon-button

Bristlebots

Bristlebot

Bristlebots are small robots that are fun and easy to build.  Once built and operational they buzz along a flat surface like little mechanical bugs. Explore hands-on physics and engineer your concepts and ideas into a real robot.  Bristlebots are highly customizable – build one robot, take it apart, and build another.  Be ready for hours of fun with these little guys.

Recommended - 8 and upbuy-amazon-button

Meccanoid G15

Meccanoid G15

Meccanoid G15

The Meccano Meccanoid G15 is the 2016 Innovative Toy Of The Year.  This robot comes with over one thousand phrases and as well as voice recognition to make your personal robot more like your friend.  You get to build, program, and play with this fully-operational 2-foot tall android.  It comes with an app that runs on Android and iOS.

Recommended - 8 and upbuy-amazon-button

If you’re looking for something even bigger, and with more functions, check out the Meccano Meccanoid G15 KS – Personal Robot.   It’s more money, but it might just be worth it.

Ozobot 2.0

Ozobot 2.0

Also … Check out our write-up of the Ozobot 2.0 – the small programmable robot for kids.


 

Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Hot Pokemon Toys

As of this writing Pokemon Go has become a worldwide sensation.  It’s anybody’s guess how long the craze will last, but one think is for sure: it has definitely reignited the Pokemon brand across the globe.  Kids who are experiencing Pokemon for the first time, as well as adults who have experienced Pokemon as kids themselves, will be interested in Pokemon-related toys and memorabilia.  Here’s some really cool toys we think will become popular for the 2016 Christmas buying season.

Note: Many Pokemon items ship from Japan.  Please be wary of shipping times when ordering and leave plenty of time for your item to arrive.

Pokemon Clip ‘N’ Carry Belt

Pokemon Belt Clip n Carry

Pokemon Belt Clip n Carry

The Pokemon Clip ‘n’ Carry Poke Ball Belt includes one adjustable belt, two Poke Balls, two 2″ figures and two Attack Tags. Although it only comes with two Poke Balls this belt can hold up to a total of six Poke Balls at once.  You can purchase additional Poke Balls and figures separately.

Recommended for ages 4-8 years.

Pikachu and Ash Figures

Pikachu and Ash Figures

Pikachu and Ash Figures

These Pikachu and Ash figures are a nice size for younger kids.  Ash has 13 points of articulation and is five inches tall.  Pikachu is a bit smaller of course. (Not for children under 3 years old)

Recommended for ages 4-8 years.

buy-amazon-buttonPikachu Lunch Bag

Pikachu Lunch bag

Pikachu Lunch bag

Why not show your love for Pokemon in the lunch room?  This Pikachu lunch bag is insulated and has a zip-closure.  The designs are embroidered, and the ears are plush.  Nice touch!

buy-amazon-buttonPrimal Groudon Figure

Primal Groudon Figure

Primal Groudon Figure

This Primal Groudon Pokemon figure is limited and collectible.  Although this figure it can be played with many people decide to either just display it, or even keep it in the original packaging.  It is imported from Japan and is officially licensed.

Recommended for ages 13 and over.

buy-amazon-buttonPokemon Backpack

Pokemon Backpack

Pokemon Backpack

This is a nice-looking Pokemon backpack with many different Pokemon characters.  It is 100% polyester and is durable.  It is best to hand-wash it, and it may ship from Japan so be wary of shipping times when ordering this item.

Recommended for ages 4 and over.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.