Holiday Gift Guide

What's on kids' wish lists? Here are 14 of the hottest toys for the holidays

Shoppers in Paramus, New Jersey.
Getty Images

The holiday season is approaching and toys are already flying off the shelves.

The industry, which was off to a slow start in the first half of the year, is slated to have a strong finish, according to Juli Lennett, senior vice president and U.S. toys industry analyst for the NPD Group.

In the U.S., the toy sales are poised to grow 4.5 percent this year, according to the NPD Group. This growth is being fueled by high demand for collectibles and licensed entertainment toys.

"2017 may go down in history as the year of movie licensed toys, especially boys' action," Lennett said in a mid-year report in July. "Batman continues to perform, Cars is just getting started, as are Transformers and Spider-Man. Several other movies will be released later this year, including the much anticipated Star Wars Episode 8, which will help propel growth in the fourth quarter."

Retailers like Wal-Mart have already felt the pressure to keep enough inventory in stock to placate shoppers.

Specifically, WowWee's Fingerlings, plastic monkeys that hang on fingers, blink and respond to touch and sound, have quickly become one of the most sought-after toys of the year, making it a clear standout this holiday season.

Here's a closer look at the hottest toys to hit shelves for the 2017 holiday season:


Source: YouTube

WowWee's Fingerlings are being hailed as the Hatchimals of 2017, a nod to last year's most sought-after holiday toy.

With some retailers offering both the little monkeys as well as their own exclusives, it's been hard to keep these collectible toys on the shelves.

The toy, which typically retails for about $14.99, is being marketed on eBay for upwards of $20 to $70 for a single Fingerling and up to $799 for a full set. Holiday exclusives like Gigi the Unicorn and Kingsley the Sloth are being marketed at a slightly higher price than the traditional monkeys.

Ebay told CNBC that searches for Fingerlings have climbed over the last few months and more than doubled in just the last month. In the week ended Nov. 1, eBay said that one Fingerling was being bought every minute.

Price: $15

Buy now: Gigi the Unicorn

Hatchimals Surprise and Collectibles

Source: Walmart

Following the 2016 craze, Spin Master has two new additions to the Hatchimals line.

In the spring, the company launched Colleggtibles, a smaller and more affordable alternative. Later, Hatchimals Surprise, a larger egg with not one, but two Hatchimals inside followed.

Spin Master's Collegtibles follow the hot trend of collectible toys, which has grown to a more than $800 segment. Dollar sales were up 21 percent mid-year, NPD Group said.

Collegtibles are about a tenth the size of the traditional Hatchimal toy, and require kids to rub a heat sensitive purple heart on the shell of the toy until it turns pink. Then it's time to "hatch" the little egg. They press into the plastic egg and it cracks open, revealing a colorful little critter.

There are six new types of Hatchimals to collect and some retailers have exclusive selling rights to specific "species." Wal-Mart sells Zuffins, Target has Ligulls and Deerioles, and Toys R Us is the sole seller of Pupperdees. Peacats and Giraven can be found at multiple retailers.

Price: $70

Buy now: Hatchimals Surprise


Source: DropMix

Harmonix has another hit on its hands.

The maker of Rock Band, which mastered the art of bringing together music and toys, is doing it again. The company partnered with Hasbro to create DropMix, a product that is part card-game, part-video game.

For $99, you get a deck of 60 cards, which feature pieces of songs from various musical genres, and a battery-powered deck. Players place the cards down on the deck, which lights up when a card is played, to create music mixes. The deck connects via Bluetooth to mobile and smart devices when the free DropMix app is downloaded.

There are three game modes: clash, party and freestyle. The modes allow the player to either play against a friend, play against the computer or just fiddle around and create their own mixes.

Price: $99

Buy now: DropMix

Roarin' Tyler and Ivy

Source: Target

Last year, kids fell in love with Torch, My Blazin' Dragon from Hasbro's FurReal Friends line. This year, it'll be Roarin' Tyler and Ivy that will be getting all the hugs.

Roarin' Tyler is an orange fluffy, plush tiger that responds to touch and reacts realistically to outside stimulus. Ivy is sold separately and is a white tiger. So if you roar at Tyler or Ivy, they'll roar right back.

The toys feature more than 100 motions and sounds. When you wave a little squeaker toy near their mouths, they will play tug of war.

Price: $130

Buy now: Roarin' Tyler

Barbie Dream Horse

Source: Target

Forget the dream house, Barbie's next big thing is a dream horse.

This battery-operated horse is large enough for Barbie to ride and can walk and even dance on its own. The toy makes realistic horse sounds, responds to touch and can be voice-activated.

The white stallion has long blonde hair that can be brushed and will respond to a set of plastic carrots with a chomping sound. The company intentionally did not name the horse so children could create a firmer connection with the toy by naming it themselves.

Animatronic horses are popular this year. Spin Master's Zoomer line is releasing a robotic horse toy, as is Mattel's rival, Hasbro, which is slated to debut a battery-operated My Little Pony Magic Twilight Sparkle toy.

Price: $99

Buy now: Barbie Dream Horse

'Star Wars' Black Series 6-inch figures

Source: Amazon

Fans of "Star Wars" will have no shortage of new toys and collectibles to choose from this year. Not only is the hotly anticipated "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" hitting the screen in December, but it's also the 40th anniversary of the original trilogy.

Hasbro's 6-inch Black Series figures are a particular standout. These action figures are slightly larger and more detailed than their 3-3/4-inch counterparts and are a hot commodity among kids and collectors.

Big sellers this year will include characters from "The Last Jedi" and 40th anniversary figures, which recreate the iconic artwork and style of the original Kenner brand.

Price: $20 and up

Buy now: Star Wars Hans Solo 6 inch figure

Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi

Source: Kohl's

The Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi is an interactive toy for kids from Mattel's Fisher Price division. Movi has 360 degrees of mobility and specialty tire tracks so that it can move over most in-home surfaces.

The toy has several game modes including "red light, green light" and "Movi says." Movi also asks kids to identify animal noises and makes more than 60 different facial expressions.

Price: $49.99

Buy now: Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi

Funko Pop!

Source: Funko

Collectibles aren't just for kids. Funko has become a cornerstone in the geek merchandise industry with its variety of pop culture figurines.

From "Game of Thrones" and "Harry Potter" to "Dragonball Z" and "Fallout," the company has more than 1,000 different licensed vinyl figures. Expect to see new figures from "Power Rangers," iconic Nickelodeon shows and "Stranger Things" this holiday season.

Price: $6 and up

Buy now: Funko Pop "Stranger Things"

Sphero's 'Star Wars' App-enabled R2-D2

R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid by Sphero
Source: Amazon

Two years ago, entertainment robotics company Sphero released a miniature BB-8 droid to rave reviews and millions of dollars in sales. In 2016, it updated the popular toy by adding a device called Force Band, which allows users to control the bot with a wave of their hand.

In 2017, Sphero has R2-D2, every "Star Wars" fan's favorite astromech. The miniature droid's movements are authentic, including R2's signature waddles and his ability to go from a bipod to a tripod stance. The droid also has working lights and sound.

Using the app, R2-D2 can interact with other app-enabled droids and roam holographic versions of ships from the "Star Wars" universe.

Price: $180

Buy now: Sphero's Star Wars App Enabled R2-D2

Slow-rising squishy toys

Source: Amazon

One of the hottest collectibles this year is slow-rise squeeze toys. These items, reminiscent of stress balls, are shaped like food and are made from a squishy foam.

Soft 'N Slo Squishes and Smooshy Mushy are two of the predominant brands associated with these toys. These collectibles come in individual, identified packages and blind packs where you don't know what you'll get.

Blind packs have long been a popular purchase for parents because they are low in cost and add an element of surprise when kids open them. From June 2016 to June 2017, sales of blind packs grew 48 percent, according to NPD Group.

Price: $4 and up

Buy now: Soft 'N Slo Cinnamon Roll squishie

L.O.L Surprise

Source: Amazon

Another hot collectible is L.O.L Surprise. The toy, a plastic sphere that holds individually wrapped dolls and accessories, was the fastest-selling toy in September, according to NPD Group, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Half the fun of buying an L.O.L Surprise is opening it. The dome-shaped case is filled with a doll and several accessories that are each hidden under a layer of plastic. Each time you peel back a layer, you get another surprise.

There are thousands of YouTube videos dedicated to these "unboxings" with millions of views.

Coming into the holiday season, the company has release the L.O.L Big Surprise filled with 50 surprises including four dolls and dozens of accessories. While a regular L.O.L Surprise will cost you about $9, the Big Surprise is a whopping $70.

Price: $9 and up

Buy now: L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise

Frozen Sleigh

Disney Frozen 12-Volt Ride-On Sleigh

Retailers are hoping to lure in consumers this holiday season with exclusive toy offers.

Last year, Wal-Mart sold out of its Disney Princess Carriage and had to order more ahead of the holiday season. This year, the company is selling a "Frozen" Sleigh.

The blue sleigh, which uses a 12-volt battery instead of Sven the reindeer, goes up to five miles per hour, has flashing lights and plays a magical tune on command.

Price: $298

Buy now: Frozen Sleigh

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch gaming console

The Nintendo Switch is due to be a hot seller this holiday season. The mobile console, which has a screen, a pair of removable controllers and a dock to connect to the TV, retails for just under $300 and it's selling out.

Since its launch in March, Nintendo has raised sales estimates several times. At the end of October, the company, which had aimed to sell 10 million Switch consoles by March 2018, said it now expects to sell 14 million units.

Price: $299.99

Buy now: Nintendo Switch

Nerf Rival – Nemesis

Source: Amazon

Nerf's newest toy weapon doesn't use traditional darts, it uses round ones.

The Rival Nemesis, which looks more like a paintball gun than a Nerf gun, is the brand's foray into more sophisticated and competition-ready toy guns.

The toy, which comes in red or blue, has an easy-to-fill hopper and shoots its rounds at 100 feet per second.

In the first half of the year, Nerf, owned by Hasbro, was the No. 2 U.S. toy property based on dollars, according to NPD Group.

Price: $80

Buy now: Nerf Rival Nemesis


These items have been handpicked by our editorial team. CNBC has affiliate relationships with some retailers so in some cases, if you purchase an item from one of our gift guides, we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchase. This holiday season, the proceeds will be donated to the Council for Economic Education, which supports economic and financial education.