While it may not be easy predicting the hot toys kids will be clamoring for, some of the latest trends can give parents a hint of what may turn into the next craze.
“This year, kids are going to have the opportunity to engage all their senses through play,” says Laurie Schacht, chief toy officer at Adventure Publishing Group and Toy Insider Mom. “Whether they’re using augmented reality to ‘ride’ a roller coaster they’ve built, squishing with new forms and textured materials or relaxing in the bath with bath bombs they’ve made themselves, kids will find new ways to interact and play in 2018.”
Take a look at some of the hottest toy trends for 2018.
Toys that make you say . . . ew!
Toys that are gross (think bodily functions) are on the rise this year. A new animated web series called “Poopeez” recently debuted on YouTube. “The series takes kids inside Kerplopolis, a city inhabited by colorful poop characters that flush out evil and share a lot of potty puns and jokes along the way,” says Schacht. A collectible toy line based on the web series from Basic Fun! will feature more than 36 squishable characters with blind bags that resemble rolls of toilet paper.
In 2018, there will be better quality augmented reality and virtual reality toys, says Schacht. This fall, K’NEX will introduce K’Nected building sets. “Once kids build these virtual reality roller coaster sets, they can ‘ride’ them in the virtual world,” she says. “Interactive holograms are also coming into play, with products such as Mattel’s Hello Barbie Hologram personal assistant rolling out this year after getting delayed from late 2017.”
Anything smoochy, slimy and stretchy
Slime and squishy toys were one of the biggest toy trends of 2017, and this year the trend is expected to be carried out to the extreme, says Schacht. “Slime is going to be extra stretchy, glittery and sparkly with more make-your-own and pre-made options than ever before,” she says. Look for Horizon Group’s SlimyGloop and WeCool’s Squishy Like Slime. Slow rising squishy toys will also expand this year, with more variations, scents, sizes and styles for boys and girls.
Unicorns, mystical creatures
“You’ll never have imagined unicorns could be so abundant as they will be this year,” says Schacht. “There will be unicorn games, crafts, tech toys, play sets — even unicorn poop slime.” Other mystical creatures will also abound, including dragons, dinosaurs and fairies.
Beauty and spa products
Toy manufacturers are creating DIY bath bombs, face masks, spa kits and more to keep kids pampered, relaxed and ready for the challenges of the year ahead.