zombieLast year was a pretty tough Halloween on the east coast. Just a few days before the holiday, Hurricane Sandy shut off our lights, devastated our coasts, and in my neck of the woods, pretty much canceled parties and trick-or-treating. So this year I hope to see all our favorite ghosts and goblins make a big comeback.   

Who will you be this year? The Marvel superheroes will be strong sellers. Lets face it: what kid doesn’t want to save the world—and what adult doesn’t want a few hours to be “that hot” at a grown up party dressed up as Iron Man or Wonder Woman!

For little girls, if you haven’t purchased their Doc McStuffins or Sofia the First costumes yet, good luck finding them. I’ve yet to meet a 4-year-old girl that hadn’t loved one or both of these new favorite characters. Boys are loving Jake and his Never Land Pirates, Skylanders, Trash Pack Kids, and Slugterra.

But it’s not just in the costume. There are some great additions to the two hottest video games with Halloween themes this year that I need to share. Skylanders Giants released their special Halloween edition called Eye-Brawl. It’s sports a pumpkin head and a skeleton head at his feet. Disney Infinity will let kids build their own Halloween town in Toy Box mode, with the Pumpkin King throwing pumpkins at other characters, including the newly released Jack Skellington.

Super Mario Ghost House Set, from K'NEX
Super Mario Ghost House Set, from K’NEX

K’NEX is known for their great building sets, and they have some cool ones themed for the season. Construction toys rule where I’m concerned in both the developmental skills they offer and the play value you get from a great set. Check out K’NEX’s Super Mario Ghost House set where kids help Mario battle Boos. And the zombie craze is in full swing … for girls! The new line of Once Upon a Zombie dolls, from WowWee, are really gorgeous and feature familiar princesses zombified.

Halloween only lasts for a day, but you can make these purchases last a whole lot longer. Costumes are great for dress-up and pretend play all year long. I used to keep a big open bin in my playroom and before the girls played any game, they usually began their play dates getting all glamoured  out with the many costumes acquired for my three daughters.

Both the world of Skylanders and Disney Infinity offer kids physical toys that come to life in their video games, with play options on and off screen. These new characters may be holiday-themed, but will be played with by fans (and collectors) all year.

Embrace the Halloween spirit with fun costumes and toys that you will use year round—and a little bit of those treats!

Laurie Schacht, the Toy Insider Mom, scours the toy aisles all year to find the best toys for the holiday season to make shopping easier! Every year, the Toy Insider releases a Holiday Gift Guide with the top toys of the season. To learn more, check out thetoyinsider.com!

About the author

Laurie Schacht

Laurie Schacht

Laurie Schacht is President and Chief Toy Officer of The Toy Insider, the No. 1 resource for parents, grandparents, and any gift-giver looking for the perfect toys and gifts for the kids in their lives. Laurie has more than 25 years of experience in the toy industry, reporting on and overseeing changes and trends in the business. She has been quoted in major broadcast and print media outlets, such as The Today Show, Sherri, ABC World News Now, Fox & Friends, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg News, and Yahoo! Finance. You can follow her on Twitter @ToyInsiderMom and like her on Facebook.