No parent wants to spend the holiday season frantically hunting for the one toy their child wants—which, naturally, is the same toy that every other child somehow wants.
So everyone tries to get an inside line on which toys are likely to fly off shelves. Wal-Mart unleashes kids in a room full of toys; review site TTPM.com combs ratings and clicks. But to find the hottest of the hot, CNBC cross-checked seven lists: Amazon's "Mom's Picks," Kmart's "Fab 15," Target's "Top toy List," TheToyInsider.com's "Hot 20," TTPM.com's "Most Wanted List," Toys R Us' "Hot Toy List" and Wal-Mart's "Kid-Approved 2014 Holiday Toy List."
There was plenty of overlap, with nearly a dozen toys appearing on two lists. Among them: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch 'N Shout figures (like the Raphael toy pictured, $19.99) and the Razor Crazy Cart ($349).
Some toys were even hotter. These 10 made it on at least three lists—and one made it on six of the seven.
—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant
Posted 2 Nov. 2014
Who picked it: Target, ToyInsider.com, Toys R Us
This popular video game and toy franchise is a perennial hot list favorite. In the latest release, players can use special traps to capture in-game villains and bring those characters onto their own team of heroes.
Who picked it: Amazon, Target, Toys R Us
Little hands will have an easy time turning this 20-inch robot into a dinosaur, and back again. Designed with preschoolers in mind, it transforms in just one step.
Who picked it: Kmart, TTPM.com, Wal-Mart
Yep—while you're waiting on the iWatch, your kid can wear a smartwatch. The Kidizoom has a built-in camera for taking pictures and recording video, and kids can play learning games and edit their pictures on its touchscreen.
Experts agreed that VTech's Go! Go! Playsets--embedded with sensors that activate educational songs and games during play—will be a draw this year. But which one? It's a tie. Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart voted for the race-car-focused Smart Wheels Ultimate Amaze-Ment Park Playset ($59.99), while the Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset ($39.99) made lists at Amazon, ToyInsider.com and TTPM.com.
Who picked it: Kmart, Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart
Of course, this electronic pup walks, barks and does tricks. But there's a free app (iOS and Android) that let owners initiate real-world begging and running by offering virtual treats or a game of fetch, among other activities.
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Who picked it: Kmart, Target, ToyInsider.com, TTPM.com
Preschool fans of the Nickelodeon cartoon can create their own adventures with this playset. There's a working periscope for spotting danger, and a slide and elevator to quickly deploy the plucky pooches to save the day.
Manufacturer: Spin Master
Who picked it: Kmart, Target, TTPM.com, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart
Pet pups seem too tame? Spin Master's robotic dino has different responses based on his moods. Owners can train him to dance and attack, but watch out—when he's mad, he'll spin, roar…and pass gas. (It is a kids' toy, after all.) Exclusive versions are available at some retailers, including an Onyx version at Toys R Us and Kmart's Bonekruncher, which comes with a dino snack bone accessory.
Manufacturer: Just Play
Who picked it: Target, ToyInsider.com, Toys R Us, TTPM.com, Wal-Mart
Wannabe toy doctors (and fans of the Disney Jr. cartoon) may find this kit contains everything they need to fix boo-boos on the go. There's a bandage sticker dispenser and medical equipment like a light-up EKG machine for sophisticated diagnoses, as well as a motion-activated siren to clear traffic en route to an emergency.
Manufacturer: Tolly Tots
Who picked it: Amazon, Kmart, ToyInsider.com, Toys R Us, TTPM.com, Wal-Mart
If the six hot list nods are any indication, kids just aren't ready to "Let It Go"—and while Frozen is hot in general, parents may find this Elsa doll tough to get their hands on. She talks and sings (10 guesses which tune), while her dress lights up and sparkles.