November is already here, which means we’re not far away from Christmas. And if you haven’t already started shopping for Christmas toys … well, you might already be behind.
The holiday season — from Black Friday through the end of the year — can be make-or-break for big retailers. Companies like Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), Best Buy (BBY) and Amazon (AMZN) depend on it to fuel their top and bottom lines in Q4.
Christmas toys make up a fairly significant chunk of that, from dolls to action figures to board games. But every year, there’s a certain selection of Christmas toys that seems to fly off the shelves faster than Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.
So here’s a look at the toys and gadgets that are expected to be most popular this holiday season.
Star Wars Remote Control BB-8
None of us have even seen Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, but the movie already has its breakout star.
Yes, I’m talking about BB-8, the rolling little android who seems to be giving R2-D2 a run for his money in the “most beloved robot” category.
Disney (DIS) clearly knew what it was doing when it picked up Lucasfilm and the entire Star Wars franchise a few years back. And in a holiday season that’s sure to be overflowing with Star Wars merchandise, the remote-controlled BB-8 Droid is sure to be one of the hottest Christmas toys.
The Star Wars Remote Control BB-8 Droid is selling for $80.
Imaginext Ultra T-Rex
What’s cooler than a T-Rex? Hasbro (HAS) says: How about a gigantic T-Rex that comes complete with prehistoric warriors, spear launchers and double-barrel cannons?
The Fisher-Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex offers an entire playset in one awesome Tyrannosaurus-shaped package. Kids will enjoy exploring every detail of the Ultra T-Rex, probably sometime after they’ve used it to create mayhem around the house.
And if your kids are really into dinosaurs after seeing Jurassic World everywhere, Imaginext conveniently offers an entire line of dinosaur toys – everything from Stegosaurus to Velociraptors.
The Imaginext Ultra T-Rex retails for $100, but is on sale at Amazon for $79 as of this writing.
FurReal Friends StarLily, My Magical Unicorn
Toy technology has come a long way in recent years, and FurReal Friends StarLily, My Magical Unicorn is proof.
No longer will your child have to go through the effort of manually flapping the toy unicorn’s wings, or imagining the creature responding to touch. Because StarLily does that all on her own. She’ll tilt her head and make magical unicorn neighing sounds just like you would expect from any magical household pet.
StarLily will respond to your child’s voice, and her horn also lights up different colors, according to the mood she’s in. Of course, toy prices have come just as far as technology, and the FurReal Friends StarLily My Magical Unicorn toy is listed at $120.
But that’s a small price to pay for a magical unicorn, if you ask me.
Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
If you have younger kids, don’t overlook the Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo.
A product of Mattel (MAT) brand Fisher-Price, BeatBo is a colorful character filled with flashing lights, dancing moves and other features that entertain and help your toddler develop a variety of skills. BeatBo can even record and play back phrases!
BeatBo retails for $40, but is on sale at a variety of locations, including Walmart (WMT).
Exploding Kittens (Card Game)
It should go without saying, but, please, do not buy your child actual exploding kittens for Christmas.
Instead, get them this hilarious card game Exploding Kittens, where players draw and play cards from a shared deck, hoping that they don’t draw an ominous exploding kitten! If the kitten explodes, you lose — but you can stop the explosion by playing “Defuse” cards, which stop the exploding kittens with laser beams and catnip sandwiches.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a family-friendly version of the game and a “not-safe-for-work” version of the game. If you want the version you can play with your kids, buy the one in the red box.
Exploding Kittens was the most-backed project in Kickstarter history, and is available at Target (TGT), on Amazon (AMZN) and through the game’s website.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not have a position in any of the aforementioned securities, but he did have tickets to see Star Wars: Episode VII.
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