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. Ten toys are based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), from the basics of coding and circuitry to complex robotics while the rest are the top collectibles that are $12 or less.
These bobblehead dolls with big glittery eyes come with interactive food-themed accessories that magically disappear from its spoon as the doll eat. Each doll comes with changeable clothes and removable shoes. There are four to choose from: Marsha Mello, Jessicake, Peppa-Mint and Donatina. For ages 3 and older; $24.99; moosetoys.com.
Lego Star Wars Boost Droid Commander
Kids can build, code and play with R2-D2, a Gonk droid and a Mouse droid. Command them to solve more than 40 challenging missions using the Lego Star Wars Boost app. Kids can attach rocket boosters, a cake shooter, a catapult and more. For ages 8 and older; $199.99; lego.com.
L.O.L. Surprise! OMG Fashion Doll
This stylish doll comes with 20 surprises waiting to be unboxed. Each fashion doll is packaged in a box that transforms into a closet and dressing room, and includes shoes, accessories, shoexbox, hatbox, doll stand and a hairbrush. For ages 6 and older; $26.99; lolsurprise.mgae.com.
Fisher-Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile
Using the remote control, kids can send the Batmobile forward, backward or spin it around. Turn the Power Pad to watch the vehicle transform into battle mode. It features lights, sounds and projectiles. A mini Batman figure is also included. For ages 3 and older; $79.99; fisher-price.com.
Packaged in a flower pot, kids can add a few drops of water to the "seeds" and the blume doll will start to grow. Each doll has a unique, over-the-top hairstyle, and comes with different outfits, handbags, mini friends and sticker books. There are 22 to collect in the first collection. For ages 5 and older; $9.99; blumedolls.com.
Using suction cups and pumps, this four-legged bot can crawl along smooth, vertical surfaces like windows. It can move straight, to the left or to the right, and the robot's head can move back and forth. Kids can build four other models using the same components. For ages 8 and older; $39.95; thamesandkosmos.com.
Cuddle, sing and play with Rizmo as he grows and evolves. He listens, remembers, plays games, makes music and even sings back the songs kids sing. There are seven different modes of play. For ages 4 and older; $59.99; tomy.com.
Ryan's World Super Surprise Safe
Kids can use the sledgehammer to smash one of the five included safes to reveal more than 30 surprises, which may include a Ryan figure, tattoo stickers, Red Titan light up ring, slime and more. For ages 3 and older; $39.99; justplayproducts.com.
LeapBuilders ABC Smart House
With this 61-piece block set, kids can build a house, learn the alphabet, colors, shapes and more. Insert the 20 double-sided learning blocks into the Smart Star cube to hear songs, phrases and sounds. For ages 18 months and older; $39.99; leapfrog.com.
Furreal Cubby, the Curious Bear
This interactive plush bear with moving eyes, nose and mouth gives hugs, plays peek-a-boo, dances and more. Kids can feed him a bottle to hear eating noises, talk to him and he'll babble back, and at bedtime, he closes his eyes, makes sleepy sounds and plays soft music. For ages 4 and older; $99.99; shop.hasbro.com.
Monster Jam Official Mega Grave Digger Monster Truck
Grave Digger, an all-terrain remote control Monster Jam RC truck, is more than two feet long and features oversized tires and a lightweight design that helps it easily roll over obstacles. It also comes with authentic graphics, working lights and a dual joystick controller that can control the truck from up to 250 feet away. For ages 4 and older; $99.99; spinmaster.com.
Each collectible bracelet comes in a plastic fortune cookie that kids can split open to reveal their new piece of jewelry, and a fortune with an inspiring message. There are 100 bracelets to collect and each comes with a special charm, such as pizza, a four-leaf clover, a starfish and more. For ages 6 and older; $3.99 for a single pack, $11.99 for a 4-pack take-out box; luckyfortune.wowwee.com.
K'Nex Dragon Revenge Coaster Building Set
Kids can design and build a coaster, which features a motorized track, a car lift, sharp turns and more as they try to outwit the dragon. The set comes with 584 K'Nex pieces and a motor that powers the dragon and chain-link coaster car lift. For ages 7 and older; $49.99; basicfun.com.
Tic Tac Toy XOXO Friends
Based on YouTube's Tic Tac Toy, these collectible friends come with wings and silly accessories that can be swapped with other XOXO figures. Kids can follow the numbers on the boxes to find eight hidden surprises. There are 12 to collect. For ages 3 and older; $3.99 each; walmart.com and target.com.
5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 2
As kids unwrap these capsules they'll find five surprise mini collectibles, such as mini Spam, Mentos, Dove, Skippy and more than 70 other brands. Kids may also find mini shopping accessories like a shopping trolley, shelves and shopping basket. For ages 4 and older; $5.99; zuru.com.
World of Nanables
Each collectible house comes with two Nanable figures and a viewer to peek inside their figure's life. Scan them into the free app for an augmented reality experience. Kids can create their own world with the two collections, which include Cupcake Place, Dusted Donut Diner, Gumdrop Gazebo, Lolli-Pop Stars Dance Studio, Make It Rain-bow Arcade, Twinkle Twinkle Inn, Sparkle Day Spa and more. There are 12 houses to collect in all. For ages 6 and older; $5.99; jazwares.com.
Vex Robotics Build Blitz
With more than 800 pieces that snap together, kids can build seven different motorized robots, without having to use tools. For ages 8 and older; $149.99; hexbug.com.
Blinger Diamond Collection
The Blinger kit helps make everything sparkle. It comes with high-quality rhinestones that can stick to clothes, hair, paper and much more. The rhinestones vary in size, color and shape to spice up any outfit and create one-of-a-kind looks. The set comes with 75 gems. For ages 6 and older; $19.99; wickedcooltoys.com.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Beast-X Ultrazord Figure
Kids can move the Ultrazord figure and it will respond with more than 30 sounds and phrases. Move the toy into certain positions and the toy will respond with the right phrases, for example "Beast-X Ultrazord attack." For ages 4 and older; $39.99; shop.hasbro.com.
Pop Pop Hair Surprise
This three-in-one unboxing toy comes with a Pop Brush that really brushes hair and features a handle that twists off to become a spray bottle. Pop open the roller to find a Pop Hair Pet, a collectible character with extra-long hair. Pop Hair Pets double as pencil toppers. The set also comes with a rubber band that kids can add the Pop Hair Pets into their own hair. There are more than 25 to collect. For ages 6 and older; $9.99; mgae.com.
Coding Critters are interactive pets that introduce preschoolers to coding and other STEM skills using fun playsets, storybook adventures and more. Each set includes a 20-page storybook with coding challenges, two interactive modes, a house, a slide, a tennis ball launcher and more. Press Ranger's nose to activate play mode, where kids can feed, pet adn take care of their robot pet. For ages 4 and older; $39.99; learningresources.com.
PJ Masks PJ Seeker
The Seeker vehicle can fit up to four vehicles and up to three PJ Masks figures. It features a light-up searchlight, a disc launcher, a detachable cage, a pull-out ramp and a drop-down side door. The set also includes a Catboy figure and mini Cat-Car. For ages 3 and older; $59.99; justplayproducts.com.
Scruff-A-Luv: My Real Rescue
The 'Real Rescue' Scruff-A-Luv reacts to how you care for it, and it will respond with a pulse, whimpering, eating, shivering and other things an actual rescued pet might do. It features more than 30 sounds, and there's a mystery animal (dog or cat) in each box. The set includes one pet, collar with an ID tag, bottle, comb and adoption certificate. For ages two and older; $39.97; moosetoys.com.
FGTeeV Giant Mystery Teev
This giant retro television case comes with collectible mystery figures based on FGTeeV's YouTube channel, an animated Gurkey Turkey plush, a surprise squishy, vinyl stickers and more. For ages 6 and older; $39.99-$49.99; bonkerstoys.com.
Unbox Me Girls
The new eight-inch Boxy Girl features articulated arms, legs, hips, wrists and heads. There are 36 dolls to collect, which come with a variety of shoes, hair, makeup and clothes. For ages 6 and older; $9.99; boxygirls.com.
Electro Guitar Kit
Build a cardboard guitar and then make it electric, add special effects and produce tracks with this music kit. Use the included pieces to build the electric guitar, which features three rubber band strings. The amplifier sits in a cardboard body kids can fold themselves. For ages 8 and older; $34.99; techwillsaveus.com.
The biggest Hatchimals surprise yet, this re-hatchable egg features a part unicorn, part llama called Llalacorn. It expresses emotions through its movement, with a neck that can grwo up to 32-inches tall or shrink down on its own. Llalacorn wakes up in one of 10 surprise moods each time the egg is hatched. Once it's out of the egg, kids can feed it, tickle it, play games and more. It features more than 250 sounds and reactions. For ages 5 and older; $79.99; spinmaster.com.
My Robotic Pet - Tumbling Hedgehog
With this 172-piece set, kids can build a robotic hedgehog, which comes with a built-in sound sensor and reacts to different sounds. It can tumble, roll, spin, bristle its spines and surry around. Different patterns of claps determine what the hedgehog will do, for example, roll into a ball and tumble backwards. Its eyes also light up with LEDs. For ages 7 and older; $39.95; thamesandkosmos.com.
Just like a traditional piñata, kids can pull the three different strings to open the different compartments, which are filled with surprises. There are 12 different designs to choose from, such as Pony, Cupcake, Unicorn, Taco, Rainbow, donut, Birthday Cake and more. Each plastic piñata is re-usable and includes three party-themed charms, like Tropical or Movie Night, a bracelet or ring, stickers and loose confetti. For ages 4 and older; $7.99; jakks.com.
These soft, stretchable plush animals come in a variety of characters and colors, such as penguin, dog, unicorn, narwhal, llama and more. They are also available in three different sizes. For ages 7 and older; $6.99; bhteddybear.com.
Orb Odditeez Morphimals
These bendable toys start as a collectible character that kids can twist, mold, pull or squish into a new shapes and sizes. For ages 5 and older; $9.99; orbtoys.com.
Kids can turn tiny pixel jigsaw puzzle pieces into unique designs with this creative set. Using the 700 or the 1,500-piece sets, kids can build a cat and a dog, a mermaid and a unicorn, sea creatures and more. The Jixels easily fit and stay together. For ages 6 and older; $9.95-$16.95; fatbraintoys.com.
Open the mystery food car to reveal all the supplies needed to create cute treats as well as collectible characters. Using the surprise ingredients, mixing trays, spoons and more, kids can make their own edible candy. Food cart themes include sushi, pizza, ice cream and more. For ages 6 and older; $9.99; redwood-ventures.com.
Using a Mac, PC or tablet, kids can tell this coding robot what to draw. They'll learn basic programming, geometry, math and more. The WiFi-enabled robot comes with four washable colored markers and different modes of play, such as games, art for coloring, freeform coding and more. For ages 7 and older; $69.99; educationalinsights.com.
This new colorful slime is stretchy and comes in fruit-flavored scents, like Berry Blast, Cococraze, Grape Squeeze, Melon Mania, Peach Paradise and Piney Party. Each jar comes with a surprise charm. For ages 4 and older; $9.99; wecooltoys.com.
Cutetitos Babitos Series 1
These new surprise-packed three-inch plush animals that come hidden in a burrito blanket. There are 12 different characters to collect, such as Giraffito, Chipmunkito, Owlito and more. What's more, each pet comes with a gender reveal diaper. For ages 3 and older; $7.99; basicfun.com.
Cry Babies Magic Tears
Open the bottle-shaped house to reveal a mini doll, dressed in animal onesies with eight accessories like a sippy bottle, a bow, pacifier, chair, blanket and more. Kids can decorate the house with the included stickers. Fill the doll with water, squeeze its tummy and it will cry real tears. There are 12 characters to collect. For ages 3 and older; $9.99; magictears.toys.
Discovery Prehistoric SlimyGloop Dig
Once kids peel and smash their way through the SlimyGloop, they'll uncover buildable dinosaur skeletons. Use the digging tool or hands to squish, dig and reveal. The set includes enough bones to build two dinosaurs. For ages 6 and older; $16.99; horizongroupusa.com.
Fortnite Jumbo Loot Llama Pinata
This 100-piece pinata includes Frozen Raven and Ice King action figures, weapons, harvesting tools, back bling, metal building materials, exclusive sprays walls, a buildable clock tower and more. For ages 8 and older; $79.99; fortnite.jazwares.com.
Amazing Rescue Set
Kids can click and create their own fire station and fire truck with this 50-piece set. It comes with 24 magnetic pieces, two characters, emergency vehicle accessories and more. For ages 3 and older; $59.99; magformers.com.
Fisher-Price Bounce & Spin Puppy
Kids can bounce up and down or spin around on this stationary, musical ride-on puppy. It features songs and fun sounds, easy-to-grip handles, interactive buttons and lights, and teaches the alphabet, numbers, colors and more. For ages 1 and older; $59.99; fisher-price.mattel.com.
Myla the Magical Unicorn
Myla, a robotic unicorn, glitters with lights when she talks or sings. Use the wand to touch her eyes, wings and horn to decorate her in different colors. Kids can braid her mane, brush her tail and add accessories to her hair. Sing along with Myla using her microphone or listen to the music she will continue to play. For ages 4 and older; $59.99; vtechkids.com.