Want to get in on the hottest toys of the year before they disappear off retailers’ shelves? Toy Insider Editor-in-Chief Marissa DiBartolo stopped by Better Connecticut to show off some of the year’s most in-demand toys and gifts. 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.


  • This unicorn is made of soft, huggable plush over a sturdy metal frame.
  • Kids can squeeze the ears to hear “I’m a Magical Unicorn” song, talking phrases, and realistic sound effects.
  • They can pull on the reins, pat the snout, and tap the hindquarters to activate realistic sound effects.
  • Features long, brushable rainbow hair and a glittery unicorn horn.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $89.99
  • Available: Online at Walmart, Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, Hayneedle, JCPenney, and Wayfair


  • Zookiez are the collectible plush toy that have flexible hands and feet… easily hang them onto anything and bring them along with you knowing that they will stay in one place.
  • Zookiez toys are perfect as bracelets, for clipping onto your bed at night, or even to bring in the car with you! They can just hold onto nearly any surface and keep clinging on for a very long time. Until you move them from their position, they are quite happy to hang out and enjoy time with you!
  • Zookiez not only keep in one place but they are extremely soft.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Walmart


  • Put on the lizard mask and get ready for a game of skill and speed.
  • One player flips over a number card. The other two players face off to knock down the correct insect card.
  • The lizard that knocks down the most insects the fastest wins!
  • Each Tic Tac Tongue game comes with four lizard masks with washable mouthpieces and tongues, 10 target cards, 10 game cards, and game rules.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $17.99
  • Available: Target


  • Kids can help this clever pup to do fun tricks, from flipping his bone, to shaking “paws,” and even shuffling eagerly for more!
  • Feed him treats to reward him for his tricks, or pet his back for a job well done, but be careful…he might need a bathroom break!
  • This adorable pup responds to sound and touch with more than 100 sound and motion combinations and features sensors on his cheeks, nose, mouth, paw, and back, making interactions with this talented pup awesome!
  • After a day full of fun, Ricky loves to cuddle and give great doggie licks. His poseable legs make him the perfect pup for endless snuggles!
  • Includes a bone accessory, 18 doggie treats, and a treat pouch.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $129.99
  • Available: major retailers, HasbroToyShop.com


  • Pokémon battle action is in the palm of kids’ hand with this Poké Ball! They can feel like a real Pokémon Trainer.
  • Kids can send their favorite Pokémon plush into battle when they insert a 2.5-inch plush Pokémon inside the Pop Action Poké Ball.
  • The elastic string will pop open the Poké Ball, launching the Pokémon as far as 10 feet!
  • Pop Action Poké Ball will appear in four waves of four Pokémon plush assortments!
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP: $12.99
  • Available: Target, Amazon, Walmart, Kmart, and Specialty stores


  • The centerpiece of the Calico Critters new Town series is the Grand Department Store, the most iconic building in the series, which also introduces Stella.
  • It features elegant, sophisticated styling and a unified design for even more freedom with the layout.  
  • With finely sculpted areas and exquisite attention to detail, it draws children in and enhances imaginative play.
  • The special gift set comes complete with terrace, balconies, custom windows, awnings, flags, and railings to spark even more customizable play.  
  • The play starts at the entrance tower through the revolving doors and continues throughout all levels on the elevator.
  • Once upstairs, children can send their Calico Critters out to the terrace or balconies to watch over the beauty of the Town.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $129.95
  • Available: Amazon



  • Master the thrill of the ride with the 12 Volt Nighthawk Ride-On.
  • Reaching forward speeds of up to 6 mph, this innovative ride-on is sure to be a hit with little thrill-seekers.
  • The accelerator and brake pedals allow the rider to control the speed of the Nighthawk easily.
  • Kids will love learning how to maneuver around obstacles with the unique steering technique—riders simply lean left and right to do quick turns.
  • The side handlebars allow kids to remain secure while protecting his or her hands.
  • With an included rear safety flag, you can easily keep an eye on riders as they have a blast racing.
  • Simply plug in the included charger to the 12V battery to re-power the ride-on.
  • Recommended for children weighing up to 110 lbs.
  • The Nighthawk is available in white/black or black/red color combinations.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $149.99
  • Available: Walmart, Amazon