Holiday Toys: What’s on This Year’s Kids’ “Most Wanted” List?

mearts & entertainment

What’s hot this holiday? Just ask the experts!

Every year our editorial team evaluates tens of thousands of toys for The hottest toys make our annual "Most Wanted" list of holiday must-haves and the best-of-the-best become nominees in our People’s Play Awards poll.

I am now sharing my list of my personal favorites with for this holiday season. Many of these are the hottest sellers, while some others you might have never heard of.

While these toys are for kids of different ages and genders, I LOVE all of them especially that plushie. If you were coming over to play in my house, these are the toys I'd like you to bring.

Dance Central

(MTV Games/Ages 13 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
I love to dance, and Dance Central puts you on the dance floor using Microsoft's new Kinect technology. Dance Central is a video-game that requires players to get up and dance to the beat by hitting full body poses and moves at specific times. The game features tracks from some of the hottest artists of today like Lady Gaga. Unlike other dance games that come with some sort of device that you have to hold or stand on, Dance Central doesn't require anything other than your body — there are no game controllers, sensor pads or dance mats. Instead, Dance Central is one of the first games that utilizes the new Kinect Sensor for Xbox. Kinect turns your entire body into a game controller through a full-body tracking camera system. The suggested retail price for the Kinect is $149.99, but if you like to dance as much as I do, it's worth it.

Disney Princess and Me Dolls

(JAKKS Pacific/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
When Disney combined their princesses this past decade, they created princess power in the toy aisles. This toy takes the princesses to a new high in the large doll category, with 18 inch Princess & Me dolls. These dolls are upscale, come with an invitation to the Royal Princess Club, and have beautiful accessories that extend the play - and Belle, of course, is my favorite.

Hot Wheels R/Stealth Rides

(Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
When we first showed this toy to young boys, their jaws dropped to the ground. Imagine an R/C car that folds so flat you can carry in your back pocket, and once you flip out, the car holder is your control. It's too cool for words. I like the Batmobile version best!

LEGO Games—LEGO Systems

(LEGO/Ages 7 years & up/Approx. Retail Price $29.99)
Imagine being able to build your games, and then play them! Customization to the max. I happen to love all of the Lego Games, and here are my favorites: With a movie coming out soon, Harry Potter Hogwarts is awesome. The Ramses Pyramid is my second favorite, followed by Minotaurus.


(Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $16.99)
Timing is everything! Twilight and Vampire Diaries are THE hot genre right now, and Mattel’s timing couldn’t be better with this home grown brand that’s scorching at retail. These daughters of famous monsters have the style kids love right now.

NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster

(Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
The Nerf Brand has grown from $40 million to over $150 million the past decade. Quite simply, this toy is the BEST NERF EVER for kids of ANY age! This Nerf blaster comes with four clips of Nerf darts, and rapidly fires. The Stampede sits by my desk, for whoever has it rules the domain!

Paper Jamz

(WowWee/Ages 5 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
When we first saw this toy a year ago, I guessed the price of this toy would be double. Kids love music, and not only does this toy deliver, it has tremendous value. Paper Jamz allows you to play guitar with three popular songs, but the best part is as you progress, you can advance in modes and eventually rock out freestyle.


(Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99)
Start playing with this toy and you can't put it down. Hasbro has taken one of the best selling games of all time and incorporated the Scrabble dictionary into flash cube technology that is hours of fun for those who love word and letter games.


(Mattel/Ages 3 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $12.99)
When we first saw the Sing-A-Ma-Jigs, it was love at first sight. These little plush toys just will bring a smile across anyone's face, regardless of their age. Theo only problem is once you pick one up, you can't put it down.

Sounds Like a Plan

(Gamewright/Ages 10 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $19.99)
This party game is all about giving outrageous and funny advice! You select a card containing a piece of advice that best fits the judge's chosen activity. Score points if the judge takes your advice, but keep in mind that plans change with the roll of a die. Players might have to give out bad advice, Grandma's advice or advice from a psychic! This has been a new favorite in my household.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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