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Toy Insider 'Hot List': Top toy trends for the 2018 holiday season

Every year, the Toy Insider panel of experts chooses the hottest toys for the upcoming holiday season. And these typically are the most in-demand playthings for kids all year long. Twenty of the toys are the must-have items on kids of all ages' wish lists, whether they're based on favorite TV shows or movie characters or they're simply selling out in stores. Twelve of the tech-based toys incorporate the latest in digital play, creativity and innovation, while 10 are based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), from the basics of coding and circuitry to complex robotics.

Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man AR Experience

Kids can role play with this movie-inspired mask
Photo Credit: Hasbro

Kids can role play with this movie-inspired mask featuring augmented reality (AR) technology. Simply download the Hero Vision app, place a compatible device inside the AR goggles, place markers around the play area and put on the mask to see digital images from the superhero's world. The set comes with the mask, goggles, a gauntlet, three AR markers and one Infinity Stone. For ages 8 and older. Price: $49.99 at shop.hasbro.com.

L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Series Under Wraps Dolls

Eye Spy Under Wraps series includes 15 surprises
Photo Credit: MGA Entertainment

Eye Spy Under Wraps series includes 15 surprises including a spy glass, a secret message sticker, a surprise code, a bottle, a mystery disguise, shoes, accessories and more. Use the spy glass to find surprise clues and feed or bathe the L.O.L. Surprise doll to discover water surprises. For ages 6 and older. Price: $15.99 at lolsurprise.mgae.com.

Vex Battling Boxing Robots

Once kids assemble the 380 snap-together pieces to
Photo Credit: Hexbug

Once kids assemble the 380 snap-together pieces to build the Mock Rocker Bot, this self-stabilizing boxer is ready for a match. Kids can drive and control the bot's actions, from deciding when to left punch, right punch or double jab using the free Vex Pilot app. For ages 8 and older. Price: $89.99 (single), $149.99 (two-pack) at hexbug.com.  

Boxy Girls

These eight-inch tall Walmart exclusive fashion dolls love
Photo Credit: Jay@Play

These eight-inch tall Walmart exclusive fashion dolls love to shop online. Each Boxy Girl comes with four packages with surprise items such as shoes, bags, makeup, jewelry, clothes and more. Each package looks just like a real shipping box with a label. There are also stickers and thank you notes inside. For ages 6 and older. Price: $14.99 at walmart.com.  

Go! Go! Smart Wheels Mickey Magical Wonderland

The little drivers can ride the Ferris wheel,
Photo Credit: VTech

The little drivers can ride the Ferris wheel, slide down the ramp, spin the gears and open the peek-a-boo windows. There are five SmartPoint locations where kids can listen to Mickey Mouse say fun phrases. For ages 1 and older. Price: $49.99 at vtechkids.com.

Nintendo Labo Vehicles Kit

An interactive build-and-play experience combines do-it-yourself creations with
Photo Credit: Nintendo

An interactive build-and-play experience combines do-it-yourself creations with the Nintendo Switch system (sold separately). Kids can build six Toy-Con, including a car, plane, submarine, two keys and a pedal. Use the key to play a variety of on-screen activities. Rated E for everyone. Price: $69.99 at labo.nintendo.com.

Hairdorables

These new surprise dolls with unique hairstyles in
Photo Credit: Just Play

These new surprise dolls with unique hairstyles in bright colors are based on the 12 girls from the Hairdorables videos on YouTube. Each doll comes with 11 accessories. There are 36 Hairdorables dolls to collect in Series 1. For ages 3 and older. Price: $12.99 at hairdorables.com.

Really Rad Robots MiBro

Using the remote, kids can play, pull pranks,
Photo Credit: Moose Toys

Using the remote, kids can play, pull pranks, spy and command the MiBro robot. They can also speak through him or put him in stealth mode. MiBro features many smart phrases and sounds, and comes with a variety of accessories. For ages 4 and older. Price: $39.99 at moosetoys.com.

Voice Originals: When in Rome

This family board game is the first to
Photo Credit: Sensible Object

This family board game is the first to connect with Amazon's Alexa device (sold separately). This travel trivia game allows players to visit new places and meet 20 real locals recorded from cities around the world who will ask questions about local customs, culture, street food and more. Alexa is the tour guide, scorekeeper and narrates the game. Players earn points by answering the questions right and scoring souvenirs. For ages 13 and older. Price: $29.99 at voiceoriginals.com.

Hatchibabies

In this year's Hatchimals Mystery from Spin Master,
Photo Credit: Spin Master

In this year's Hatchimals Mystery from Spin Master, there are four unique Hatchibabies that can hatch from one egg. Each character has super-soft fur and are forever babies. For ages 5 and older. Price: $59.99 at shop.spinmaster.com.

Smooshy Mushy Baby

Pop the top of the magic bottle with
Photo Credit: Redwood Ventures

Pop the top of the magic bottle with disappearing milk to find the Smooshy Mushy Baby. The set comes with a bottle, a name tag, a sticker, a birth certificate and more. For ages 5 and older. Price: $14.99 at redwood-ventures.com.

Sensors Alive

This science kit is an app-based video game
Photo Credit: Thames & Kosmos

This science kit is an app-based video game in which kids can use light, sound, heat and other real-world sensor data collected from the environment to create an array of creatures. Kids can collect, play and care for their creatures in the app. For ages 8 and older. Price: $149.95 at thamesandkosmos.com.

Hot Wheels Augmoto Augmented Reality Racking Track Set

Mattel's Hot Wheels Augmoto brings video game play
Photo Credit: Mattel

Mattel's Hot Wheels Augmoto brings video game play and augmented reality to a physical racetrack. Use the AR technology as you complete laps and bring the cars to life with a loop of fire, oil spills, fireworks and special stops to recharge. It's also smart-device controlled, which is not included. Ages 8 and older. Price: $119.99 at  hotwheels.mattel.com.

Sky Track Adventure Set

This 44-piece set features a sky shuttle and
Photo Credit: Magformers

This 44-piece set features a sky shuttle and multiple track accessories so kids can create loops, peaks and valleys, twists and turns. The shuttle can do a 360-degree spin and climb the lift elevator. For ages 3 and older. Price: $99.99 at magformers.com.

Scruff-a-Luvs

The Scruff-a-Luvs from Moose Toys are a mystery
Photo Credit: Moose Toys

The Scruff-a-Luvs from Moose Toys are a mystery at first. Each comes as a matted ball of fur, only showing its eyes. To reveal your rescue animal (dog, cat or bunny), simply wash it in water, towel dry, blast drying it with a hair dryer and brushing and styling its fur. Each plush comes with a collar, name tag, adoption certificate, brush and hair clips. For ages 4 and older. Price: $19.99 at moosetoys.com.

Power Action Pikachu

Pikachu lights up, speaks, has sound effects and
Photo Credit: Wicked Cool Toys

Pikachu lights up, speaks, has sound effects and a light-up tail. Kids can play with this Pokémon character by squeezing its hands to light up or hear him speak. The more he is played with, the more varied his responses become. For ages 4 and older. Price: $29.99 at wickedcooltoys.com.

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Epic Sewer Lair Playset

This big playset stands 43 inches tall and
Photo Credit: Playmates Toys

This big playset stands 43 inches tall and features four levels and seven rooms. Kids can check out Splinter's Dojo, Raphael's weight training room, Michaelangelo's arcade, hidden projectile launchers, rotating skateboard ramp, collapsing balcony and more. Action figures are sold separately. For ages 4 and older. Price: $119.99 at playmatestoys.com.

Think & Learn Rocktopus

Rocktopus from Fisher-Price teaches kids about different instruments,
Photo Credit: Fisher-Price

Rocktopus from Fisher-Price teaches kids about different instruments, rhythmic patterns and more. The set features 15 instruments so kids can create songs and remixes by changing tempo and adding in fun sound effects. For ages 3 and older. Price: $59.99 at fisher-price.mattel.com.

Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

Kids can build a Harry Potter wand and
Photo Credit: Kano

Kids can build a Harry Potter wand and the first-ever Wizarding World STEM product, which responds to the wand's movements. It also teaches coding with more than 70 step-by-step challenges. For kids who already know how to code, the wand can be used to create their own art, music, apps and games, which can be shared in the Kano World app. For ages 6 and older. Price: $99.99 at kano.me.

Lego Batman App-Connected Batmobile

This vehicle features two motors, an opening minifigure
Photo Credit: Lego

This vehicle features two motors, an opening minifigure cockpit, four-wheel drive and two dual-stud shooters. Download the app to control the vehicle from a tablet or smartphone. The set also comes with a new Batman minifigure. For ages 8 and older. Price: $99.99 at lego.com.

Pomsies Patches Plush

Pomsies are wearable pom-pom pets. They react when
Photo Credit: Just Play

Pomsies are wearable pom-pom pets. They react when you touch and play with them, with more than 50 different responses such as purring, eating and singing. A brush is included with each Pomsie to give them extra love and care. For ages 3 and older. Price: $14.99 at amazon.com.

Beaker Creatures Science Lab

Beaker Creatures are a new line of science-themed
Photo Credit: Learning Resources

Beaker Creatures are a new line of science-themed collectibles from Learning Resources. With 35 characters to collect, kids can also learn science experiments from the fizzing Reactor Pods on the working lab sets and classification cards. The Science Lab comes with two dissolvable collectible eggs with figures. For ages 5 and older. Price: $24.99 at  learningresources.com.

3Doodler Start Hexbug Make Your Own Hexbug Pen Set & Activity Kit

Create Hexbug creatures that behave like real bugs.
Photo Credit: 3Doodler

Create Hexbug creatures that behave like real bugs. Simply doodle the bug's body and legs using the included insect-themed mold. Then let it crawl around or race its friends. For ages 6 and older. Price: $59.99 (Pen Set), $24.99 (Activity Kid without pen) at the3doodler.com.

Air Hogs Supernova

Control the Supernova with your hands and learn
Photo Credit: Spin Master

Control the Supernova with your hands and learn more than 30 moves and nine tricks. The drone features five motion sensitive sensors, interactive LED light and more. For ages 8 and older. Price: $39.99 at shop.spinmaster.com.

Fingerlings Hugs

Fingerlings Hugs from WowWee have extra-long arms perfect
Photo Credit: WowWee

Fingerlings Hugs from WowWee have extra-long arms perfect for hugs and cuddling. Kids can also swing them, pet them and rock them to sleep. Give them a kiss and they'll kiss back. The recording feature allows kids to record their own voices then throw the toy in the air to hear a funny remix of what they said. For ages 5 and older. Price: $29.99 at fingerlings.com.

Scientific Explorer Veterinary Science

From simulating x-rays and sonograms using red and
Photo Credit: Alex

From simulating x-rays and sonograms using red and blue lenses that reveal the insides of animals to closing up wounds and cuts, mix and make gelly ticks, and more, kids can learn what it takes to become a Veterinary physician. The set includes suture skin, plastic curved needle, plastic tweezer scissors, black nylon thread, cat anatomy poster, dog blister mold and much more. For ages 6 and older. Price: $19.99 at alexbrands.com.

Design & Drill My First Workbench

Budding builders can hammer, nail and drill bolts
Photo Credit: Educational Insights

Budding builders can hammer, nail and drill bolts into this bench to create fun patterns and more. The set comes with a drawer to store the 120 colorful bolts and nails. For ages 3 and older. Price: $49.99 at educationalinsights.com.

Discovery Extreme Chemistry Lab

Kids can create fizzing and foaming eruptions, glowing
Photo Credit: Horizon Group

Kids can create fizzing and foaming eruptions, glowing worms, galactic spheres and more than 20 other experiments and chemical reactions with the Discovery Extreme Chemistry Lab set. For ages 12 and older. Price: $19.99 at horizongroupusa.com.

Boxer

Boxer, an interactive robot from Spin Master, uses
Photo Credit: Spin Master

Boxer, an interactive robot from Spin Master, uses artificial intelligence to bring his personality to life. He comes with game cards, a ball accessory, a remote control and interactivity through gesture, sound and touch controls. Use the Boxer app for additional games and video tutorials. For ages 8 and older. Price: $79.99 at shop.spinmaster.com.  

Thrill Rides Bionic Blast Roller Coaster Building Set

The K'NEX Thrill Rides Bionic Blast Building Set
Photo Credit: K’NEX

The K'NEX Thrill Rides Bionic Blast Building Set comes with more than 800 parts, including U.S.-made Rods & Connectors, roller coaster track, coaster car, chain lift and stunning graphic panels. This set also introduces the first Ferris wheel coaster car lift. Use the K'NEX Ride It! app to ride this coaster in the virtual world using the included cardboard VR viewer. For ages 9 and older. Price: $99.99 at  knex.com

Kids First Coding & Robotics

Sammy, a robot that looks like a peanut
Photo Credit: Thames & Kosmos

Sammy, a robot that looks like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, teaches coding skills to kids. Instead of using a tablet or smartphone to program, Sammy simply drives over a sequence of code cards. The OID optical scanner on the bottom of the robot reads the code cards and loads the program. Then, place him on a grid made of map cards and the robot will run the program. For ages 4 and older. Price: $129.95 at thamesandkosmos.com.

Chow Crown Game

Turn snacking into a game with Hasbro's Chow
Photo Credit: Hasbro

Turn snacking into a game with Hasbro's Chow Crown. Choose different foods and add them to the six hanging forks around the crown. Once the spinning crown is on the players head, he or she has to eat as many snacks as possible before the music stops. For ages 8 and older. Price: $19.99 at shop.hasbro.com.

Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu + Poke Ball Plus & Pokémon Let's Go Eevee + Poke Ball Plus

This software bundle includes both games along with
Photo Credit: Nintendo

This software bundle includes both games along with the Poké Ball Plus accessory, which lights up, vibrates and makes sounds. Connect the Poké Ball Plus to the Pokémon GO app to catch Pokémon in the real world. Rated E for everyone. Price: $99.99 at  amazon.com (available now for pre-order).

Laser X Fusion

This system lets you customize your Laser X
Photo Credit: NSI

This system lets you customize your Laser X gear. The set includes two blasters, each with a 250-foot range, a long-range adapter that extends the blasting range to more than 500 feet, a spotting scope, a wide-range adapter, two receiver vests and more. For ages 6 and older. Price: $79.99 at target.com.

Ryan’s World Giant Mystery Egg

Reveal a lights and sounds vehicle, rare figures,
Photo Credit: Bonker's Toys

Reveal a lights and sounds vehicle, rare figures, special putty, a limited edition plush and more. No two Ryan's World Giant Mystery Eggs are the same. For ages 3 and older. $34.99 at  bonkerstoys.com

Color Chemistry Lab Set

Budding chemists can explore color and create science
Photo Credit: Crayola

Budding chemists can explore color and create science experiments with the Crayola Color Chemistry Lab Set. The set includes 50 science activities, materials and supplies for 15 experiments and more. For ages 7 and older. Price: $24.99 at  shop.crayola.com

Treasure X

Go on a hunt like no other with
Photo Credit: Moose Toys

Go on a hunt like no other with Treasure X. Rip, fizz and chip away for real gold-dipped treasure through 10 levels of surprises. There are 42 action figure to reveal and collect. For ages 5 and older. Price: $9.84 at moosetoys.com

Wizard Training Wands

Train like a wizard with the Harry Potter
Photo Credit: Jakks Pacific

Train like a wizard with the Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands. Each wand comes with 11 spells to master. The wand provides sound feedback so kids know when they have learned the spell. There are five modes: two modes of standalone play and three modes to play with fellow wizards. For ages 8 and older. Price: $24.99 at jakks.com

Safari Learning Station

The Safari Learning Station
Photo Credit: LeapFrog

The Safari Learning Station" from LeapFrog grows with children while keeping them entertained through interactive learning. The three-in-one arch adjusts from floor play to standing height. Three different modes allow Giraffe, Lion and Zebra to introduce the ABCs and 123s while playing safari-themed tunes. The light-up piano lets tiny tots discover shapes and colors. Kids are extra engaged when they spin Elephant's bead spinner, twist Chameleon's tail and drop the balls through Monkey's tail to practice motor skills and learn about colors. For ages 6 months and older. Price: $49.99 at leapfrog.com.

PJ Masks Super Moon Adventure Rocketship

PJ Masks Super Moon Rocketship from Just Play
Photo Credit: Just Play

PJ Masks Super Moon Rocketship from Just Play lets kids recreate adventures from the series using special light, sound and lever features. They can push a button to release the toy's legs and ramp, then launch the included gekko figure out on his space rover. The rocket ship cockpit holds up to three PJ Masks figures. For ages 3 and older. Price: $ 39.99 at  justplayproducts.com.

Sky Viper Scout Video Drone

The Sky Viper Scout Video Drone from Skyrocket
Photo Credit: Skyrocket

The Sky Viper Scout Video Drone from Skyrocket features surface scan technology that increases stability, allowing the drone to stay in one spot. It works up to 100 feet, and includes an auto launch and land, one-touch stunts, extended flight time and the ability to stream and record HD video. For ages 12 and older. Price: $89.99 at sky-viper.com.

Arcade1Up

Play seated or standing, these game cabinets look
Photo Credit: Tastemakers

Play seated or standing, these game cabinets look and feel like classic arcades, with authentic controls, joysticks, trackballs and sounds. It also has a 17-inch screen for multiple players. No quarters are required to play. For ages 7 and older. Price: $399 at arcade1up.com.

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