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.
“In 2019 everyone will want to be a kid again," says Laurie Schacht, chief toy officer at Adventure Publishing Group and Toy Insider Mom. “Whether kids are using augmented reality to find their favorite collectible Shopkins characters, building wall walking robots, going back to some basic craft play with new twists or customizing their own fashion dolls to be the next social media star, 2019 will be an awesome year for those who are young at heart."
Take a look at some of the hottest toy trends for 2019.
“Kids love watching kids just like them on their favorite shows, and that’s why some of the most famous kids these days are YouTube stars," Schacht says. Ryan's Mystery Egg from Bonkers Toys, a toyline based on Ryan ToysReview YouTube show, which has more than 17.8 million subscribers, was one of the hottest toys in 2018. According to Schacht, we should expect to see more of these types of toys in 2019, with other big names kids are watching. Toys debuting later this year: LaurDIY craft kits from Mattel, Hack Along with GoldieBlox DIY creativity kits from Make it Real and Snapstar from YULU, which are dolls that kids can turn into social media stars using the #Snapstar Studio app.
Last year, we saw a rise in augmented reality toys made specifically for kids, for example, K'Nex launched a virtual reality roller coaster kids build and then "ride" in the virutal world. This year, AR components are popping up in different types of toys, including gaming systems, plush and more. "Augmented reality toys are coming to 2019 in a meaningful way," she says. "The toys can stand on their own or be enhanced by the technology, making them even more exciting to kids."
Toys offering some kind of surprise factor have been on trend for the past two years, whether it's unboxing to find mystery accessories and blind bag components, or additional features like a burst of confetti as kids open the package, says Schacht. "Kids are still loving the surprise reveal, and parents are happy with the price points," she says. A few toys on tap for this year include ZooBalloos from Basic Fun!, Hairdorables Pets from Just Play, Boxy Girls from Jay@Play and L.O.L. Surprise from MGA Entertainment.
In 2019, kids will love anything personalized that allows them to make something their own, inject their own style or play with something in different ways. "DIY gives kids the chance to feel proud about something they've created, and also sneaks in some stealth learning, especially when they're creating slime or other materials," says Schacht. "Kids also benefit from the process of following the directions and working together with friends." DIY kits range from make-your-own slime to customizable squishies and more.
According to Schacht, toy manufacturers are keeping up with the animal care trend, with plush toys that kids can take care of, interactive pets and kits that incorporate veterinary science. Kids can check out Scruff-a-Luvs from Moose Toys, Flutter Friends from Just Play, Scientific Explorer line from Alex Toys and more.