Looking for the best toys for the holidays? Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by Canada’s Cityline to talk about her favorite new toys this year. For more on the products featured in this segment, check out the notes below, and for a full rundown of the best toys of the year, check out our complete holiday toy guide.

skylanders-imaginators_activisionSkylanders Imaginators (Activision Publishing)

  • Skylanders Imaginators gives kids the power to create Skylanders and bring them to life for the first time in an all-new adventure with a compelling storyline, puzzles, battles, and a new lineup of heroes and villains.
  • Skylanders Imaginators introduces a new toy type — a Creation Crystal. This vessel allows players to create and transport their unique Skylanders to consoles at anytime, anywhere! Creation Crystals are elementally aligned. Portal Masters can create one character per Creation Crystal.
  • Skylanders Imaginators introduces new guest stars to Skylanders called Senseis. Skylanders
  • Senseis include 20 new characters, including Crash Bandicoot, and 11 former villains
  • Ages: all ages
  • MSRP: $74.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us

squinkies-do-drops-mystery-villas-blipSquinkies ‘Do Drops Mystery Villas (Blip)

  • Create a tiny Squinkieville neighborhood with Mystery Villas! Inside each little house are two mystery Squinkies and a ‘Do for them to wear. Collect all the villa colors and styles!
  • Tiny, adorable Squinkies ‘Do Drops live in the land of Squinkieville, where there are always fun adventures to be had!
  • With over 200 to collect, kids can mix and match to make thousands of dress-up combinations!
  • Squinkies “‘Do’s” range from pretty to silly hats, hairstyles and accessories for hours of play. Try dressing up the mermaid in bunny ears, or the puppies in ponytails!
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $2.99-$3.99

brightlings-spin-masterBrightlings (Spin Master)

  • Have a silly time with Brightlings! She has a ton of personality and loves to interact with you.
  • Brightlings have three fun ways to play — play, repeat, and music. She records and repeats anything you say. Then change her voice by moving her from side to side. During playtime Brightlings loves to chat and says over 100 things.
  • Play with her on her back or stomach to activate new phrases. And when it’s time to sing, Brightlings can create songs in 6 styles of music, including pop, rock, jazz, opera, yodel, and beat box. Brightlings is your new silly best friend!
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $29.99

zoomer-hedgiez-spin-masterZoomer Hedgiez (Spin Master)

  • Zoomer Hedgiez are adorable and interactive, fantasy hedgehogs.
  • Through their wiggly noses, sweet sounds, sensors and LED eyes, they truly come to life. They’ll blow kids a kiss, whistle, sneeze and more.
  • Not only that, they really move on their own. Kids can pet them to perform tricks like headstands, somersaults and more. Just like real hedgehogs, Hedgiez love to be held.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $39.99

Kne.LincolnLogsAnniversaryTinLincoln Logs: 100 Anniversary Tin (K’NEX)

  • 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of LINCOLN LOGS
  • Inspired by an original LINCOLN LOGS building idea, the 100th Anniversary Tin is just like you remember!
  • Set includes 111 real wood logs
  • 100% Made in the U.S.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $44.99


roominate-emmas-townhouse-play-monsterRoominate: Emma’s Townhouse (Play Monster)

  • Roominate is an award-winning line of complete building sets that are designed for girls in order to bridge the gender gap in STEM.
  • The line was started with one simple mission: open up possibilities for girls by showing them that creativity and engineering are fun!
  • Build a tall townhouse, or a wide one, either way you can design a colorfully modern home! Use the included motor to build a ceiling fan, or anything you can think of! Includes Emma doll and her pet pig Hodgkin.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $34.99

pie-face-showdown-game_hasbroPie Face Showdown Game (Hasbro)

  • For the first time, players go head-to-head and face off in the epic Pie Face Showdown Game!
  • Each player places their head through the mask and races to see who can hit their button the fastest in tug-of-war style.
  • Push the button down faster to move the loaded arm closer to the opponent.
  • Players must move quickly or someone will end up with a whipped cream or a wet sponge in the face!
  • Ages 5+
  • MSRP $29.99

spirograph-shapes-set_kahootz-toys2Spirograph Shapes Set (Kahootz)

  • Hearts, stars and teardrops… oh my! The classic way for aspiring artists to create amazing designs is getting new pieces for the first time in a generation!
  • This kit features 12 wheels in ALL-NEW unique shapes, as well as 3 new Spirograph rings to create a whole new, never-before-seen assortment of Spirograph designs.
  • The sturdy storage box comes with handy organizer tray, three colorful design markers, two 24-page drawing pads, detailed instruction guide and complete set of new shaped wheels and rings—which are compatible with all other Original Spirograph sets.
  • The creative world of Spirograph is shaping up better than ever!
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $24.99

giveaway-go-go-smart-wheels-vehiclesGo! Go! Smart Wheels Vehicles

  • Perfectly sized for little hands, these educational vehicles teach the letter of the vehicle’s name, and more through pretend pla.
  • Light-up driver button activates learning, music and sound. 
  • Each vehicle responds electronically to more than 50 SmartPoint locations on all Go! Go! Smart Wheels Playset.
  • Includes three sing-along songs and more than 40 unique educational phrases and sounds in every vehicle.
  • Canadian MSRP: $21.99

alex-toys-knot-a-lion-alexALEX Toys Knot-A-Lion (Alex)

  • ALEX Toys Craft Knot-A-Lion comes with everything you need to create your own snuggly pillow pal with a blanket attached, ideal for naps, sleepovers or binge-watching your favorite show.
  • Stitch together the lion’s face with pre-punched fleece and felt pieces, then stuff and knot the pillow closed.
  • Stitch and knot on details and the lions blanket body, too!
  • When complete, the project measures 43in. x 27in.
  • Includes 2 fleece pillow shapes 19in. x 17.75in., precut printed fleece blanket shape 35in. x 27in., 30 fleece strips, 3 fleece tail pieces, 24 pre-punched felt shapes, stuffing, embroidery floss, embroidery needle and easy instructions.
  • Ages 8+
  • Canadian MSRP $43.99

coji-wowweeCoji (Wowwee)

  • COJI (Coding with Emojis) is the new coding robot pal where STEM comes together to teach children basic programming skills using the “language” of visual emojis.
  • Early readers and pre-readers will have fun testing their problem-solving skills and playing games with the robot using the free app on a smartphone or tablet to control COJI’s actions.
  • COJI also reacts to physical stimulation such as tilting and shaking, with dynamic sounds and thousands of animations on his LCD screen. It’s coding and learning fun with a smile(y).
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Canadian MSRP: $74.99

barbiestemkit_thamesandkosmosBarbie STEM Kit (Thames & Kosmos)

  • Thames & Kosmos partners with Mattel for a science kit featuring Barbie and Nikki.
  • This project kit includes plastic building pieces and science experiment materials, as well as a Barbie or Nikki doll, to create a complete experience based on the concept “You Dream It… You Make It!”
  • Kids will build a waching machine, rotating closet, and more, all compatible with the Barbie Dreamhouse. Plus, design fashions for Barbie to wear.
  • Learn about chromatics, engineering, and more.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $29.95

magic-gold-edition-thames-kosmosMagic: Gold Edition (Thames & Kosmos)

  • Master the magical arts! With this extensive collection of magic props, you can easily learn, practice, and perform 150 incredible magic tricks and illusions to astonish spectators.
  • In tricks using cups and balls, balls disappear, appear, and change places inside moving cups.
  • In tricks with a tube, confetti and snow appear out of nowhere and dice and knots appear and disappear. A six-sided die baffles the mind and fools the eye.
  • Little rabbit shapes appear, disappear, multiply, and hop around. Metal rings move around, link up, and unlink again. A magic wand loses its rigidity, floats in the air, and lets a rope pass right through it.
  • Magically guess birthdays, numbers, and colors. Levitate yourself and objects. Bend and restore metal. Practice dozens of tricks with playing cards: guessing, transforming, locating, and making cards vanish.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $39.95

y-flyer_yvolutionYFlyer (Yvolution)

  • The Yvolution T Flyer is a fast, innovative way to travel and have fun at the same time.
  • Kids are the envy of all in the neighborhood as they cruise around on a Y Flyer.
  • With super grip paddles and unique forward propelling motion, the Y Flyer is the ultimate in new and exciting wheeled toy products ensuring a soother, faster ride.
  • The Y Flyer features motorized pedal power, a hand controlled brake, and a kickstand.
  • Its strong, durable steel frame folds for easy storage and travel.
  • Ages: 7+
  • MSRP: $199.99
  • Available: Toys “R” Us