Parents can skip the trip to the pet store and head straight to toy aisles that will be filled with pets in all shapes, colors, sizes, and species this year. We found a zoo’s worth of animals at the 113th North American International Toy Fair—with more advanced features than ever before—that will be kids’ best friends forever. All of these toys tugged at my heartstrings ever so tightly, because if you know anything about me, I did not grow up with pets and these toys have a special place in my heart. Please see here and here for your reference. All of these new pet toys are filled with personality, engagement, and no mess!
FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon (Hasbro)
Please look into these sparkly eyes and tell me you don’t want twenty of these. Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon, is one of the newest pets in Hasbro’s FurReal Friends line of interactive pets. This little dragon has a spunky personality and totally engaging features that will make kids love him instantly. Torch breathes flame-colored mist—giving a whole new meaning to “it’s getting lit.” Kids can watch the little dragon toast his favorite treat, a marshmallow, when they bring the treat close to the mist. Please note: this is not real fire and kids are in no danger. This is just light and water to make the illusion of actual smoke and fire. Everyone on Instagram lost it when we posted a video of Torch toasting his marshmallow—AND RIGHTFULLY SO. When kids feed Torch his marshmallow, he will become the happiest dragon in all the land and make happy munching sounds. Torch also feautures more than fifty sound and motion combinations, and has sensors around his nose so kids can interact with him in fun, new ways. We had a sample of Torch in the office and we loved him so much that we had to take turns watching him on our desks (because #adulting). Torch is love. Torch is life.
I have been enamored with this dog ever since he made a huge impression at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and there may or may not have been tears in my eyes when I saw it IRL at Toy Fair. CHiP (Canine Home Intelligent Pet) is the ultimate artificially intelligent dog. Although he’s a robot, he’s so close to playing with the real thing. CHiP recognizes its master and responds to commands using the included SmartBand, a rechargeable wearable controller. The robotic pup also comes with a SmartBall, which CHiP can interact with in all the ways a real dog would—playing fetch, games, and even a match of soccer. Like all dogs, CHiP gets tired, but it is so smart that it knows when it’s time to head to its special SmartBed and recharge. CHiP is a must have for every connected home.
Hatchimals (Spin Master)
Hatchimals is a brand new line from Spin Master that is so top secret that nobody was allowed to take any photos or videos of it. I would do all consumers everywhere injustice if I had left this line off this round-up because our whole editorial team is positive that this will be one of top toys of this holiday season. Hatchimals are interactive, unique creatures that embody the wonder of surprise and the magic of friendship. I can’t reveal what exactly is going to happen, but kids are the keys to releasing their magic! Hold, hatch, play!
FurReal Friends Bootsie (Hasbro)
This cat is
probably 100 percent my spirit animal. Bootsie, another one of the newest friends in the FurReal Friends line from Hasbro, is the sweetest, sassiest cat coming out this year. One of my favorite parts about this cat is her expressive eyebrows—like, come on, they seriously look like they came straight from a ’90s cartoon of a grandpa with the furriest eye caterpillars. These expressions let kids know how she’s feeling, whether she’s happy, surprised, excited, shy, and even sometimes mad (because, #cats). She will thank kids for petting her with a grateful purr, and kids can feed her with the included fish-shaped sushi treat. When it’s time to wind down, kids can pick Bootsie up, move her postable arms, and snuggle with her. Things that Bootsie and I have in common: we both love to be cuddled, can be tempted with sushi, and always have eyebrows on fleek.
Little Live Pets Snuggles My Dream Puppy (Moose Toys)
You can practically feel how soft this puppy is just by looking at this photo. Actually, Snuggles is so soft that if kids cuddle and snuggle with him, they won’t feel the electronics inside of him—perfect for bedtime! He will interact when kids scratch his tummy, rub his little nose, and feed him with his teeny tiny bottle. When he gets too sleepy to play, kids can lay him on his side and watch him breathe. I was screaming internally while I was writing this whole paragraph. Click here to see this cutie it in action.
Zoomer Chimp (Spin Master)
Now, a monkey isn’t something kids will only see in a zoo (younger me would flip out). Zoomer Chimp is the cheekiest friend out there. He can follow and react to kids movements, respond to voice commands with tricks and sounds, and run on four legs or stand up. But also, his face is completely animated: His facial expressions and color-changing eyes will tell kids exactly how he’s feeling. This tumbling, flipping, galloping chimp will go bananas for a good time (haha, get it?). He’s your prime-mate! (I’ll stop now.) Check him out in action! The The Zoomer line will also have more new friends, such as Zooming Marshall from the popular show Paw Patrol and Zoomer Meowzies.
Cuddle Bot Honey Bee and Lightning Bug (Hexbug)
Prepare for cuteness overload! For the tiniest tots, these soft, rounded playmates will scurry around using Hexbug’s vibration technology. Available in two styles, honey bee and lightning bug, kids (and adults) won’t be able to resist the cute little faces and squishy bodies.
Robo Fish Recharge (Zuru)
The new Robo Fish Recharge has the latest micro-robotic technology, is water activated, and comes with a recharge pad for up to 16 hours of play. All kids need to do is drop them in water and watch them burst to life, swimming in five different directions! Do you know what that means? No cleaning the tank. EVER. Sign me up!