Hot, hot toys for Christmas: L.O.L. Surprise Glitter Globe, Blume Dolls, Pomsies, Kindi Kids, Shopkins Real Littles, Scribble Scrubbies, Lucky Fortune Bracelets and more.We explore the season’s hottest toy trends—from the continuing allure of blind packs and surprise dolls to the tactile draw of all kinds of compounds. —PHOTOS BY PAM PASTOR
The hottest toys for Christmas 2019 explained
We unboxed this season’s top toys to show you exactly what kids are obsessing with
With all the hectic holiday hustling grownups do, where will you find the time to research about the toys that would bring joy to your little girls and boys?
Parents, ninongs and ninangs, titos and titas, lolos and lolas, don’t worry, we got you.
Lifestyle raided the shelves of Toy Kingdom and unboxed this season’s hottest toys to show you exactly what kids are obsessing with.
Let’s demystify toy trends. Consider this your Christmas shopping cheat sheet.
Hatchimals Colleggtibles The Royal Hatch 12-Pack Egg Carton
Toy: Hatchimals Colleggtibles are pretty little eggs that need to be cracked to reveal the Hatchimals hiding inside. The Royal Hatch is part of Hatchimals Colleggtibles’ sixth season, and this fancy egg carton is actually a glittery jewel box that holds 10 glitter eggs and two out-of-egg characters.
Appeal: Hatchimals Colleggtibles are just one of the many lines in the worldwide toy craze of blind bags and surprise packs. They’re highly collectible (erm, colleggtible) and come in varying degrees of rarity.
What makes them unique is the hatching process: You rub the heart on the egg until it changes color, then you crack open the egg to release your Hatchimal.
No, you cannot put the egg together again. Hatching is a one-time experience.
Cost: P1,799.75 for a 12-pack
Verdict: We won’t lie: Cracking the eggs was a lot of fun. When you give a kid Hatchimals Colleggtibles this Christmas, what you’re giving them is more than just the toy, it’s the joy of the hatching experience. Our favorite Hatchimal we hatched? The limited-edition Royal Snowflake Bearakeet.
All the Hatchimals come with a tiny accessory.
Tip for parents: Make sure you check the discarded egg shells for forgotten accessories before throwing them away—we almost lost Salon Bunwee’s brush that way.
Toy: Pomsies are plush interactive pom-pom pets with wraparound tails. They have two modes: Pet and Freeze Dance.
Pomsies are equipped with hidden sensors and can interact and react in about 50 different ways. Kids can also tell how their Pomsie is feeling based on the color of their eyes.
Appeal: These fluffy toys are cute, fun and silly. There are different animals and colors to choose from and all come with a brush. The bendable tail makes them unique—they can be worn around the wrist or hung from bags, making them easy to take around.
Verdict: Khloe the Koala had us at “Hello, I’m so happy to see you.” But we had to replace her battery with a fresh AAA before she managed to interact with us more. She giggled, sighed, yelped, farted, slept and snored. We had a dance party with her, too (although we’re not sure if we did it right).
Pomsies could be a fun gift—just don’t forget to include a fresh AAA battery. They’re a good choice for little kids who’ve been begging for a pet but aren’t ready for the responsibility of caring for a real animal yet.
Baby Shark Let’s Go Hunt Fishing Game
Toy: The classic fishing game gets the “Baby Shark” treatment as the viral song plays while you try to catch fish. The game includes the battery-operated board (it needs two AA batteries, not included), 15 fish and four “Baby Shark”-theme fishing poles.
Appeal: Kids who love “Baby Shark” will get a kick out of this. Cost: P1,199.75
Verdict: Thanks to this toy, “Baby Shark” is stuck in our head again. The sound quality could be better and a volume dial would have been a kind addition for parents who would inevitably get tired of listening to “Baby Shark” nonstop, but it cannot be denied, this game is great fun. We might just pick one up for our nephew, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor
Toy: Nerf guns use foam darts as ammunition and the Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor is no different. This blaster is equipped with a six-dart rotating drum. Darts can be fired one at a time or in rapid succession with slam-fire action.
Appeal: Nerf blasters have been popular for decades, offering fun and safe play, as long as kids remember not to aim at people’s faces (eyes, especially) and only official Nerf darts are used with the blasters.
Verdict: The Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor is easy to load and fun to shoot. We had a blast shooting at nothing—we think it would be great for target practice. (We don’t really like the idea of shooting other people even with foam bullets.) If you’re giving this as gift, throw in some extra darts, too.
Lucky Fortune Collectible Bracelets BFF Series
Toy: Lucky Fortune Collectible Bracelets are bracelets hidden inside toy fortune cookies. They come with a paper fortune and a collector sheet that can be folded into a paper fortune teller. The BFF Series comes with two of each: two fortune cookies, two complementary bracelets, two paper fortunes, two collector sheets, perfect for sharing with a friend. Double the luck, double the fun.
Appeal: It’s the blind bag seduction again—you don’t know what bracelet you’re getting until you crack the cookie open. Bracelets have different levels of rarity: Lucky, Very Lucky, Very Very Lucky and Ultra Lucky. The bracelets look super cute when piled on, making them a great collectible. And there’s plenty to collect: There are 50 pairs of bracelets in the BFF series alone.
Cost: P499.75 for the BFF Series; P249.75 for a single Lucky Fortune Bracelet
Verdict: We love the fortune cookie concept and the nostalgic addition of the foldable paper fortune teller (it reminds us of our days in grade school). These bracelets would make great gifts. And now we’re wondering, are we too old to wear them?
Toy: Moose Toys, the company behind Shopkins (more on that later), celebrates the joys of preschool with Kindi Kids, adorable 10-inch bobblehead toddler dolls that love to eat and play.
Appeal: These dolls are as sweet as their favorite snacks, with big glittery eyes and food-inspired outfits.
Verdict: Jessicake, the blue-haired cupcake-loving Kindi Kid, is an absolute delight. She comes with a jar of sprinkles and a little cupcake that she “magically eats.” We love the attention to detail and how well made this doll is. She’d make a great Christmas surprise for lots of little girls.
Scruff-a-Luvs Snow Pals
Toy: “Who Will You Rescue?” That’s the tagline of Scruff-a-Luvs, toys that let kids experience the joys of rescuing an animal with an element of surprise: they won’t know what animal they’re getting until they’ve washed it. In the limited edition Snow Pals series, there are three possibilities: penguin, walrus or polar bear.
Appeal: The mystery toy madness continues, this one in a bigger package. The concept also tugs at the heartstrings: These furry creatures are supposedly unloved and abandoned and in need of help and care. Scruff-a-Luvs supports The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—they say purchases help them donate more to the ASPCA.
Verdict: When you open a box of Scruff-a-Luvs Snow Pals, what you’ll see is an adoption certificate, a brush, a scarf, a tag and a big ball of matted fur. That ball of matted fur is your new pet.
“Their natural habitat is under threat, leaving them lost and without a home,” the box reads. “Give them a nice warm bath, dry them and magically reveal what animal they are.”
The bath revealed that our Snow Pal was a blue-eyed walrus. Sadly, after drying and brushing, our Snow Pal still looked… well, scruffy. Looks like our walrus needs another warm bath.
Polly Pocket Beach Vibes Backpack
Toy: Polly Pocket Beach Vibes Backpack opens up to reveal a beach scene. There are plenty of surprises: a front desk that transforms into a buffet area, a swimming pool and ice chest that open, a hotel room with sliding doors, a tiki pole that makes Polly dance and more. The set comes with two dolls.
Appeal: Polly Pocket has changed in size over the years. First it was tiny (which was what made it great), then it got bigger, now it’s small again.
The compacts, which were popular in the ’80s and early ’90s, have finally made a comeback. When it comes to Polly Pocket, tiny is mighty.
Verdict: Although the dolls are still not as small as they used to be and they’re made of a different material now, it’s great that new generations of kids are discovering the joys of Polly’s little world. The Beach Vibes Backpack is great portable fun.
Toy: Blume Dolls, which were launched in July, are dolls hidden in flower pots. They come with a little watering can and after a little sprinkle, you get to watch them (well, their amazing squishy hairdo) bloom before your eyes. The pots then turn into a play set for the dolls (and also hold surprises like clothes, accessories and a little friend).
Appeal: Once again, it’s the thrill of the surprise. And the magical moment of seeing your Blume Doll sprout. There are 22 dolls in the first series and they are so pretty that we understand why kids are trying to collect them all. There are four levels of rarity: adorable, rare, super rare and mystical.
Verdict: After watching one Blume Doll bloom, we can say that we’re officially obsessed. We got Valerie, a rare. And we think she needs more friends. If a blooming Blume Doll can make cranky adults giggly and giddy, imagine how magical the experience would be for little kids. (There’s a spring mechanism at the bottom of the pot but shhh, let’s pretend it’s magic.)
Kinetic Sand Bake Shoppe Patisserie
Toy: This Kinetic Sand play set includes pink and yellow Kinetic Sand, a rolling pin, stampers, molds and a spatula.
Appeal: We’ve discussed blind bags and surprises but here’s a different toy trend: compounds. Kids love tactile toys—anything they can squish, knead, mold. And they can do all that and more with Kinetic Sand.
Verdict: This play set was fun, we just wish they had included more colors of sand.
Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Salon Set
Toy: Crayola Scribble Scrubbie pets are little pets you can draw on, clean and then draw on again. You can get just pets and the special Scribble Scrubbie markers or play sets like the Salon one, which includes two Scribble Scrubbie pets and three Scribble Scrubbie markers. There are also safari, vet and tub-themed sets.
Appeal: Scribble Scrubbie lets kids express their creativity by allowing them to draw on toy animals that can then be washed completely clean so they can be used as a canvas again.
Verdict: We loved the feel of the Scribble Scrubbie pets. The play sets can offer hours and hours of fun for kids of different ages. And they weren’t kidding about the spray creating a tie-dye effect. It’s really cool to see. We’d totally buy these for the kids on our list.
Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Slime Creations Make Your Own Ultimate Unicorn
Toy: Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Slime Creations puts together all you need to make slime in one box. The Ultimate Unicorn box includes clear glue, slime activator, two pots of colorant, one bag of glitter, one bag of stars, two slime sticks, a measuring cup and instructions. There are plenty of other variants.
Appeal: Did you really think this list would be complete without slime? Kids aren’t over slime yet. Even Play-Doh has jumped on the slime bandwagon. It’s gooey, it’s stretchy, they love it, they still can’t get enough of it.
Verdict: This box teaches kids how to make three kinds of slime—pink opal glitter, purple, and blue sparkling star slime— which they will then combine for the ultimate unicorn slime. It’s a lot of fun and also potentially messy, so adult supervision is a good idea. (Preferably an adult who wouldn’t make a mess like we did.)
L.O.L. Surprise Winter Disco Glitter Globe
Toy: L.O.L. Surprise! toys have been consistent bestsellers since their launch in 2016 and they have shown no signs of slowing down. Their Winter Disco lines are flying off the shelves all over the world. Inside the Glitter Globe, you’ll find surprises including stickers, a bubble pacifier, bottle, shoes, an accessory, an outfit and a Glitter Globe doll (fabulous, rare or ultra-rare) with floating glitter hair.
The Glitter Globe can be filled with water for a snow globe effect. The globes from the Fluffy Pets and Lils Winter Disco lines can also be connected to a Glitter Globe to create a Glitter Snow B.B.
Appeal: In creating L.O.L. Surprise! toys, MGA Entertainment basically reverse-engineered the phenomenon of unboxing videos, which is why they’re such a joy to unwrap. They offer layers and layers of surprises —from secret messages and stickers to mix-and-match accessories and of course, pretty, pretty dolls.
Cost: P1,099.75 for one Glitter Globe
Verdict: Unwrapping an L.O.L. Surprise! is a drawn-out and delightful experience—and that’s the gift you’ll give when you buy someone an L.O.L. Surprise! this Christmas. We got Tinsel, a rare Glitter Globe doll. Dip her in cold water and watch her outfit change in an instant. Remove her pacifier, let her drink water and the glitter in her hair floats, making it sparkle like a Christmas tree. It’s no surprise kids have become obsessed with L.O.L.
The amount of packaging in the product was our concern though so we were pleased to discover that MGA will be using biodegradable plastic and paper for their L.O.L. Surprise toys in 2020, in addition to beefing up their recycling initiatives with TerraCycle.
Shopkins Real Littles Lil Shopper Pack
Toy: Shopkins, the tiny toy character versions of stuff you normally buy in stores, have been a big hit since 2014. This year, Moose Toys has done something new: It partnered with iconic supermarket brands to introduce Real Littles, miniature versions of products like Pringles, Pop Tarts, Rice Krispies and more.
You get two versions of each product: its real packaging and its Shopkins twin. Of course, they come in blind packaging, adding to the excitement and challenge of collecting them.
Appeal: These are crazy cute. They’re already a hit with Shopkins fans but they’re also getting attention from people tickled by the idea of owning miniature versions of products they enjoy.
Cost: P749.75 for a Lil Shopper Pack (8 Shopkins and 8 Mini Packs); P249.75 for a Mini Pack (2 Shopkins and 2 Mini Packs and a mini basket)
Verdict: We must confess: we’re hooked. We’ve amassed a Real Littles collection in just a couple of weeks. We think they’d make great gifts too: they’re fun, they’re cute, they don’t take up too much space, they can be played with on their own or used with dolls and doll houses.
They have been selling out in the United States, Australia and other parts of the world and we won’t be surprised if the same thing happens here.
To see unboxing videos of these toys, follow @inquirerlifestyle on Instagram. These toys are available at Toy Kingdom and The SM Store.