CONSUMER WISE: Hottest toys of 2016

By Angie Moreschi, Consumer Wise
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2016, 7:32 AM EST
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Hatchimals

Hatchimals promise to be the must-have toy of the season.

“Yes, and I have it,” Toys R Us customer Jan Smith laughed.  “I’m so excited!”

Smith managed to snag one of the Hatchimals right after Toys R Us in Clearwater stocked the shelves.

Hatchimals are the latest, interactive pet with a twist.  They’re similar to the Ferby from a few years back, but now, the adorable, little creature comes in a big, plastic, speckled egg.

To get your Hatchimal to hatch from its egg, you have to interact with the shell, which has special touch technology.  When you stroke it and tap it, it lights up and makes sounds and, after about a half hour of loving on your egg, either a “Penguala” or “Draggle” emerges.

The more you interact with the toy, the more it matures and interacts. It can learn to talk, walk and play games, just like a baby growing up.  

They have kids and adults all abuzz.

“I want one! Yes, I want one!” joked grown up Toys R Us customer Aubree Agrinsoni.

Hatchimals cost $70, but are sold-out in many places, forcing prices to sky-rocket on re-sale websites.

Power Wheels Wild Thing

The Power Wheels Wild Thing is another hot item.  It has a joy stick to control steering; goes forward and in reverse; reaches speeds of up to 5 miles per hour; and does complete 360 degree turns—for a twirling, crazy ride.

“It’s, like, awesome,” 10 year old Alex Wakefield said.  “It’s new, so I don’t know anyone who has it yet.  But I know it’s gonna be like the best thing!”

The Wild Thing is for children five years of age and up, and costs $299.99

Code-A-Pillar

For children ages three to six, the Code-a-Pillar is a good direction.

“Snap these together,” Toys R Us manager Trace Quirk demonstrated.  “They have arrows on them and the way you snap them together determines the way that it goes along on the ground.”

It’s designed to keep children learning and engaged. Pre-schoolers can connect segments in endless combinations and send the Code-a-Pillar on its path.  Every time you arrange the pieces, it follows a different path and lights up and makes fun sounds.

The Code-a-Pillar costs about $40.

Selfie Mic

For tweens, the selfie mic is a perfect way to channel their inner rock star.  

“Put your phone on here and your phone is gonna record your video,” Toys R Us manager Trace Quirk demonstrated, attaching a smart phone to the end of the stick and singing into the mic, “I love rock n roll…” 

Movie Inspired Toys

Hollywood movies are once again inspiring some of the hottest toys of the year.  Trolls: the movie, from the creators of Shrek, is sure to score with cute, little, colorful troll dolls; and Star Wars is back this year with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which promises to inspire big sales for light sabers, storm trooper figures and more.

Hunt for Hot Toys

Searching for that perfect toy for your little one can be fun and frustrating, but it pays off with that special, priceless moment when you pick just right.

“Christmas morning when the tree is there, and they have all their presents and then, they’re-- ‘Oh my gosh, Santa came,” said shopper Aubree Agrinsoni, the mom of two little boys.

The best advice:  when it comes to getting those hot toys, don’t wait. Get them now before they sell out.

Click here for more on the toys and prices from the Toys R Us 2016 Hot Toys list.