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What’s Trending in the Toy Box? The Toy Insider™ Experts Dish on What’s Hot to Help Holiday Shoppers Find Toys Sure to “Wow” Kids and Kidults

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A Barbie-fueled doll craze, toys inspiring future chefs and makers, parent-approved pets and active toys, plushies in all shapes and sizes, plus toys and games made for adults, all on trend 

 NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ —The Toy Insider, the toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers, revealed the top toy trends of 2023 and expert toy picks from each trend for effortless holiday shopping. As inflation persists in toy aisles this holiday season, consumers should prepare to add a couple more dollars to their budget and shop early to find trending toys at the best price.


The Toy Insider revealed the top toy trends of 2023 and expert toy picks from each trend for effortless holiday shopping.

“This year’s trending toys are filled with thoughtful and fun innovations, giving everyone the chance to revel in the joy of play, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart,” says Marissa Silva, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The Toy Insider. “We’re seeing trusted classics—dolls, stuffed animals, active toys and activity kits—undergo a modern-day renaissance for today’s kids. More options are tapping into kids’ love of food and pets. Plus, a rapidly growing assortment of options for adults proves grown-ups just want to have fun, too!”

Shoppers can choose from a wide range of trending toys, with something for every budget, using The Toy Insider’s 18th annual Holiday Gift Guide. Broken down by age, the guide has more than 360 toys from 135 vetted toymakers, with direct links to multiple retailers for an easy toy shopping experience. 

The Toy Insider’s Top Toy Trends of 2023:  

Hello, Dolly!: Thanks in large part to Barbie: The Movie, the doll aisle is busier than ever! These classic toys promote social skills, inspire imaginations, and spark creativity.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: Barbie Dreamhouse Playset (Mattel), Cry Babies Newborn (IMC Toys), Disney ily 4EVER Fashion Dolls (JAKKS Pacific), Fidgie Friends Fairie Garden (Sunny Days Entertainment), Glitter Girls Gia & Gypsy (Glitter Girls), Hugs & Giggles (Madame Alexander), Latinistas Fashion Dolls (Purpose Toys), Rainbow High Color & Create (MGA Entertainment), Style Bae (Just Play), The Fresh Beats Collection (The Dr. Lisa Co., formerly World of EPI)

Bake It ’til Ya Make It: They always say, “Don’t play with your food,” but we must disagree! These toys encourage pretend play in the kitchen, from popping pizzas in the oven to mixing up batches of cookies!

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: Build-a-Slice Pizza Cart (LeapFrog), Cook & Care Kitchen Nursery (Step2), Cookeez Makery (Moose Toys), Disney Princess Style Collection Fresh Prep Gourmet Kitchen (JAKKS Pacific), MGA’s Miniverse Make It Mini Food Café & Diner – Series 2 (MGA Entertainment), Mini Brands Series 5 Capsule (ZURU), My Baking Oven with Magic Cookies (Hape), Pretendables Cinnamon Roll Set (Fat Brain Toys), Shape Sorting Grocery Cart (Melissa & Doug), Sushi Go – Spin Some for Dim Sum (Gamewright)

Kids @ Heart: “Kidulting” is a big buzzword this year because toys have a new audience: adults! More grownups are playing with toys than ever, and toy companies are making toys with kids at heart in mind.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: 3Doodler Flow 3D Printing Pen Set (3Doodler), Crayola HD Coloring Set (Crayola), Deadlines (Foxmind), Disney Castle Revolution (Ravensburger), Kanoodle Pyramid (Educational Insights), Lite-Brite Touch (Basic Fun!), Monopoly Prizm: NBA Edition Game (Hasbro), Rainbow Brite 3-inch Figures (The Loyal Subjects), Risk The 1980’s Edition (Winning Moves Games), Super Mario Wonder (Nintendo)

Make & Create: Whether it’s learning how things work or gaining a new hobby, the benefits of creating something or learning a new skill are monumental for kids at any age! If they love music, building, jewelry, beauty, or anything else, there are plenty of ways for kids to unleash their creativity.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: Craft Your Own PomPom Purse (Purple Ladybug), Hydraulic Boxing Bots (Thames & Kosmos), Magic Sketch Glow (Boogie Board), Monster High Ghoulish Glam Nail Salon (Cra-Z-Art), Penn & Teller Magic Lab VR (Abacus Brands), Pinxies Unicorn Creation Studio (Luki Lab), Snap FM Radio (Snap Circuit), STMT Infinity Jewelry (Horizon Group USA), Switch & Go 3-in-1 Rescue Rex (VTech), Tinkertar (Buffalo Games)

Movin’ and Groovin’: We know how important regular movement can be to both physical and mental health — so why not use playtime to encourage kids to move? These playthings get kids moving, dancing, and staying active.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: 3-in-1 Skate Trainer (Flybar), Bebé Fuerte Stack & Count Kettlebell (TOMY), Bluey 12-inch Kids Bike (Dynacraft), CoComelon Big Bouncer (Bestway USA), Droyd Romper (Droyd), KanJam Pickleball (Eastpoint Sports), Koosh Face-Off (PlayMonster), Laser X Ultra Double Blasters (NSI International), Sesame Street Elmo Slide (Just Play), Stapelstein Rainbow Set Classic (Stapelstein)

Pet FrenzyNo mess, no stress—just fun! Kids can care for these digital pets and furry friends that encourage nurturing and responsibility, while providing companionship.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: Bitzee (Spin Master), Furby (Hasbro), Jurassic Park Real FX Baby T. Rex (Wow! Stuff), Little Live Pets My Puppy’s Home (Moose Toys), MINTiD Dog-E (WowWee), My Fuzzy Friends: Magic Whispers Kitty (Skyrocket), Pokémon Dreams Plush (The Pokémon Co.), Pokémon Train & Play Deluxe Pikachu (Jazwares), PYXEL: A Coder’s Best Friend (Educational Insights), Tamagotchi Uni (Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America)

Pint-Size Pals: There’s nothing better than a bestie—and a lot of times, kids really connect with the characters they see in their go-to entertainment content. Kids’ BFFs from their favorite shows and movies come to life in the toy box!

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: Disney Bluetooth Karaoke with Wireless Mic and Easy Link Technology (eKids), Batman and Wonder Woman Tonies (tonies), LEGO Disney 100 Years of Disney Animated Icons (LEGO), Numberblocks Step Squad Mission Headquarters (hand2mind), PAW Patrol Chase’s Mighty Transforming Cruiser (Spin Master), Playmobil 1.2.3. & Disney: Winnie’s & Piglet’s Tree House (Playmobil), RTR Blaze RC Rock Crawler (NKOK), Sonic Prime Paradox Prism (PMI Kids’ World), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem Pizza Fire Van (Playmates Toys), YuMe Disney 100 Surprise Capsules (YuMe)

Plush-a-Palooza: Plush toys are often one of the most memorable staples of childhood—and this year, they are hot, hot, HOT for kids of all ages. Stuffed animals, collectibles, and plushies in all shapes and sizes are topping wish lists this year.

The Toy Insider’s Favorites: BumBumz (Jazwares), Bumpas (Bumpas), Care Bears Sequin Cheer Bear (Basic Fun!), Emotional Support Fries (Relatable, formerly What Do You Meme?), Fluffie Stuffiez (MGA Entertainment), GUND Sustainably Soft Plush (Spin Master), Snackles Super Sized 14-inch Snackles (ZURU), Squishmallows (Jazwares), TeeTurtle Plushie Tote Bags (TeeTurtle), Vs World Cows Vs. Aliens (Cepia)

About The Toy Insider

The Toy Insider is the go-to source for information about toys, tech and entertainment. Its expert team publishes two seasonal gift guides yearly and reviews toys daily to find what’s hot and trending. Visit www.thetoyinsider.com for reviews, toy news, giveaways and parenting tips. Follow them on InstagramTwitterFacebook and YouTube.

SOURCE The Toy Insider

Consumer Corner

LITTLEST PET SHOP CELEBRATES THE YEAR OF THE BOBBLE BY ENCOURAGING FANS ACROSS THE GLOBE TO ‘BOBBLE TO THE BEAT’

Following an Epic NYC Premiere Event, Basic Fun! Invites Fans Around the World to Unleash the Bobble with a Custom Song and Dance Challenge Inspired by the Pets

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BOCA RATON, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Today, LITTLEST PET SHOP, one of the most well-known collectible toy brands in history, released a call to action to fans around the world to ‘unleash the bobble’. In celebration of the franchise’s long-anticipated return to retail in January – this is sure to be the “Year of the Bobble”! Debuting last week with a pop-up performance at Toys”R”Us at Macy’s Herald Square, Macy’s flagship location in New York City, the Bobble to the Beat social campaign encourages kids and kidults alike to showcase their dancing skills and bobble along with LITTLEST PET SHOP wherever they are, featuring custom choreography alongside an original LITTLEST PET SHOP brand anthem. 

LITTLEST PET SHOP celebrates its’ long-anticipated return to retail with the #BobbleToTheBeat social campaign encouraging kids and kidults alike to bobble along to the custom brand anthem.

To kickstart the craze, TikTok creators @Alexdwong, @GiaNina and @MelissaBecraft, along with the iconic @ToysRUs Geoffrey the Giraffe™ led a flash mob performance of 20+ dancers through Macy’s, and are helping LITTLEST PET SHOP rally fans with dance tutorials, already sparking over 3 million views across Instagram and TikTok. Both the brand anthem and dance challenge, choreographed by acclaimed New York City-based professional director, choreographer, content creator, and producer Michael McCrary, are inspired by the beloved bobblin’ motion of LITTLEST PET SHOP pets, which is featured across figures in the latest Generation 7 of the line. Consumers around the world can join in on the LITTLEST PET SHOP relaunch celebration by gathering their own crew to show off their take on the dance on social media using the hashtag #BobbleToTheBeat.

“It’s essential we relaunched LITTLEST PET SHOP with a creative call to action that would introduce this iconic brand to new audiences on the platforms where they are, and also excite our longtime collectors,” said Katy Katz, Head of Digital Marketing & E-Commerce at Basic Fun! “The ‘Bobble to The Beat’ social campaign perfectly captures the essence of the signature quirky, edgy, and undeniably cute pets that have been loved for decades. Ultimately, we hope to inspire kids of all ages to let down their guard and unleash their own ‘bobble’ with us and LITTLEST PET SHOP!”

With over 1 billion pets sold worldwide since the brand’s initial launch by Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) over 30 years ago, LITTLEST PET SHOP was the original pet collectible with more than 3,000 pets to collect, display, and trade. Returning to retail this January, the LITTLEST PET SHOP line will feature over 120 bobblin’ pets by the end of the year, including new pets, packs, and playsets available in more than 20 countries worldwide. The first series in Generation 7 features a wide range of new characters to collect and cherish, available within LITTLEST PET SHOP Pet Surprise Singles, LITTLEST PET SHOP Pet Pairs, and LITTLEST PET SHOP Pet Trios assortments, Play Packs and Playsets. Products are available at mass and specialty retailers worldwide, including Macy’s, Toys”R”Us, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Five Below, GameStop and more in the U.S. Learn more at LittlestPetShop.com.

To further the LITTLEST PET SHOP experience, Roblox players can also bobble with the brand on the global immersive platform, which will debut a custom bobble dance emote available in-game starting today! Following the wildly successful collaboration between LITTLEST PET SHOP Master Toy licensee, Basic Fun!, a leading global marketer of toys and consumer products, Hasbro, Inc., a leading toy and game company, and Suit Up Games, a Roblox development studio specializing in high-engagement branded experiences for young audiences, the LITTLEST PET SHOP pet-simulation gaming experience has surpassed over 3.5 million plays since launching in December 2023.

Ready to unleash the bobble? Follow the official @LITTLESTPETSHOP social channels, including Instagram and TikTok, to join in on the fun using #BobbleToTheBeat. For more information about the LITTLEST PET SHOP brand and product line, visit LittlestPetShop.com.

ABOUT BASIC FUN! INC.
Basic Fun! is a dynamic global marketer of classic and innovative children’s entertainment products for today’s kids. The company plays in many core toy categories including classic heritage toys, novelty collectibles, building toys, youth electronics, plush, vehicles, dolls and activity/discovery. Basic Fun!’s key brands include: LITTLEST PET SHOP, Care Bears, Cutetitos, POUND PUPPIES, TONKA, K’NEX, LITE-BRITE, Mash’ems, Playhut, Arcade Classics and more! For more information, please visit www.BasicFun.com.

ABOUT HASBRO
Hasbro is a leading toy and game company whose mission is to entertain and connect generations of fans through the wonder of storytelling and exhilaration of play. Hasbro delivers engaging brand experiences for global audiences through toys, consumer products, gaming and entertainment, with a portfolio of iconic brands including MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro Gaming, NERF, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH and PEPPA PIG, as well as premier partner brands.

Hasbro is guided by our Purpose to create joy and community for all people around the world, one game, one toy, one story at a time. For more than a decade, Hasbro has been consistently recognized for its corporate citizenship, including being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media, one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute and one of the 50 Most Community-Minded Companies in the U.S. by the Civic 50. For more information, visit https://corporate.hasbro.com.

SOURCE Basic Fun!

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Automotive

Hyundai Santa Fe and Kona Named to Autotrader’s Best New Cars For 2024 List

Hyundai Santa Fe & Kona honored by Autotrader for Best New Cars 2024, setting new standards in style, performance, and practicality.

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The Autotrader’s Best New Cars for 2024 list has recognized the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2024 Kona SUVs for their exceptional qualities, which include stylish designs, impressive performance, advanced safety features, and practicality. These two models stood out among numerous vehicles in the market and were among the 11 cars, trucks, and SUVs to receive this prestigious acknowledgment. This recognition highlights the outstanding features of both models and reaffirms their position as among the best vehicles in the market.

The Autotrader team evaluated various factors in order to curate their Best New Cars list, including interior comfort, safety and cabin technology, attainability, and driving experience. This comprehensive evaluation process ensures that the chosen vehicles truly excel in all aspects, making them standout choices for consumers. Both the Santa Fe and Kona have proven to exceed expectations in these areas, securing their spots on this coveted list.

Olabisi Boyle, senior vice president of product planning and mobility strategy at Hyundai Motor North America, expressed the company’s pride in receiving this recognition. She stated, “At Hyundai, we are dedicated to listening to customers to craft stylish, well-rounded vehicles tailored to meet the diverse needs of modern drivers with a smart array of ICE and electrified powertrains. This recognition by Autotrader reaffirms Hyundai’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations and enriching their automotive journeys.”

The lineup of Best New Cars for 2024 showcases only the most impressive and innovative vehicles available in the market. Autotrader’s expert editors tested and scored each vehicle to ensure that they go above and beyond to resonate with buyers in their respective segments. Attributes such as interior comfort, build quality, technology, and driving experience were carefully considered in the selection process. As many vehicles are either new or redesigned for 2024, only models that are available for purchase within the next nine months were included in the evaluation.

When it comes to the 2024 Kona, Matt Degen, senior editor at Cox Automotive, shared his impression on the vehicle. He praised its futuristic design and mentioned that it felt familiar, approachable, and even fun when experiencing it from the inside. The Kona has revitalized the subcompact SUV segment with its forward-thinking approach and exceptional value.

Hyundai continues to innovate and cater to the ever-evolving needs of modern drivers. With its range of ICE and electrified powertrains, the company ensures that customers have a variety of choices to suit their preferences and requirements. This commitment to versatility and customer satisfaction has solidified Hyundai’s position as a leader in the automotive industry.

In conclusion, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kona SUVs have rightfully earned their spots on Autotrader’s Best New Cars for 2024 list. Their outstanding features, performance, and practicality have set them apart from the competition. Whether you’re seeking a spacious and advanced SUV like the Santa Fe or a futuristic and value-packed option like the Kona, Hyundai has proven once again that they deliver exceptional vehicles that enhance the automotive journey for modern drivers.

Autotrader
Autotrader is the most recognized third-party car listings brand, with the most engaged audience of in-market car shoppers. As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today’s empowered car shopper looking to find or sell the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-Owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader’s comprehensive marketing and retailing solutions allow consumers to build their deal online, and guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience. Autotrader is a Cox Automotive™ brand. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.

Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America offers U.S. consumers a technology-rich lineup of cars, SUVs, and electrified vehicles, while supporting Hyundai Motor Company’s Progress for Humanity vision. Hyundai has significant operations in the U.S., including its North American headquarters in California, the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama assembly plant, the all-new Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (in development in Georgia), and several cutting-edge R&D facilities. These operations, combined with those of Hyundai’s 835 independent dealers, contribute $20.1 billion annually and 190,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, according to a recent economic impact report. For more information, visit www.hyundainews.com.

Hyundai Motor America on Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | TikTok

Source: Hyundai

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Introducing the All-New 2025 Nissan Kicks: Redefining Compact Crossovers

Introducing the all-new 2025 Nissan Kicks: a compact crossover with innovative technology, sleek design, and unmatched versatility.

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"2025 Nissan Kicks: Redefining Compact Crossovers"

Are you ready to up your crossover game? The all-new 2025 Nissan Kicks is here to raise the bar in the compact crossover segment. With its unexpected levels of available technology, sleek design inspired by high-end sneakers, exceptional versatility, and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, the new Kicks is set to make a lasting impression. Let’s dive into the exciting features of this stunning vehicle.

Confidence on Any Terrain

The 2025 Nissan Kicks is the first-ever Kicks model to offer Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD), providing you with additional confidence and control in various weather conditions and road surfaces. Whether it’s rain, snow, or rough roads, the AWD system ensures that you can navigate through them with ease. Plus, the “Snow” driving mode specifically tunes the all-wheel-drive and vehicle dynamic control systems to optimize performance on slippery surfaces, keeping you safe and secure.

Bold and Expressive Design

When it comes to design, the 2025 Nissan Kicks stands out from the crowd. With its bold and expressive exterior, this compact crossover makes a big impact. The wide stance, fenders, and rounded, protected cabin create an eye-catching silhouette. The lower half of the vehicle features strong fenders and a distinctive boxiness, while the upper body maintains a clean and sleek look.

But the design details don’t stop there. Inspired by athletic sneaker soles, the rocker panels of the Kicks feature an intricate, three-dimensional shape that adds texture and visual interest. Even the rear of the vehicle catches your attention, with a subtle roof spoiler and full-width LED taillights that wrap around into combination lights on the flared rear fenders. The 2025 Nissan Kicks was designed to turn heads on the road.

Modern and Airy Interior

Step inside the 2025 Nissan Kicks, and you’ll be greeted by a modern and airy interior. The dual-screen setup on the dashboard, one for the instrument meter and one for the infotainment system, provides a sleek and futuristic look. The standard 7-inch meter can be upgraded to a striking 12.3-inch unit on the SR grade, offering two display modes for a more traditional or enhanced view.

In terms of comfort and convenience, the Kicks has you covered. The seats feature Nissan’s Zero Gravity™ seating design, providing a more comfortable seating position and reducing fatigue during long journeys. The center console offers plenty of storage space, including two cupholders designed to fit a 30-ounce coffee tumbler and an enclosed storage compartment. The doors also have bottle holders large enough for a 32-ounce tumbler.

Adventure-Ready Spaciousness

The 2025 Nissan Kicks was designed to optimize interior room for both passengers and cargo. Compared to its predecessor, the front and rear of the Kicks offer increased shoulder room and knee room, making road trips more comfortable for everyone. But it’s the cargo space that truly impresses. With up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats raised (and up to 60 cubic feet with the seats lowered), the Kicks leads the class in cargo capacity. It’s perfect for those who need extra room for luggage, sports equipment, or any other adventures you have planned.

Driver Assistance for Maximum Confidence

Safety is a top priority in the 2025 Nissan Kicks. Every model comes standard with Nissan Safety Shield® 360, which includes features like Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Assist. Additionally, the Kicks SR grade offers the class-exclusive Intelligent Around View Monitor, providing a virtual 360-degree, bird’s-eye camera view to simplify parking and low-speed maneuvers.

Effortless Infotainment

Staying connected on the go is essential, and the 2025 Nissan Kicks makes it effortless. With intuitive infotainment features and available wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, you can seamlessly connect your devices without the need for cables. Plus, the Kicks offers up to four USB Type-C ports and a wireless charging pad, ensuring that your devices stay powered up on any journey.

Power and Efficiency

Under the hood, the 2025 Nissan Kicks boasts a 2.0-liter inline-four engine that delivers 141 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. Paired with Nissan’s latest generation Xtronic transmission, this powertrain ensures confident acceleration and efficient performance.

Choose Your Adventure

The 2025 Nissan Kicks is available in three compelling grade levels: S, SV, and SR. With two available Premium packages, you can customize your Kicks to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you want a stylish commuter vehicle or a versatile crossover for your next adventure, there’s a Kicks model for you.

Get ready to elevate your driving experience with the all-new 2025 Nissan Kicks. With its innovative features, sleek design, and reliable performance, this compact crossover has everything you need for an unforgettable journey. Keep an eye out for the Kicks when it arrives at Nissan dealerships later this summer. Pricing details will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

For more information and updates, visit the Nissan USA website or follow Nissan on social media. Buckle up and get ready for the future of compact crossovers with the 2025 Nissan Kicks!

https://www.nissanusa.com/

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