If you don’t want to be left out in the cold this Black Friday, fighting all the other last-minute shoppers for the toys you want—need!—for your kids, you’d better get a move on. Those Black Friday deals are coming up quick! Luckily, we here at NerdWallet have done our share of the research to make your holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the hottest toys of 2013, according to top toy sellers like Target, Toys “R” Us, and Amazon. Here they are, listed in order of the mostt hyped about across the board.
1. Sofia the First
The eponymous doll from Disney Junior’s most recent television series, Sofia the First, is sure to make it on your little tot’s wish list. With her friends and fellow Disney princesses, Sofia learns hard-earned lessons about what it takes to be a true princess: friendship, compassion, and honesty. As a plus, the Sofia the First doll comes with an array of friends and wardrobes, so that future gifts (or gifts in sets) will be easy to coordinate. Be sure to pick up this Disney princess today!
2. Big Hugs Elmo
Remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze in ’96? It’s been almost two decades since the craze started, but it’s stronger than ever. Playskool’s latest release in the Sesame Street franchise can hug, play songs, dance, and respond in over 50 different ways to give your child the giggles. Big Hugs Elmo also stimulates your child’s imagination by playing pretend. Together, Elmo and your little one can be horses, rabbits, frogs, or even astronauts in space. Best of all, Big Hugs Elmo helps at nap-time by playing a lullaby and gently snoring when you lay him down, soothing your little one to sleep. In short, Big Hugs Elmo is a child’s—and a parent’s—dream come true.
3. Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center
Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center is sure to capture your attention. Complete with a reflex hammer, x-ray scanner, bandage stickers, and a lamb doll (with ready-to-fix BooBoos, of course), this Doc McStuffins set will take playing pretend to a whole new level. With this set, your child will learn what it takes to be a medical professional: intelligence, confidence, but most important of all, caring. Broaden your child’s imagination with the Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center!
4. Dusty Crophopper Remote-Controlled Plane
Now your kid can star in his own version of the Disney Animations movie, Planes. Watch your kid become Dusty Crophopper, the underdog crop-duster who dreams of becoming a lightning-fast racing plane. Dusty Crophopper RC Plane brings your kid’s motions to life as his hands actually control the tilt of the plane’s own wings with a role-play remote control. In addition, Dusty Crophopper will produce roaring sound effects and commands, so that your kids can hop into the world of Planes and race toward the finish line!
5. Flutterbye Flying Fairy Dolls
Bring magical fairies to life with the Flutterbye Flying Fairy Dolls. All your child has to do is release the Flutterbye Fairy from its stand and watch it flutter away! No matter which fairy you choose -Pink Flower, Purple Stardust, or Golden Sunbeam—she is sure to fill your child’s eyes with enchantment and wonder. Better yet, sensors in the doll will allow your child to fly the doll left, right, up, down, all with just the palm of her hands. Note that this doll is for indoor use, and should be used safely with parental guidance. Get ready to bring some fairy magic into your home today.
6. Furby Boom
In 1998, Furby stirred up an insatiable craze as the must-have toy. Now, the Furby franchise has done it again, after it updated the toy in 2012 with changeable LED eyes and an assortment of kooky colors and patterns. Hasbro also upgraded the Furby Boom just this year. In fact, they created an entire virtual world for a new kind of kid-Furby interaction via the Furby Boom iOS App. With the help of an iPhone or an iPad, kids can now play games with Furby, give Furby a shower, and watch Furby lay “Furbling” (baby Furby) eggs at the touch of a finger. Part of the fun is collecting all 50 eggs! With Furby Boom, Hasbro promises to revolutionize the toy market once again.
7. Despicable Me Talking Minion Dave & Stuart
With their helium-voice garble-de-gook and hilarious slapstick antics, the Minions of Despicable Me have captured the hearts of children and parents alike. Now, Despicable Me Talking Minions Dave & Stuart are free to come home with your kids! These pliable talking Minions can move their arms and faces, respond to your kids’ voices, sing songs, and react with over 30 different Minion-ese phrases. Squash them, hug them, or listen to them chatter—whatever you do, get ready for a fun-filled afternoon!
8. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra
Want to let your kids play with your tablet, but afraid that they’ll be too rough? Never fear! Educational toymakers LeapFrog have come up with their very own kid-safe tablet, the LeapPad Ultra. With an extra-durable frame and screen, LeapPad functions just like a regular tablet—you can take pictures, browse the Internet, and play games—with parental controls and kid-friendly Apps. Since the tablets are tough, your kids can have it all to themselves. Which means that when you need to use your tablet to write a quick e-mail or check your bills, your kids can still have fun and learn to navigate the newest touch-screen technology.
9. FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet
If your household can’t handle a pet, but your child won’t stop begging for a puppy or a kitten, Cuddles the Giggly Monkey Pet is your best solution. A proud member of the FurReal Friends line, Cuddles will let your child pet her, hug her, squeeze her, and even feed her (her mouth responds when your child presses the banana bottle to her lips!). Swing her in the air or cuddle her to sleep – Cuddles will respond with giggles and snores. Cuddles the Monkey Pet also comes with her own set of Pet Care instructions, so that maybe one day, your child will be ready to take care of a real-life pet. Maybe even a monkey!
10. Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave
No matter how much time passes, heroes will always be treasured. Encourage your little one to be a superhero today, with Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave. The Batcave set comes with Batman and Robin figurines that your child can use to operate hidden entrances and secret devices or race on the Batmobile motorbike. The set also comes with its very own Bat Signal, so your child will see when their city needs them and bravely step up to save the day. The Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave is sure to bring excitement and adventure into your home.
These ten great toys are guaranteed to crack a smile on children’s faces, and are available online or in stores like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us. Some of these toys will become your child’s best friend. Others will stimulate your child’s imagination and creativity. Either way, when your child unwraps the magical box that holds these treasures, we hope you will see once again why we give presents to our kids: to see their eyes widening with excitement, wonder and glee.
Antique Toys image courtesy of Shutterstock.