Toys & Collectibles

Who Was That Masked Fan? Toy Insider’s Gift Guide Event Returns In-Person

It’s Toy Tuesday!

The Toy Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide will help relieve toy shopping uncertainties.

Fall arrived with joy filled promise thanks to the folks at The Toy Insider, who held their first in-person post-lockdown Holiday of Play event this week. Led by Chief Toy Officer Laurie Schacht, these play mavens have admirably virtualized their last few events, but there’s nothing like making a personal connection, even if it’s with a socially distanced wave or an elbow bump.

JustPlay offered a variety of safety mask designs for kids

The annual soirée highlights the Toy Insider Holiday Gift Guide lists for best toys of the coming season. They focus on three categories: The Hot 20, The S.T.E.M. 10 and 12 under $20. The guide affords gift givers a head’s up about what are likely to be the most wished for holiday presents. A print edition of will be available in Parents magazine on sale October 4th.

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Young tastemakers took the opportunity to explore the toy industry’s newest batch of playthings at Toy Insider’s Holiday of Play event.

Here’s how the Toy Insider’s 2021 choices stack up.

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)

• 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)

• 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)

SkeletonPete Says…

Knowing one’s buying options in advance will be especially crucial this year as the pandemic has made supply chains unpredictable around the world.

Andy and I will be pointing out several of our favorites in the coming weeks.

Junior reporters get the lowdown on Pixicade’s Mobile Game Maker Kit.

Andy Says Toys & Collectibles

Toys to the World: Toy Insider’s Holiday of Play 2017!

Toys & Collectibles

Fab Gear: Toy Insider Names Best in Play for 2016

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Adventure Publication’s Laurie Schacht and the Toy Insider team gave Holiday of Play attendees the lowdown on the latest & greatest modes of play.

Andy and Pete Say…
Once again it was our pleasure to join The Toy Insider team for the annual reveal of their choices for best toys for the holiday season lists. The HoliDAY of Play event highlights products in three categories, Hot 20 Toys, 12 Best Tech Toys, and 10 Best S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Toys.

You probably know “Toy Insider Mom” Laurie Schacht from her numerous television appearances demonstrating the operation of those products. The Toy Insider 2016 Catalog can be found nested inside the current issue of Family Circle Magazine, and you can get comprehensive details on each item at the Toy Insider Website link above.

Things to Make and Do….
There is probably no greater satisfaction for youngsters, really for anyone, than building something that works. That appeared to be the major theme this year at The HoliDAY of Play event. As we’ve seen in the past, from Lincoln Logs to LEGOS, the honing of dexterity skills, deciphering of instructions, assimilation of concepts, peaking of imagination and recovering from missteps, all make the final product a very personal thrill. The accomplishment makes the object all the more valuable to the builder.

Toys & Collectibles

The Joy of Toys: Toy Insider “Holiday of Play” 2015

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Jakks Pacific’s 48 inch Darth Vader loomed large at Toy Insider “Holiday of Play” 2015.

Toy Insider’s Got Game…
Between the recent New York City Comic Convention and Halloween approaching, Andy and I have plenty of information and photographs to share with you, and miles to go before we sleep.