Article - Top Toys for 2019
Article - Top Toys for 2019 Staff Staff

Updated February 1, 2019

These are the toys that will top kids’ wish lists, whether you're shopping for a birthday gift or making your holiday shopping list early. Plus, our recommendations for the best toys by age.

Which are the top toys that kids are asking for -- and that have parents typing searches feverishly into Google? And which toys are appropriate for the kids of various ages on your gift list?

Our experts have rounded up the top trending toys that sold big during the 2018 holiday season and remain good choices for birthdays and surprises year round. We've also recommended some toys by age group, so you can start shopping.

Table of contents

Top 10 Toys of 2019

A good place to start when determining trending toys is the most recent crop of toy lists from major retailers. The biggest toy sellers (Target, Walmart, JCPenney and Amazon ) all announced their picks for the 2018 holiday season, and these are the toys that will likely top kids’ wish lists for the rest of the year and into the 2019 holiday season. So have a look at our review for the Top 10 toys for the most recent holiday season (based on how often the toys appeared on these four retailers' lists) and make your shopping plans.

1. WowWee Fingerlings HUGS

Fingerlings hug monkey

Fingerlings, the animatronic, interactive baby monkeys were a fixture during the past two holiday seasons' toy lists. Now, the must-have version is the larger HUGS version, according to Walmart’s, Target’s and Amazon’s toy lists.

This monkey has long arms that will embrace you in a hug. As you interact with the monkey, it will react with noises and movements. There are seemingly infinite commands that produce reactions, such as giggles and kisses.

2. L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise!

LOL surprise box

L.O.L. Surprise toys come in many forms, from boxes to balls, and contain various collectible toys. The latest version, which was included on Target’s, JCPenney's and Amazon’s toy lists, contains exclusive dolls and accessories, from 60+ possibilities.

3. Hatchimals

hatchimal egg

IN 2017 and 2018, Hatchimals (the eggs that hatch animatronic surprise pets) made it onto the toy lists. In early October, Hatchimals announced the newest products, HatchiBabies. So, expect those to be popular gifts.

4. furReal critters (Munchin’ Rex, Rock-A-Too and more)

furreal bird

These animatronic pets interact with you. Feed them “treats,” give them bottles and just watch them move around and make noises in response to various stimuli. Amazon, JCPenney and Target included various furReal critters on their toy lists.

5. Sesame Street Playskool Friends Let's Dance Elmo

singing and dancing elmo

Elmo is no stranger to Top Toys lists. This year’s most in-demand Elmo toy (according to both Target and Amazon) is a singing and dancing version. Made for toddlers, Elmo has three musical recordings about colors and animals, which he grooves to along with color-changing lights.

6. Imaginext Jurassic World Jurassic Rex

Jurassic World rex

The Imaginext Jurasic World T-Rex set, which was included in Walmart’s and Target’s toy lists, is practically the size of your toddler. Your kid can use the controls on this dinosaur to chomp on the accessories it comes with and engage its light-up eyes. It also comes with a Power Pad that launches a vehicle into action.

Jurassic Park toys are generally a hot commodity this year, with various branded dino toys and LEGO sets on retailers’ lists this past year.

7. Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall LEGO Building Kit

Howarts lego set

Harry Potter merchandise is still going strong, and this 878-piece set appeared on Amazon's and JCPenney's lists. Build a replica of Hogwarts’ Great Hall, complete with house banners and a movable staircase. The set includes 10 mini figurines of Harry Potter characters.

A bit complicated, this toy is recommended for young witches and wizards between 9 and 14.

8. Barbie DreamHouse

Barbie dreamhouse

If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to buy your child something you also remember playing with, the 3-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide Barbie DreamHouse is practically a mansion and was included in both Walmart’s and Target’s toy lists. It incorporates lights and sounds (tea kettles, oven timers) for an interactive play experience, as well as an elevator.

9. PJMasks Play Set

PJMasks play set

Recreate the adventures of your child’s favorite nocturnal heroes. Amazon’s, JCPenney's and Walmart’s toy lists included play sets from PJMasks, including the Headquarters set and Romeo’s Lab. Supplement your kid’s gift haul with additional figures and vehicles (sold separately).

10. Really Rad Robots Mibro R/C Robot

Really Rad Robots

Walmart’s and Target’s lists both included this toy, which is remote-controlled. Your child can use the robot’s tray to transport objects and even set him to listening mode to spy with a built-in microphone.

Toy-buying guide by age

Looking for the best toys this holiday season? We break down the hottest releases by age, to help you shop accordingly.

Any parent, relative, or friend knows how difficult it can be to buy the right toy for the right child. One of the first descriptors when shopping for toys during the holiday season is age, and for good reason. Buying a gift too complicated for a young one, or a gift too childish for a preteen, can be a surefire way to ruin the holiday. We’ve broken down the best gifts to give this year, specifically for each age group you might be gifting for.

Best toys for ages 1 to 18+ months

One of the hardest shopping age demographics is children under two years old. Kids at this age love to put anything and everything in their mouth, which means shoppers have to be extra diligent when it comes to picking out just the right gift. Child electronic toys work well, as long as they’re designed to handle the occasional chew, along with the occasional toss or throw.

Sesame Street Let’s Dance Elmo

Children cannot resist Elmo. Especially any version of Elmo that plays music. This particular Elmo toy features music, lights, and dancing. It’s perfect for any 18-month-old child and recommended up to 4 years of age.

Dance and Groove Rockit

Similar to the Let’s Dance Elmo, Dance and Groove Rockit features moving motions and music guaranteed to entertain any child over 1 year of age. This particular toy features over 100 songs, sounds and phrases which means the child won’t tire of it, nor will parents.

Laugh and Learn 3-in-1 Interactive Smart Car

This toy is great for any kid on the go. It can be ridden, both by just bouncing or walking, and features tons of interactive play like sounds, songs and alphabet help. The child can even turn the wheel, steer, honk the horn and play the radio.

Best toys for ages 3 and up

While the need to put random objects in their mouth may have disappeared by 3 years old, the desire to play with flashy lights and fun, musical toys is still ever present. Unfortunately for shoppers, this demographic sees a giant leap in specific toys children like, with some youngsters leaning towards interactive devices while others love soft stuffed animals. For this age, knowing the child well will do wonders for buying the perfect holiday gift.

WowWee Fingerlings HUGS

These overly cute, soft animals are perfect for any child who just loves to have a soft, cuddly toy to carry around and adore. Designed specifically for hugging and comfort, the WowWee line even interacts with the child with expressions, burps and toots. The more interaction they get, the more they’ll respond.

Imaginext Jurassic World, T-Rex Dinosaur

It should come as no surprise that children love dinosaurs. There’s just something majestically magnificent about large, scary creatures that entertain young imaginations. This non-scary, cute monstrosity comes to life by a handle in the back that children can use to control movement and lights. This Imaginext toy also features a fun jeep and Owen figure. Just note that the toy does include projectiles, so make sure to keep a close eye on the loved one to make sure they don’t injure themselves or someone else.

Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower

PAW Patrol has been a massive force of entertainment for youngsters over the last several years and their toy line continues to impress. Not only is the brand great at marketing to children, their lines of toy products continue to be knockouts as well. The Lookout Tower is no exception, featuring vehicles, lights, sounds, and tiny PAW Patrol figurines. This particular tower features hours of playtime, but parents need to know that it may require additional PAW Patrol purchase to fully complete the set.

Best toys for ages 5 and up

The complexity of toys and purchases for youngsters rises greatly as they grow up and by the time they reach five years old, the wealth of entertainment available is enormous. Narrowing down the right toy will have less to do with worrying over parts and pieces and more to do with knowing the child well, specifically in what forms of entertainment they enjoy most. There are tons of licensing and branding gifts to find, as well as more grown up versions of stuffed animals, dolls, and dinosaurs.


Hatchimals are overly cute, small, fluffy creatures that arrive in eggs and eventually hatch with the help of the child. They contain all the fun of a stuffed animal, while overloading the child with cuteness. They’re kind of like a cross between a Pokemon and a Furby, with the ability to walk, talk, dance, and play games. They require two AA batteries, so if picking this up for a child for the holidays, don’t forget you’ll need an additional purchase to make it work.

Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

What child doesn’t enjoy the bright lights, sounds and mystery of an iPad? The Osmo Genius Kit combines that infatuation with learning tools meant to entertain and educate the child. The app uses real-world pieces to create an interactive learning experience that is both fun and educational. The kit comes with an iPad stand, pieces, and storage containers. It’s not available as an Android toy, so make sure the child will have an iPad they can use before purchasing.

Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie

While the younger child demographics may feature a plethora of Elmo options, the Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie has the Star Wars fan in mind when it comes to interactive cuteness overload. This cute Chewie responds to almost any movement, along with voice response. His face is full of emotional responses and the furry creature is anything but scary. The box for this Chewie features a Try Me button, so if out shopping for this as a gift, make sure to buy from the back of the isle as the ones furthest away are less likely to have been played with by the occasional shopper, and thus more likely to have a longer lasting battery.

Best toys for ages 9 and up

By age nine, most children have developed a strong liking to particular subjects in school, as well as particular entertainment niches. Their exposure to literature characters and creatures is high and their television and film watching can often know no bounds. As a result, some of the best toy gifts are often ones based on established entertainment brands such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Pokemon.

LEGO 75954 Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit

Easily one of the best Harry Potter Lego kits you can buy, the Great Hall Building Kit is wonderful due to its many minifigures included in the box, its complexity as a build, and its recognition among any Harry Potter fan. Many pieces of action and drama unfold in the Great Hall and this Lego kit contains almost everything you’d need to relive some of the book’s and film’s best moments. There’s a total of 878 pieces here and it is considered an advanced building set, specifically great for children from nine to fourteen years old.

Pokemon Shining Legends Elite Trainer Box Pokemon trading cards are still hugely popular and this Shining Legends Elite box would be a wonderful addition for any fan of the card game. This particular box comes with special cards, including a new shiny version of the Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh, in foil variation. There’s also ten booster packs, sleeves to protect your cards, a player’s guide, dice, and a free coin.

Infinus Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf toys are always some of the hottest holiday gifts to give and it doesn’t get any better than the Infinus Nerf N-Strike Elite. Nerf has really upped their game in the toy weapon department over the last several years, specifically creating the Speed-Load tech that auto-loads darts into the unit. This particular toy gun is fully motorized, meaning the toy is more just a point and shoot explosion of fun. Also included here are thirty total darts, but it’s always advised that shoppers purchase additional darts for maximum enjoyment, if the budget allows.

Best toys for ages 14 and up

Gift shopping for a preteen can often be a struggle in and of itself, so we’ve narrowed down a few options that are sure to entertain. These choices are based on entertainment value alone, perfect for that child who likes to bend the rules, laugh hysterically, all while having a total blast.

Exploding Kittens Card Game One of the biggest games ever on Kickstarter, Exploding Kittens is what happens when you take the idea of family and friends all sitting around the kitchen table playing cards and add in the hilarity of explosions. And kittens. Players try to do their best not to draw the exploding kittens cards, taking turns around the table until someone goes boom.

Hasbro Monopoly Game: Cheaters Edition

While Monopoly may be a staple at game night in homes around the world, this version of the game aims to change things up a bit by enticing, and rewarding, players for cheating. New cheat cards have been added in that are meant to give players bonuses to abuse over the course of the game. If you successfully pull off the designated cheat without getting caught, you net the reward. If you get busted, you face a severe penalty. There’s no tax, there’s no railroad properties, and the chance and community chest cards are designed to help you do more potential cheats.

K'NEX Thrill Rides – Bionic Blast Roller Coaster

Easily one of the best K’NEX sets ever released, the Bionic Blast Roller Coaster is an absolutely amazing building and engaging set. The set features 809 pieces and a motor, giving an building enthusiast tons of design and building fun. K’NEX has developed their own virtual reality app that interacts with the final design build, allowing you to not only build your creation in the real world but to then experience what it would be like to ride it in the virtual world.

Created September 10, 2018, last updated February 1, 2019

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