Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by HLN’s Weekend Express to talk about the best toys for every budget. 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.


  • 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 pets BFF. Sets also come with a “what’s your smooshy name?” game, a nametag, mini container, stickers, and a collectible poster.
  • For fall of ’17 kids can collect 24 food-themed Smooshy Mushy Pets to discover, squish, and trade with their friends.
  • Age: 5+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Walmart


  • This oversized 80-piece Crayon Tube will keep your little one busy for hours.
  • Features a variety of sturdy and stackable building blocks in vibrant, iconic Crayola colors.
  • Ideal for little ones to learn colors, the larger-than-life size crayon tube not only provides tidy storage, but is also a great decorative accessory to liven up any child’s room or playroom!
  • Everything can be neatly stored back into the crayon!
  • Age: 1+
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Available: Target, Walmart,


  • Chippies are playful puppies who love to show off their many tricks. Kids can pet their heads for different reactions including sniffs, barks, puppy kisses, and even a sneeze.
  • Use the remote control to make your pet dance, sing, chase its tail, or tell it which way to roll. Chippies can explore your room on their own or guard it from intruders using their sensors, and will also sing together as a pack. Chippies have bright LED eyes and posable hind legs.
  • Age: 5+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us


  • Live in the lap of luxury with the Shopkins Happy Places Grand Mansion Playset. Your host, an exclusive Lil’ Shoppie named Chandelia, can help you make this generously sized house feel like home by decorating its seven rooms with the included comfy rugs and cushions. Hold sleepovers or dinner parties with your entire Lil’ Shoppies collection for even more fun (additional dolls sold separately).
  • Spacious, two-story mansion features four sides and seven luxury rooms, providing thousands of ways to decorate and display. Soft accessories, including fluffy rugs and cozy cushions, let kids make each room comfortable and inviting.
  • Includes the Shopkins Happy Places Grand Mansion, one exclusive Chandelia Lil’ Shoppie doll, two large Petkins, four medium Petkins, four small Petkins, four mini Petkins, and accessories.
  • Age: 5+
  • MSRP: $69.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys R Us


  • The fun never ends with the Toys’R’Us exclusive Power Rangers Ninja Steel Lion Fire Fortress Zord. It’s the ultimate 3-in-1 Megazord and playset! Over two feet long in Fortress mode, it is Power Rangers Ninja Steel’s biggest Megazord ever by Bandai.
  • Three modes of play: Megazord mode, Ultra Megazord mode, and Fortress mode.
  • In Megazord mode the Zord stands over twenty inches tall and features a cockpit for a Power Rangers Action Hero figure (sold separately). When the battle gets intense rotate the upper body to activate the Ultra Megazord mode and attach a DX Megazord (sold separately) inside to ensure Galvanax cowers in fear. In rolling Fortress mode he’s is a colossal playset complete with twin firing cannons, a helipad, and a jail to hold captured villain figures.
  • Twenty exciting sound effects add to the fun no matter what mode he’s in.
  • Requires two LR44 batteries (included).
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $99
  • Available: Toys R Us exclusive