The holidays may be a little subdued this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic, with social gatherings and interactions with our loved ones kept to a minimum. Our little ones are still looking forward to something though: toys. And, with everything that has happened in 2020, we think that giving kids a tiny bit of happiness through gift-giving is a joy unto itself.
So what’s hot in 2020? Surprise toys are still in demand and so is Baby Yoda. (Who wouldn’t want to play with the cutest Force-sensitive baby this side of the galaxy?) Nintendo is making headlines with record Switch sales and their influence is even spilling over to the brick-building genre with the LEGO Super Mario set. Here are some of the most anticipated toys of the year and where to find them:
To many, Barbie is synonymous with fun and whimsy. It’s the ultimate brand when it comes to dolls and with the Barbie Dreamplane Playset, you can let your young storyteller’s imagination take flight. The two-seater cabin opens up to reveal over 15 in-flight elements, including luggage space, a dining cart and other passenger amenities. This Barbie Dreamplane playset includes a puppy figure for those who just can’t live without their precious pooch. With travel restricted this year, it would be nice to get your kids looking forward to traveling to other parts of the world again soon.
Order the Barbie Dreamplane Playset from Best Buy.
VTech has long been known as a maker of popular kid’s toys and they’ve certainly not disappointed this year. Its most popular character, Myla The Magical Unicorn, is one of the hottest toys of the year with it being sold out in many store shelves. The magical butterfly wand on Myla’s wings, horn and eyes come in a variety of colors, and she talks, sings and gives children positive reinforcement. Your kid can sing hours of duets with Myla by holding the microphone near her mouth. It certainly won’t hurt for your child to get a daily dose of encouragement after such a tough year.
Order Myla The Magical Unicorn from Best Buy.
Disney’s hit show The Mandalorian is seen by many fans as a return to form for the franchise. It follows a lone warrior dubbed “Mando” in his exciting adventures across the galaxy. Along the way, he gains a cute sidekick in the form of an infant who is the same species as Jedi Grand Master Yoda. Referred to as The Child, but affectionately called Baby Yoda by the show’s fans, he has become one of the recognizable characters in the whole Star Wars universe. This plush figure has a sculpted vinyl head and a soft bean-filled body that measures 11 inches.
Order Star Wars: The Child plus toy from Best Buy.
This LEGO Mario Kart starter course let’s you build your own track for everyone’s favorite Italian plumber where and you and your friends can race around on. The Mario in this set plays instant expressive responses via the LCD screens and speaker. Players earn virtual coins moving LEGO Mario from the Start Pipe to the Goal Pole via spinning and cloud platforms, the “?” Block and super battles with the Goomba and Bowser Jr. toy figures. You can also rearrange the bricks to create new levels to master, and the free LEGO Super Mario app can enhance your play sessions further. It has zoom and rotate viewing tools to make building easier and you’ll also get access to hundreds of tracks that other players have uploaded.
Order LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course on Best Buy.
The Switch has set multiple sales records in the past year. For one, it is the most popular console in the U.S. in terms of sales for 22 consecutive months. This is in part due to the revolutionary hybrid form factor allowing users to switch between the handheld version to the home console version in an instant and the wide selection of popular games. The Joy-Con controllers have also been a smash hit offering players the flexibility to play just about anywhere.
The Lite version offers a far more simple experience as it ditches the removable Joy-Con controllers and the home console stand for a more compact design. It offers a more comfortable handheld experience than previous models. Oh, and it’s also a good deal cheaper.
Order Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite from Best Buy.
Animal Crossing is not the kind of game you marathon for hours at a time. Instead, its joys reveal themselves over days, weeks and months. While it’s an acquired taste, this game is a great companion if you’re planning to get a Switch or a Switch Lite for the holidays. New Horizons maintains the charm and style that have made Animal Crossing so beloved, but with a newfound sense of purpose: the satisfaction that comes from building something from nothing. And it sends a good message to your kids: while building or rebuilding a world might take a lot of time and effort, it is entirely possible for those who are patient.
Order Animal Crossing: New Horizons from Best Buy.
More than 800 million L.O.L. Surprise! toys have been sold since their debut in late 2016, and they were one of the top products sold during Cyber Monday earlier this week. This year, even more Surprise! doll models have been released including this Lonestar Fashion doll, which features two country-themed outfits and a music clip in its box. As with others in its line, other suprises (25 in all) could be found in each package.
Order L.O.L. Surprise! Lonestar Fashion doll from Best Buy.
Here’s one way to get your kids to combine video games with outdoor fun. The Nerf Fortnite AR-Rippley blaster is inspired by the Rippley wrap in Fortnite, capturing the look of the wrap from the world’s popular video game. It features motorized dart blasting, a 10-dart clip and 20 Official Nerf Fortnite Elite darts. (The darts are foam-constructed with flexible tips for safe play.) Flip up the two sights on the top of the blaster to hone in on your target.
Order the Nerf Fortnite AR-Rippley Blaster from Best Buy.