Stumped for Christmas gift ideas for your kids? We’ve rounded up the top 2019 toy trends, from squishy plushies to interactive pets and ubiquitous surprise dolls
With the countdown to Christmas now on in earnest, kiddos are writing their letters to Santa and parents are trying to figure out the best Christmas gifts for kids. If toys top their list, you’ve come to the right place, mama! We’ve rounded up the hottest 2019 toy trends and are also letting you know what our own kids – who range in age from 1 to 10 – have been asking for. And if you’ve got older kids, be sure to check out our gift guide for tweens and teens.
Swipe through for the top 2019 toy trends this Christmas
Lead image via LOL Surprise Facebook
We’re hearing lots of buzz about Beyblades from our team members with kids in the 7-to-10 range. In the words of 7-year-old Josh:
“Beyblades are cool because you can battle with them, and you get rippers with them too, which launch the Beyblade. To battle, you need to use the ripper and launch your Beyblade and whoever breaks or falls apart or stops spinning is the loser. If they don’t hit, which means they won’t break, then the first one to stop spinning is the loser. But if they hit then one breaks and they’re the loser. You can trade, like Pokemon cards, but if you win or lose it doesn’t really matter, you just put them back together and battle again.”
Just go with it, mamas. P.S. The short name for Beyblades is “Bey” (not to be confused with “bae”). For what it’s worth, prices generally start at about $11 and most products seem to be in the $20-$30 range.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, a few pretty huge kids’ movies have come out this year! Frozen 2 is currently burning up the box office (ironically), with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker set to premiere in Singapore on December 19 (we know this isn’t expressly a kids’ movie, but kids do love it!). And of course there are more than enough superheroes to go around thanks to Avengers: Endgame.
Any and all merchandise relating to these films is hot, hot, hot (and thankfully available pretty much everywhere), but some of the most popular items we’ve seen include:
- A super-realistic looking Star Wars Lightsaber ($53.11)
- LEGO Elsa’s Ice Palace ($119.99) and a Fisher-Price version for younger kids (currently only available in the U.S. for US$39.82, but it ships here!)
- NERF Avengers Black Panther Assembler Gear ($39.99)
- Avengers Endgame POP! Captain America Figurine ($19.90)
- LEGO Boost Star Wars Droid Commander ($329.90)
You can also check out our kids’ gift guide for some of our other fave Frozen picks. Finally, although Disney+ hasn’t officially launched here, The Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian is taking the world by storm, in particular the memeriffic Baby Yoda. The super-cute Baby Yoda Plushie pictured above (US$24.99) was just released on pre-order, though sadly it doesn’t seem like it’ll ship in time for Christmas. You can surely find plenty of Baby Yoda-inspired merch on Etsy in the meantime, though!
This trend for kids 5+ seems to come directly from the fact that kids today LOVE watching other children unwrap presents on YouTube (while grownups do the same thing watching influencers unbox stuff on IG). Take a look at Amazon’s Top 100 Toys list and you’ll see no less than eight items from LOL Surprise, which seems to be leading the trend with its collectible dolls and pets, who come with a variety of mix-and-match accessories. Prices start at around $12 (and go up into the hundreds).
Blume Dolls (pictured above) are another hot toy. To the untrained eye they look awfully similar to LOL Surprise dolls with their giant eyes and tiny bodies, but in this case they magically grow out of a plant pot after you sprinkle it with water. We’re not thrilled about the messaging on the website (“Each Blume Doll’s signature style is defined by her choice of clothes and friends”), but at least kids will learn gardening skills? Prices start at around $11; find them at Amazon, Toys ‘R’ Us and Lazada.
Other hot “surprise” toys (generally for kids ages 5 and up due to small parts):
- 5-Surprise (“five layers of surprise in one toy!”)
- Treasure X
- Foodie Surprise Mystery Food Cart
- Lost Kitties
- Roblox Mystery Figures
- Lucky Fortune Blind Collectible Bracelets
Image via Amazon.sg
Plushies have gone branded, mama! Our MD Emilie returned from visiting family in Australia and reported that her kids (7 and 10) couldn’t get enough of Squishmallows. When I asked, “Wait, just to confirm, these are just plush toys, right?” she replied:
“These are particularly well made and super soft. Kids love to cuddle with it and they have really cute and fun designs. My kids got given two over the summer from friends and they both got so excited (beats me). Anyway I got one for my 2-year-old nephew and one for 13-year-old niece, and they both also both love it.”
MüshMeez are even squishier, come in a variety of sizes, and also have a whole bunch of plush sister toy brands. You can find them in all the trendiest animal forms, including unicorns and narwhals. We found one MüshMeez, a large rainbow llama available for $27.55 on Amazon.sg, but there’s a much wider selection on Amazon in the US (and they do ship to Singapore!).
If you’re not keen to give your kids a real pet this Christmas, do the next best thing and give ‘em something so cute they’ll want to keep it around at all times. On Team Sassy, our kids (5+) are big on Pixie Bells, “Interactive Enchanted Animals” that tell you their mood with their color-changing horn and can even detect your child’s cheek to give them a kiss! Their tails are interchangeable and wearable, and can be worn in the hair, on the wrist, or even as a keychain. Batteries required.
Morphimals (pictured above) are another one topping toy trend lists around the world. They are bendable, cute, zingy and clingy. We like how engaging they are and how they seem to promote fine motor skills and sensory awareness. Find them on Amazon.sg for $17.21 each.
Combining three of this year’s big trends (baby animals, plushies and surprise) and suitable for younger kids from age 3, Cutetitos Babitos are cute little baby animals (12 in all) who come wrapped in a burrito blanket stuffed inside a taco shell. For an extra element of surprise, you can check the Babito’s “hot spot” to find out if their personality is mild, medium, hot or super spicy, and they also surprise you with a “gender reveal” diaper in pink or blue. Find them at Toys ‘R’ Us or Amazon.sg.
Finally, classic Fingerlings have been around for a while, but they’re awfully cute and come in a huge range of animals and styles sure to appeal to boys and girls alike. Like Pixie Bells, Fingerlings can wrap around your child’s finger and are interactive, responding to sound, motion and touch with blinking eyes, head turns, and various sounds. And of course they’ll blow you a kiss back!
Slime has been on the scene for a while now (in fact we’ve even shown you how to make your own slime for just $20!), but each and every year the varieties and textures seem to get more elaborate. Here are some of the most popular slimes (and other assorted compounds) that are hot gifts this Christmas:
- Fluffy Cloudz and Glitzi Squishy
- Foam Alive Make ‘n’ Melt Ice Cream Kit
- Play-Doh Compound Corner Variety 6-Pack: Slime, Cloud, Krackle, Stretch, Foam
- National Geographic Ultimately Play Sand
- Playfoam (The popular Playfoam Pals feature – surprise! – surprise animals but are only available in the U.S.)
- Poopsie Rainbow Surprise Dolls (more with the surprises!) including DIY Slime Kits
Perhaps more “educational” than some of the other toys listed above, these are all toys that are meant to get kids thinking, boosting skills like problem-solving, creativity and experimentation. STEM and STEAM (that extra ‘a’ is for Art) cast a wide net – toys as basic as building blocks fall under the umbrella – but these are some particularly popular STEAM toys for 2019:
- Coding Critters: For ages 4 and up
- My Robotic Pet Tumbling Hedgehog: One of the year’s most talked-about toys. Use the 172 pieces to build your own sound-activated robotic hedgehod that can tumble, roll, and scurry. For ages 7 and up
- Galt Rainbow Lab Science Experiments: For ages 5 and up
- Potato Pirates Coding Card Game: For ages 7 and up
- Tegu Travel Pal Magnetic Whale: For ages 0+
Last but not least, you can never go wrong with the classic MagnaTiles, which are a fabulous open-ended toy at just about any age (and well worth the investment).
My 10-year-old daughter wants glitter pens along with a glue gun stick with colour and/or glitter (you can get these on Lazada!). She’s also asked for the natural materials to make her own lipstick, such as food colouring, beeswax, and shea butter. And she wants a narwhal keychain that she saw at the NBC Stationery shop at Raffles City.
For our 1-year-old son, we are getting him a nice wooden toy walker from The Better Toy Store, and he’s also obsessed with a wooden activity cube we got him from Amazon. He loves it!
Image: Van Walker ($79.90) at The Better Toy Store
My kids are struggling to come up with ideas this year, a weird problem to have! And while my 7-year-old was starting to doubt the big guy in red’s existence, he’s done a last minute about-face and requested a present that only someone with magic could deliver on. The 3-year-old still doesn’t really understand the whole thing, so although she seems confident that Santa will deliver, most of her requests are unfortunately not possible!
7-year old’s realistic requests:
- A Ninjago LEGO set (pictured above)
- ANY Nintendo Switch game ( but I’m thinking the LEGO one!)
Unrealistic requests: A jetpack
3-year-old’s realistic requests: Elsa doll
Unrealistic requests: A kitten, a bunny, a puppy
I’m kind of shocked that at age 5 my daughter still manages to be fairly restrained in her present requests to Santa (though perhaps she knows her grandparents will fill in the gaps anyway). The only two things she’s asked for are a dollhouse and a mermaid tail she can wear in the swimming pool (I have no idea where she’s even seen or heard about these!). I ordered the latter from Amazon in the U.S. and was relieved to discover it ships here for about $10.
She’s also recently gotten super into boardgames (Zingo is her current fave), and I may get her Potato Pirate (mentioned above in the STEM section). Friends have also recommended Hoot Owl Hoot and Outfoxed.
My son Tad is only 2 so we’ve thankfully got at least another year before he starts drafting lists to Santa, but of course he wants to do whatever his sister does and will want to open something on Christmas morning. He is basically obsessed with arctic sea creatures due to a lengthy unit on Baby Beluga at his preschool, so we got him some narwhal stickers and I may splurge on this Jellycat Walrus Plushie that we saw when walking through Takashimaya (for the past couple months he has referred to himself as “Baby Walrus”).
Image via FinFunMermaid