Toys season is upon us! As the holiday season approaches, anyone with children will be eager to find the best presents. The toy industry has just released some truly unique offerings that will make excellent gifts as the jolliest time of the year approaches.
Juno the Baby Elephant—Easily the best toy if the year, Juno is a new masterpiece by Spin Master. An adorable purple elephant, Juno is animatronic and astonishingly lifelike. Her huge eyes blink, her ears flap, her tail wags, her trunk moves, and she can even pick up the plastic peanuts she comes with via magnetic components. The toy is designed with over 150 lifelike movements and sounds. She also comes with an adorable mouse friend. If you feed her a peanut, Juno might eat it or throw it but if you her the mouse she will lovingly swing it around as she sings sweet songs to it. Juno can bow, play music with her trumpeting trunk, play peek-a-boo, dance and give you a kiss if you per her trunk. The more you play with Juno, the more interactive she becomes. She retails for approximately $70 at Walmart. This, above all, is the toy to purchase for girls this holiday season.
LaurDIY Crystal Chandelier—LaurDIY has released an entire series of DIY kits that are directly inspired by YouTuber Lauren Riihimaki and get immensely popular crafty, stylish, and decorative tutorials. One of the most innovative kits in the line is the “Crystal Chandelier Kit” Thad comes with beautiful iridescent plastic. Users fold eight shapes to construct the hanging “crystals”, decorate them with pom poms and beads, then connect the crystals to form an incredible, iridescent, chandelier. This comprehensive kit includes 8 crystal shapes, 5 hangers, 40 pom poms, 32 iridescent beads, nylon string, a clip and connecting link, and an easy-to-follow guide with step-by-step instructions and images. The process is simple: fold the shapes, decorate them, then hang!
Meltdown—One of the most innovative games of the year, “Meltdown” features a plastic canister, neon green squares, a balancing platform, and lime green goop. Players must place the squishy goop atop the canister and roll it, smash it, just place it. Then set the balancing platform on top of that! Take turns stacking the neon green cubes you have to stack on top—but you must do do carefully because between the goop and slippery platform, it’s always shifting! If there’s a MELTDOWN and any cubes fall, you have to take them, and that’s dangerous because the goal is to get RID of your cubes! No batteries required for this game which can be played solo or with friends. It is one of the most unique takes on the classic “balancing” play pattern that I have ever seen and will appeal to both girls and boys.
Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty (RBUK)—Based on an adorable and fantastical children’s program, this line of toys is bright, sparkly, delightful and very collectible. Each figurine or plush does something different yet entirely engaging.
Rainbow Twist Paint Pouring Art Kit—The best DIY kit to hit the market in many years, the Rainbow Twist Paint Pouring set enables kids to create professional-looking works of art.
Invasion of the Cow Snatchers—The most unique and innovative game invented in years, “Invasion of the Cow Snatchers” challenges players to play the role of an alien and abduct cows from a hand board. Via a brilliantly designed magnetic board, this puzzle game challenges players can take control of your very own UFO and maneuver your way over and around farm obstacles while beaming up cows. The 40 Easy to Super Hard challenges are great for beginner puzzlers, while the 20 Genius level challenges are appropriate for experienced puzzlers.
Kozo—This three-dimensional wooden stacking game first gained popularity in Asia. It can be played by two players or teams either competitively or cooperatively. Kozo required strategic play and a nimble touch because it can be very tricky to stack the pieces. Whilst it might seem easy, this is a difficult game that will take multiple tries to conquer.
Flinch—Designed for ages 7 years and older, Flinch is the original and ultimate stockpile card game. If you are the first player to play all your cards in sequential order, you win. Intended for two to four players, this extensive pack comes with three decks of cards (144 total) and illustrated instructions.
Bouncing Bingo—A fun take on the classic Bingo, one by one players must take turns bouncing the special ball into the Bingo platform. When the ball lands in one of the animal spots, you place a chip on your card, on that same animal. The first player to get four chips in a row has bounced their way to a Bingo and wins! Bouncing Bingo will help small children with hand eye coordination, small motor skills, animal and name picture recognition and turn taking.
No Stress Chess—As its title suggests, this game helps you learn the difficult game of chess and enables you to play instantly via the special game board which guides you to set up your pieces. Each card in the innovative deck shows you how to move the piece it pictures. You just set the pieces on the board, shuffle the deck, and begin to play! No Stress Chess teaches players the moves of all the Chess pieces. The game is played on a regulation Chess board, but doesn’t require the movement knowledge or planning of Standard Chess. No Stress Chess can be played at several levels of difficulty, gradually introducing players to Standard Chess in incremental steps. When you’re ready, just flip the board to its Standard Chess board side and play the authentic ‘king of games’.
Pretty Pretty Princess—One of the most iconic games for girls ever created, this updated version works the same way as the classic. The first player to get a full set of princess jewelry and the crown wins! Pretty Pretty Princess is an easy-to-play game for two to four children who like to dress up. Each player picks a colored piece in pink, green, blue, or purple and takes a turn spinning the wheel on the jewelry box to advance around the circular game board. Each space on the board guides the player to pick a piece of jewelry that matches the color of his or her playing piece, or to put one back in the jewelry box. The goal is to be decked out in full princess regalia. There is only one crown, and it can also be picked from the jewelry box or off the royal brow of some other would-be princess. Aspiring sovereigns should beware the black ring–you definitely don’t want to be stuck with it at the end of the game. The game includes plastic bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, a crown, and a jewelry box with a spinner and a mirror. There are “jewel” stickers to decorate the jewelry box and the crown (but the stickers should not be put on skin or clothing).
DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free Spirit & Lucky Grooming Paddock—Inspired by DreamWorks Animation Television’s Netflix original series, “Spirit Riding Free!” the “Spirit & Lucky Grooming Paddock!” comes with one poseable Lucky doll, one Spirit horse, and one foal. The playset features an upstairs loft, washing station, tack storage, and corral nursery. Store haybales in the paddock loft, which features a hinged floor to drop hay into the nursery corral. The washing station includes everything you need to give Spirit a bath after all of his adventures, and it even has a cabinet to store the shampoo, brush, and comb! The paddock also features a tack room to hang and care for all your Spirit Riding Free tack and accessories. The Spirit & Lucky Grooming Paddock comes with 21 pieces including stickers that can be used to decorate the barn. Look for the Spirit Riding Free Doll and Horse sets from the Collector Series (sold separately) to complete the Spirit experience! Ages 3+, SRP $39.99
GEOMAG Classics–A time-tested series of construction sets, GEOMAG kits are Swiss-made and include a variety of colors, shapes, and components to ignite children’s imaginations. In 2019 they released a renewed series of “classic” kits that hark back to the traditional play-pattern that made the brand so successful. The CLASSIC group of products has several lines which have been created to adapt to different preferences (i.e., Color, Panels, Black & White, Pink, Glitter e Glow).
Rainglow the Unicorn—New from Moose Toys “Little Live Pets” line, Rainglow the Unicorn is prone to feeling sick and needs a loving owner—and the Magical Vet Set—to feel better. With this set, you can treat Rainglow and make her better so that she is a happy and healthy Unicorn again! As you treat Rainglow you can see the expression on her face change and her horn glows to show you she is feeling well again! The Rainglow Unicorn Vet Set comes with five “magical” accessories: a Sparkle Scope to hear her heart beat in tune with her horn, a Furmometer to take her temperature, a glittery Dream Cream, a Magic Bandage, and Uni Drops to make her happy and healthy. Rainglow has two ways to play. In Rainbow Mode she is healthy, happy and playful and in Magical Vet Mode she is not feeling good and needs the vet to help. Rainglow is very interactive with over 40 sounds and reactions! She even comes with her own \”Get Well\” Certificate! She is also very soft and easy to cuddle with. She retails for approximately $30 at Walmart.
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!