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The Toy Insider™ Experts Help Shoppers Sleigh the Holidays with the Hottest Toys of 2020
The Child, L.O.L. Surprise, Blue’s Clues, YouTube-Inspired Toy Lines, and Budget-Friendly Fun Top the Toy Insider's Hot 20, STEM 10, and 12 Under $12 Lists

September 23, 2020 – New York, NY – The Toy Insider, the toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers, today unveiled its expert picks for the best kids’ toys and gifts in its 15th annual holiday gift guide. The hottest and most coveted items for 2020 are broken out into three lists: the Hot 20 (the most wished-for items of the year), the STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering and math toys that make learning fun) and the 12 Under $12 (affordable toys packed with play value and unboxing experiences).

Shopping for holiday gifts will look different this year as the Coronavirus pandemic continues: social distancing guidelines are still in place, limiting the number of in-store shoppers; retailers are starting holiday promotions earlier; and consumers are increasingly conscious of their spending during a tough economic year.

"This holiday shopping season will be unlike any other. It will be in your best interest to plan ahead and grab these hot toys before you start carving out your pumpkins,” said Laurie Schacht, Chief Toy Officer, The Toy Insider. “Playtime offers a powerful way of coping with the world we live in, and the wide assortment of toys we reviewed for this year's holiday gift guide showcase the innovative, creative and affordable ways toymakers are serving the needs of families during challenging times.”

This year’s hand-picked selections represent an extensive variety of open-ended toys to keep kids busy; screen-free playthings filled with educational value; toys that promote diversity, sustainability, and accessibility; and affordable toys that fit any budget, among many more categories that are sure to please kids of all ages this holiday season.  

For high-res product photography and broadcast-quality B-roll footage of The Toy Insider’s Hot 20, STEM 10 and 12 Under $12, as well as detailed product fact sheets and 2020 toy trends, click here 

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20

0-2 years 
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen (Mattel)
Speak & Learn Puppy (LeapFrog)

3-4 years 
Blippi Recycling Truck (Jazwares)
Blues Clues & You! Dance-Along Blue Plush (Just Play)
Barbie Color Reveal Slumber Party Fun (Mattel)
Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ (WowWee)
PJ Masks Transforming 2 in 1 Mobile HQ (Just Play)
Ryan’s World Shadow Warrior Ninja Mystery Box (Bonkers Toys)
Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (Hasbro)

5-7 years 
KidiZoom Creator Cam (VTech)
LEGO Super Mario Adventure Starter Course (The LEGO Group)
Present Pets (Spin Master)
Rainbow High Fashion Dolls (MGA Entertainment)
Squeakee the Balloon Dog (Moose Toys)
Zoe (Healthy Roots Dolls)

8+ years
Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set (Hasbro)
Chocolate Pen (Skyrocket)
Pokémon Trading Card Game Battle Academy (The Pokémon Co.)
Snap Ships Gladius AC-75 Drop Ship (PlayMonster)

The Toy Insider’s STEM 10

3D Build & Play (3Doodler)
Apollo — A Game Inspired by the NASA Moon Missions (Buffalo Games)
Blockaroo (Blue Marble)
Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot (Learning Resources)
Circuit Explorer (Educational Insights)
Crayola STEAM Paper Flower Science Kit (Crayola)
DIY Music Maker Science Lab (hand2mind)
JIMU Robot Mythical Series: Firebot Kit (UBTECH Robotics)
Mega Cyborg Hand (Thames & Kosmos)
National Geographic Science Magic (Blue Marble)

The Toy Insider’s 12 Under $12

5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 2 (ZURU)
Blume Petal Pets (Skyrocket)
Butter Cloudz Castle Bucket (WeCool Toys)
Cats vs. Pickles (Cepia)
Curligirls (Basic Fun!)
Glitter Burst (YULU)
Junkbots (HEXBUG)
Kitten Catfe Purrista Girls (JAKKS Pacific)
L.O.L. Surprise! Present Surprise (MGA Entertainment)
Oh! My Gif – 1-Bit Pack (Moose Toys)
Ravel Tales (Sunny Days Entertainment)
Something Wild Card Games (Funko Games)

The Toy Insider‘s 2020 holiday gift guide will appear in the November issue of PARENTS magazine, on newsstands on Oct. 5. An extended guide appears online at starting today. This year’s print guide features nearly 160 toys, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 110 toy companies in total.  

Parents and gift-givers can easily search for toys and games by a child’s age (broken out into 0-2, 3-4, 5-7 and 8+ age groups). They can also view the guide online with their children to create a wish list of favorite toys, making holiday shopping easy for friends and family.  

The Toy Insider is an independent organization. Its team of experts attends major toy industry trade shows and events, and conducts briefings with manufacturers, retailers and analysts throughout the year. The Toy Insider gift guide submission process is open to all toy companies, of all sizes. Toys must be new for 2020 and available to consumers for purchase for the holiday season, either on the company’s website or widely available through any retail partner. When evaluating toys, the team considers play value, originality, skill building, product integrity and, of course, fun factor.  

To join in the holiday toy fun on social media this season, use #weknowplay and find @TheToyInsider on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

About The Toy Insider

The Toy Insider is the go-to source for product information about children's toys, tech and entertainment. It publishes two annual gift guides—one for summer and one for holiday—and reviews toys 365 days a year on, a trusted resource for parents. The Toy Insider’s content is produced by an editorial team with more than 100 years of combined experience covering the toy industry. The Toy Insider is published by Adventure Media & Events, publisher of The Pop Insider, a daily pop culture news and review site that fuels fandoms, as well as leading trade publication The Toy Book. For more information, visit and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

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Elizabeth Tran
LKPR, Inc.
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The Toy Insider’s 15th annual Holiday Gift Guide features more than 300 toys from more than 100 different manufacturers. The hottest and most coveted items for 2020 are broken out into three lists: the Hot 20, STEM 10, and 12 Under $12.