In a year filled with stress, boredom and a whole lot of screen time, we connected with Chris Byrne, otherwise known as The Toy Guy. He’s an independent toy historian, researcher and consultant.
“Imagination is everything in kids’ play,” he said. “It’s really about having a balance because sitting in front of a screen can be stressful for kids. So, getting that release from any kind of play is really important.”
Below are some toy suggestions from The Toy Guy:
Price: $99.99: Starter kit,
$11.99-$14.99: Additional tonies
Tonies is designed to foster imagination and active, independent play. The system works with the combination of a Toniebox, which is a soft, shockproof, portable five-inch speaker cube with no screens. Tonies, which are hand-painted figurines, contain hours of stories to tell and songs to sing.
Go! Go! Smart Wheels: Ultimate Corkscrew Tower
Ages: 1-5 years
This versatile playset features two track configurations. Children can stack tracks to form an impressive corkscrew track over three-feet high for dizzy downhill fun, or set up the tracks side by side for a dual-track racing experience.
Cave Club Rockelle Doll & Tyrasaurus Dinosaur Playset
Ages: 4 +
Cave Club is the latest dolls Franchise from Mattel. The characters give kids an opportunity to discover the imaginary origins of today’s trends.
Pinxies Unicorn Barn
Manufacturer: Luki Lab
With STEM authentication, Pinxies empowers young girls with problem-solving skills, while inspiring imaginative storytelling with the help of the Pinxies characters. The Unicorn Barn includes more than 240 pieces, three friends (Koral, Lila and Finn), three colorful unicorns, training and care accessories and a sticker sheet for decorating. It even has barn doors that open and a swinging chandelier inside the barn.
Gujo Adventure Mission Mars Rocket
Manufacturer: Luki Lab
With Gujo Adventure, kids can build their world - with epic size proportions - and create their own adventures. With building and role-playing combined, Gujo Adventure is a STEM authenticated line of building sets that will improve kids’ problem-solving skills and narrative abilities while enjoying a fun-filled play experience.
PAW Patrol Dino Patroller
Manufacturer: Spin Master
The Dino Patroller is the first-ever motorized PAW Patrol team vehicle. It features room for all six pups, oversized wheels, a projectile launcher and an exclusive Chase and T. rex dinosaur action figure.
L.O.L. Surprise! Remix Hairflip and L.O.L. Surprise! Remix Pets
Manufacturer: L.O.L. Surprise!
Price:$15.99: Hair Flip, $12.99: Pets
L.O.L Surprise! is dropping a new series in time for the Holidays called LOL Surprise! Remix. Remix Hair Flip dolls are all new characters, and they each represent a music genre – Pop, R&B, Hip Hop or Rock. Remix Pets are also all new characters with real hair, and disguise outfits that make them look like dolls. By connecting 2 L.O.L. Surprise! Hair Flip dolls and 1 L.O.L. Surprise Remix Pets packages., the collection builds a boom box.
Frankie the Funky Flamingo
Long-necked and tall-legged, Frankie the Funky Flamingo from ZURU’s Pets Alive brand entertains. She dances and shakes her feathers to three funky songs. She also includes a collectable Baby Flamingo, which can be used as a pencil topper.