Looking for the holiday season’s hottest toys and gifts? Toy Insider’s Chief Toy Officer Laurie Schacht stopped by Breakfast Television in Toronto to show off some of the year’s most in-demand toys. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for the complete rundown of the best toys of the holiday season, be sure to check our complete Toy Insider Holiday Gift Guide.


  • Get ready to shine like a star with the Antsy Pants Build & Play Pop Star Stage Kit!
  • Featuring glittery purple curtains and a bold blue backdrop, this stage is the perfect spot for budding artists and performers.
  • Whether you’re a singer, dancer, juggler, or have a hidden talent, perform center stage with the Pop Star Stage Kit.
  • This kit includes more than 50 poles and connectors, as well as the fabric cover.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $44.99
  • Canada: CAD $69.99 at Indigo


  • Make real music with the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar!
  • This beginner guitar is designed and sized especially for young players.
  • Featuring great tone, comfort & playability. It’s tunable with accurate fret spacing, and low string action means easy playing for beginners.
  • Patented string post covers protect little fingers.
  • Age: 8+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Available: Target, Walmart
  • Canada: CAD $77.69 at Walmart CA


  • Nancy is ready for a fabulous play day dressed in her signature outfit of leggings, tiara, and chic party dress, which are removable for fashion play!
  • This 18-inch feature doll has fully poseable arms and legs with 12 points of articulation at the neck, shoulders, waist, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees.
  • The doll works with the Closet of Fashions Assortment, Accoutrements Assortment, and Bistro Set with Marabelle.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $34.99
  • Available: Amazon, Walmart
  • Canada: CAD $49.99 at Toys “R” Us Canada


  • Join Peppa and her family on a road trip vacation in their Transforming Campervan!
  • Set up camp by opening the van to reveal an oversized 2-story playset!
  • Extra-large campervan with sounds from the show.
  • Van opens and transforms into a double-decker home for 360° play.
  • Bed turns into a pool.
  • Front door opens for easy access.
  • Oven front spins to show 3 different meals.
  • Peppa and George’s van seats are removable for additional outside seating.
  • Pieces fit inside campervan when playtime is over.
  • Age: 2+
  • MSRP: $49.99
  • Available: Target and Walmart
  • Canada: CAD $69.94 at Amazon CA, Walmart CA


  • Cuddly and innovative Power Action Pikachu reacts to motion, lights up, has sound effects, speaks, and has a light-up tail!
  • Engage with Pikachu by squeezing its hands to either see its tail and cheeks light up or for sound effects and to hear Pikachu speak!
  • Innovative sensor technology gives Power Action Pikachu unique interactivity; the more you play and engage with Pikachu, the more varied and dynamic its responses become.
  • Hear Pikachu say “Pika-chuuuuu!” when thrown into battle mode or hear a response with a sad “Pikaaa” when it does.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Walmart, Target, Amazon
  • Canada: CAD $49.99 at Walmart, Toys “R” Us Canada


  • Each Scruff‐a‐Luv comes as a matted ball of colored fur with only its eyes showing, so it’s a mystery what animal kids are rescuing! The adorable animal is revealed by washing the matted ball in water, towel drying the animal, blast drying it with a hair dryer, and brushing and styling its fur.
  • Each Scruff‐a‐Luv comes with a collar, name tag, adoption certificate, brush and hair clips.
  • Scruff‐a‐luvs can be washed over and over again. This special kind of plush allows kids to play with it in the bath, role play with it, and care for it like a real pet – the possibilities are endless!
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target
  • Canada: CAD $29.99 at KID Toy, Canadian Tire, Red Apple, Winners


  • Beasts of Balance is an award-winning augmented reality stacking game of dexterity, strategy and creation. Thought of as Jenga for the 21st century, Beasts of Balance challenges players work together to stack a tower of “beasts” while scanning each piece through the play base into the connected app as they build.
  • Within the app, magical worlds of creatures are created, and the players must keep the world in balance as they reach new high scores. But they must be careful: if the tower is knocked down, then it’s game over!
  • New for 2018 are the first expansions to Beasts of Balance, including a competitive gameplay mode called Battles and new beast play-pieces such as a flamingo, angler fish, chameleon, and Legendary Beasts.
  • In Battles, players use augmented reality Battle cards to scan and fight against their opponents to become ruler of the digital world.
  • Age: 7+
  • MSRP: $99
  • Available: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble
  • Canada: CAD $111.17 at Amazon CA


  • Designed for kids with a nurturing side, these color and wash clean collectible toys give kids a chance to customize and be caretakers for their pets.
  • With the four adorable included pets — two dogs, one cat, and one rabbit — and washable markers, kids can create new colorful coats for their pets over and over again.
  • When it’s time for a new look, just pop them in the kid-powered scrub tub to clean them up, and kids will have a fresh bank canvas on which to create.
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Crayola.com
  • Canada: CAD $19.99 at Amazon CA, Walmart CA


  • OrbOdditezz SlimiBallz are the wobbly balls that squeeze, flow, and splat.
  • Each Ballz is filled with oozing glitter slime, making it nearly impossible to put down.
  • Squish and squash each Orballz as it bubbles and transforms, creating a truly unique feeling in your hands.
  • Orballz are the coolest new collectable – explore all the different colors and textures today.
    Age: 8+
  • MSRP: $14.99
  • Available: Target, Walmart, Five Below
  • Canada: CAD $9.99 (Ultra-size) at TRU Canada


  • SLIMYGLOOP Mix ‘Ems are a fun and easy way to capture the excitement of slime making and mixing.
  • Mix ‘Ems allows you to create your own combinations of SLIMYGLOOP by providing pre-made glitter SLIMYGLOOP and fun embellishments like glitter, figurines, foam balls and more!
  • This product is mess-free and extremely safe- just mix in your components and play!
  • Available in a variety of fun and exciting themes including: Unicorn, Confetti, Dragon, Galaxy, Mermaid.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $4.99 – $6.99 each
  • Canada: CAD $6.99 at Giant Tiger


  • Arcade1Up game cabinets look, feel and play just like the classic arcade games you remember.
  • These 3:4 scale Arcade Cabinets let you play seated or standing (Gaming Stool and/or Riser add-on available).
  • The classic upright cabinet design has authentic arcade controls and gameplay, such as joysticks, trackballs, buttons, and sounds.
  • The 17-inch screen features multiplayer controls and no quarters are required for play.
  • Age: 7+
  • Canada: CAD $399 at Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, FYE


  • These battling robots combine the gameplay of Rock em Sock em Robots with the balancing action of a Segway!
  • With this fun, motorized building set, kids can build up their own robots that include a “smart-tech” self-stabilizing feature.
  • Kids can drive and control it with the VEX Pilot mobile app, which enables updates to push automatically to the robot from your phone, ensuring you always have the most up to date robot.
  • Compatible with the VEX IQ platform used by over 1 million students in classrooms and global competitions.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $89.99 (single robot); $149.99 (two-pack)
  • Available: Target, Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, hexbug.com
  • Canada: CAD $116.99 (single) $194.99 (two-pack) at Amazon, Indigo, TRU, Walmart


  • Change from Peter Parker into Spider-Man and thwart Doc octopus and villains galore on this 12-volt Marvel Spider-Man ATV ride-on from Kid Trax.
  • This tough battery powered ‘ATV’ is perfect for catching criminals and saving damsels in distress.
  • With unique Spider-Man styling full of sweet decals and intricate webs, this set of wheels is sure to have your Spidey senses tingling.
  • This sweet electric ride-on sits one superhero with a maximum rider weight of 88 lbs.
  • Ages: 3-7
  • MSRP: $168.50
  • Available: Amazon, Walmart
  • Canada: CAD $299 at Canadian Tire


  • Smash through boredom on this 12-volt Marvel Hulk UTV Ride-On from Kid Trax.
  • This sweet ‘off-road’ ride is decked out with features that are sure to bring hours of driveway fun.
  • Working LED headlights and rear roll bar lights brighten up playtime.
  • There is even a working FM radio and MP3 auxiliary input for sweet road trip jams.
  • The ride-on makes real engine and Hulk-smash sounds and includes a storage area in the rear of the vehicle.
  • This battery powered set of wheels sits two riders between the ages of 3 and 7 years with a maximum total rider weight of 120 lbs.
  • Kids can use the foot pedal acceleration to travel from 2.5 mph to 5 mph.
  • Includes a 12V rechargeable battery and charger.
  • Age: 3-7
  • MSRP: $279
  • Available:  Amazon, Walmart
  • Canada: CAD $549.99 at Canadian Tire