Despite supply-chain snafus, product shortages and delivery snags this fall, Marissa Silva, editor-in-chief of industry publication Toy Insider, has some good news for holiday shoppers: You should still be able to find some of the most popular toys heading into the holidays.
“That’s what we’re hearing from all the toy manufacturers,” Silva told CBS MoneyWatch. “They’re getting those containers cleared. And they’re getting the products into stores. So the best thing that people can do is just to keep checking back over and over and go to the store — even if you think something is sold out.”
Another plus: Some retailers are also offering discounts if you buy more than one “evergreen” toy popular across ages and tastes, like board games. One reason? They tend to be well stocked because of their broad appeal, and some are assembled in the U.S., which means supplies are plentiful.
“Board games, building sets, [and] arts and crafts toys are very generic and can be enjoyed by lots and lots of kids. You don’t have that same like character-driven element pushing toy sales,” Silva said. “They are always very well stocked.”
To be sure, some hot toys are selling out fast, Silva said. They include Magic Mixies and the Hot Wheels Mario Kart Rainbow Road Raceway, both on the publication’s top 10 list. Another trend — more character-driven toys tied to movies and video games are returning as the pace of new films and shows picks up, she noted.
And electronic toys that require chips?
“A lot of this stuff is typically already pre-manufactured months and months and months ago, and it’s just about getting it over here,” Silva said, adding that for now, toymakers “expect that the toy stock is actually going to be pretty good.”
Here’s a look at the top 10 most popular toys this season, according to Toy Insider:
1. Squishmallows Food Squad
The plush stuffed toys, which come in sizes from 3.5 inches to 24 inches, gained popularity on TikTok and other social media. Characters include Carmelita the S’more, Bernardo the Burrito, Tex the Taco, Bernice the Boba, Sinclair the Avocado Toast and Clara the Cupcake.
Suggested retail prices range from $2.99 to $59.
“You can’t find a retailer that doesn’t carry Squishmallows,” Silva said.
Jazwares, the manufacturer, has “great, long-standing relationships in the specialty industry. So even the little neighborhood toy stores, you can find Squishmallows there, too.”
2. Count-Along Basket & Scanner from Leapfrog
Kids carry the shopping basket or expand it into a rolling cart. The game includes play food, shopping lists and an interactive scanner. The interactive toy reinforces learning. Players scan items to find out their name, color and number. In “count mode,” players must follow the scanner’s directions to scan food up to 10 times.
“It’s not just the role-play aspect, which is really important, but you’re also learning numbers, shapes, colors, identifying different foods — there’s just so much educational play packed in there, too,” Silva said.
The toy is recommended for kids 2 years old and has a suggested retail price of $34.99. It’s available in most big-box stores as well as on Amazon.
3. Disney Junior Mickey Mouse Funhouse Wacky Wheeler Dump Truck (Just Play)
The motorized dump truck features Mickey in the driver’s seat. The truck moves forward, backwards, spins and does wheelies. Kids can make their own construction site or obstacle course.
For ages 3 and up. The item, with a suggested price of $49.99, is available at Walmart and other retailers.
4. The Encanto Magical Casa Madrigal (Disney/Jakks Pacific)
Lights, sounds, music, and features are tied directly to the movie “Encanto.” The playset is more than 15 inches tall with three floors, seven rooms, a Mirabel doll and 15 accessories. Mirabel activates a music and light show throughout the house.
For ages 3 and up. Priced at $79.99 and available at Walmart, Target and Amazon.
5. Hot Wheels Mario Kart Rainbow Road Raceway (Mattel)
Course reaches eight-feet long and 24 inches high, with a straight or curved layout. Includes pop-up features, 3D sculpted figures and parking spaces. Comes with two Mario Kart 1: 64 scale die-cast “karts,” Mario and King Boo.
For ages 4 and up with a suggested price of $139.99. Available at Amazon, Entertainment Earth, Target and Walmart.
Rounding out the top 10 most popular toys for the holidays this year, according to Toy Insider:
- My Squishy Little Dumplings: For ages 4 and up, $14.99 at Amazon, Target and Walmart.
- Magic Mixies: For ages 5 and up, $69.99 at AAFES, Amazon, Fred Meyer, HEB, HyVee, Meijer, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Target.
- Osmo Genius Starter Kit: For ages 6 and up, $99 at PlayOsmo.com.
- Tamagotchi Pix (Bandai America): For ages 6 and up, $59.99, major retailers.
- BattleBots Arena Max: For ages 8 and up, $119.99, Amazon, Target.
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