The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016 Preview #WeKnowPlay

The Toy Insider hosted their "Holiday of Play" event where I had an advance look at the hottest toys for the 2016 holiday season.

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

Note: I was invited as media to the event and received a gift bag. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Written by Christina Chin, who's hip, fashionable and located in New York City.

During the preview, The Toy Insider unveiled its expert picks for the best kids' toys this season, broken down into 3 lists:

  • The Hot 20 (the items expected to top kids' wish lists)
  • Top Tech 12 (drones, wearables, robotic pets, and more)
  • STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering and math toys that make learning fun).

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

When evaluating toys, the expert team considers play value, originality, skill building, product integrity and, of course, fun factor. There were so many fun toys that I saw and played with besides the Hot 20 that I wanted for myself!

Below are a few of my highlights of toys I thought were really neat for kids or the family!

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

Crayola Air Marker Sprayer

This sprayer allows anyone to turn a crayola marker into an airbrush! This will be so much fun for the whole family to paint and create whatever their hearts desire. It includes some stencils and no need for batteries, it plugs right in! $29.99. For ages 8+

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

PJ Masks Headquarters Playset

For sure the Headquarters Playset is going to be hot for any kid that loves the show as the two-sided 2ft tall playset features 3 levels of adventure. Kids can choose their mission and then re-create the action with the high-flying zip line, elevator, hanging cat, trap door, and pop-out hatch. Catboy and Cat-Car are included. 69.99.

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016


It's the coolest thing ever and I really want one for myself in the office. Personally I can see it bringing me a drink or food or carry something to someone in another room/office!

This customizable robot is full of personality, and features a built-in HD camera, an articulated arm and gripping claw, two-way audio, and a microphone. Kids and adults can control Mebo through an app, and access him remotely by connecting to his hotspot.  For kids 8+! 149.99.

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016


Are interactive magical creatures inside eggs. I thought this was very mysterious and kids will want one as you have no idea who is inside and you have to care and nurture it until they hatch themselves! For kids 6+. 59.99.

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

Snuggles, My Dream Puppy

Moves, feels, and responds just like a real puppy! I couldn't help but want to constantly snuggle with Snuggles! He is super soft on the outside for kids to cuddle him and he will fall asleep in your arms when you feed him his bottle. Pat his head or rub his tummy and Snuggles will close his eyes and make adorable puppy sounds and you can see him breathing! For kids 6+. 54.99.

The Toy Insider Holiday of Play 2016

The Toy Insider predicted more hot holiday toys in its 2016 holiday gift guide this fall. Check it out.

Now as you prepare to shop from  your kids toys list, The Toy Insider shares these tips for getting the hottest toys at a great price during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

The Toy Insider's Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping Tips:

  • Make a list: Just like making a trip to the grocery store on an empty stomach, heading out to shop when you don't know what you are looking for can result in overbuying things that you don't need. Have a plan and a budget in place before you hit the stores.
  • Do your research: Always look up the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) before you start shopping, either online or in stores. The internet is full of third-party sellers, and they often hike up the price of hard-to-find toys.
  • Look for licenses: Every year, toys featuring kids' favorite characters fly off the shelves. Toys featuring some of the hottest licenses, like Star Wars, Pok√©mon and Paw Patrol, will be well-stocked during the big shopping days. Even if there isn't a great sale on these items, it's best to buy them while they are still available.
  • Check your mail: Check weekly circulars in newspapers, which are usually available online as well. Sign up for your favorite retailers' promotional emails to be sure that you don't miss a limited-time deal.
  • Sweat the small stuff: Pay attention to added costs like tax, service fees, layaway costs and shipping charges – these costs add up, and the deal may not be as good as you originally thought it was!
  • Protect your identity: Cyber Monday is prime time for identity theft scams. Be sure that you are familiar with the websites you shop on, and watch out for copycat websites that may look like their legitimate counterparts with slightly off formatting or spelling.

To learn more about The Toy Insider, visit -

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