Looking for the inside scoop on the hottest toys of the year? Toy Insider Senior Editor Ali Mierzejewski stopped by CBS in Columbus to talk about the toys you need to grab now before they fly off retailers’ shelves. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.


  • The magic of Tickle Me Elmo returns—a new version for a whole new generation of fans.
  • Kids can press Elmo’s furry tummy or squeeze his feet to hear his contagious giggle.
  • Continue to squeeze and “tickle” Elmo to make him laugh harder and harder until he starts to move and shake with laughter.
  • Children can’t help but giggle along when they hear his funny sayings and hysterical laughing sounds.
  • Ages: 18 months+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Amazon, hasbrotoyshop.com, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart


  • The newest addition to the Dream World line is Barbie and her DreamHorse. This animal not only features sounds and motion, but also interacts with kids via touch and sound sensor reaction.
  • The horse can walk and turn 360 degrees or neigh and feed (toy carrots are included).
  • It nuzzles in response to touch and nods yes or no when asked a question. It also plays songs and dances.
  • Kids can brush the horse’s mane and tail with a brush while Barbie sits in the saddle.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart


  • Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush lets kids create colorful art without the mess.
  • Color Wonder paints are clear and only work on Color Wonder special paper—it won’t color on skin, carpet, or furniture. The Magic Light Brush lights up to match whatever paint color kids are using.
  • The set comes with six classic colors and 18 sheets of Color Wonder paper
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $19.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Crayola.com


  • Smooshy Mushy from RedwoodVentures is part of the newest collectible craze, full of exciting, super squishy, slow-rise surprises.
  • Each Smooshy Mushy series includes one of eight randomly assorted pets. Kids can unwrap the container to find out which scented Smooshy Mushy squishy surprise is inside.
  • Every pet has a Bestie they can’t live without so kids should keep searching to find out which tiny squishy “Bestie” is their pet’s BFF. Sets also come with a “what’s your smooshy name?” game, a name tag, a mini container, stickers, and a collectible poster.
  • Kids can collect 24 food-themed Smooshy Mushy Pets to discover, squish, and trade with their friends.
  • Ages: 5+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Walmart


  • Aura is a gesture-controlled drone that uses patented Gesturebotics technology powered by LocoRobo.
  • The wearable glove controller will have users feeling like superheroes—the drone is controlled by hand motions made while wearing the glove.
  • Kids can fly Aura up and down, forward and backward, and even perform tricks like a sideways flip.
  • Aura puts the power in kids’ hands, removing the learning curve of using a joystick controller to pilot their flying robot.
  • Ages: 7+
  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Available: Target, Toys “R” Us, Best Buy