There are so many amazing toys out there, it can be hard to know just which items to buy for the kids in your life. To help us all navigate those busy toy aisles, Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht brought some of the hottest toys of the year to KTVU San Francisco. No matter who you’re shopping for this season, the Toy Insider knows just the right gifts for you!
SkyViperHDVideoDrone_V950_SkyrocketToysSky Viper HD Video Drone V950 (Skyrocket Toys)

  • The Sky Viper HD Video Drone is a full-sized performance drone that can record video and pictures in full 720p High Definition from a bird’s eye view!
  • Performs one-touch custom camera moves in autopilot mode.
  • Measures 12.75” blade to blade.
  • All award-winning, remote-controlled Sky Viper Drones feature extreme performance capabilities, exciting one-touch stunts, 6-axis stabilization, new impact-resistant uni-body designs, and variable modes of flight sensitivity.
  • Ages: 12+
  • MSRP: $89.99


Falcon Puppet (Folkmanis) Folkmanis.AnimalPuppets

  • Swooping in for a perfect landing is the Folkmanis® PEREGRINE FALCON puppet.
  • Signature markings of the species, extraordinary design and realistic movement in the head, mouth and wings give flight to your imagination.
  • Create your own medieval scene and practice your falconry skills anywhere with this majestic bird.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $37.99


WickedCoolToys.MasterChefJrMasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set (Wicked Cool Toys) 

  • Recreate the fun and excitement of the hit TV series MasterChef Junior at home!
  • The new MasterChef Junior cooking sets include real cooking tools with kid-safe, non-slip silicone grips.
  • Each set features 3 unique recipe cards for all levels of experience – line cook, sous chef, and master chef, plus 1 blank recipe card to write your own recipe!
  • The Cooking Essentials Set includes an apron, cutting board, mixing bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons, spatula, spoon, tongs, and 4 recipe cards.
  • Collect all 5 sets and become the ultimate MasterChef Junior!
  • Recipes included: Grilled Cheese (Line Cook), Baked Chicken Nuggets (Sous Chef) & Foil-Roasted Salmon and Vegetables (Master Chef)
  • Food is not included
  • Which challenge will you take on first?
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $29.99


Cabbage Patch Kids 14” Girl (Wicked Cool Toys)WickedCoolToys.CabbagePatchKid14Inch

  • Kids can take the Oath of Adoption with this lovable and cute Cabbage Patch Kids Girl.
  • Take her with you everywhere you go and snuggle up for a peaceful nights sleep.
  • Each one comes with a key that unlocks the heart locket of any CPK Adoptimal Pet.
  • This 14″ Patch girl doll comes with adoption papers from Babyland General Hospital.
  • She has a unique name and birthday just like you.
  • Moreover, each doll has a much-improved modern style including updated fashions and cute accessories.
  • They include glasses, bracelets, tiaras and much more.
  • It is a thoughtful gift idea for a birthday, holiday or other special occasion.
  • Make the promise to love and care for your new friend and join the family today.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $59.99


WickedCoolToys.AdoptimalCabbage Patch Kids Adoptimals (Wicked Cool Toys)

  • Cabbage Patch Kids 9” plush, elecrtonic Adoptimal pets! These furry little friends are looking for their forever home!
  • Cabbage Patch Adoptimals include a special heart locket with lights and sounds, including barking, panting and other happy sounds.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $19.99


Kurio Smart Windows Tablet (KD Interactive) KDInteractive.KurioXtreme2

  • Kurio Smart, the tablet for students, is the first Windows device from KD Interactive.
  • This 2-in-1 tablet computer is designed with young scholars in mind, taking them from homework to play.
  • Combining the best of both productivity and fun, this sleek, lightweight and portable Windows tablet-and-laptop-in-one has a 9” touch screen and includes a detachable keyboard.
  • A great first computer and educational took, Kurio Smart is perfect for writing papers, reading e-books, studying, and safely browsing the web.
  • It is also packed with free educational and entertainment content, so it’s ready to go right out of the box.
  • Kurio Smart comes preloaded with more than 40 apps and games (a $200 value), having kids running, jumping, and even dancing.
  • Kids can take photos and videos, stream music and videos from Spotify, YouTube Kids, Netflix, Skype, and stay connected with kid-safe email. Parents can access hundreds of thousands of more apps through the Windows Store.
  • The Smart comes with powerful parental controls.
  • Initial units will ship with Windows 8.1 OS (users can easily upgrade to Windows 10) and a free year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal; units produced after September will come with Windows 10 and the new Microsoft Office Mobile apps.
  • Additional tech specs: Quad-core Intel Bay Trail-T processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 32GB of built-in storage, front- and rear-facing cameras, micro USB port and micro HDMI port, which allows Kurio Smart to be connected to a TV.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $199.99


Nintendo.New3DSXLNew Nintendo 3DS XL (Nintendo)

  • Nintendo’s newest portable video game system offers a number of new enhancements designed to offer the smoothest and most engrossing experience possible.
  • The system includes super-stable 3D via face-tracking technology and built-in NFC functionality that allows for communication with amiibo figures.
  • From brain-training games like Brain Age to the all-time favorites of Mario, Pokémon and Legend of Zelda adventures, this system plays hundreds of quality games from past, present and future.
  • Immerse yourself in games like never before with the super-stable, face-tracking 3D of the system. No special glasses needed – just start up a game and enjoy!
  • Gaming is most rewarding on Nintendo 3DS – this portable system is renowned for having some of the best game experiences anywhere, while still being accessible for all ages. Play solo adventures or team up with friends in multiplayer games.
  • Ages: 7+
  • MSRP: $199.99


Yo-Kai Watch (Nintendo)Nintendo.YoKaiWatch

  • YO-KAI WATCH is a video game phenomenon in Japan, and this is the first time it’s available in the United States.
  • This is one of the hottest games for kids for the holidays. It’s made exclusively for the portable Nintendo 3DS family of systems, including the New Nintendo 3DSXL.
  • Have you ever forgotten your keys or found yourself running late? Maybe a Yo-kai is why. Players must find and befriend these mischievous Yo-kai that inhabit the world and turn them into a team that battles other Yo-kai.
  • The game has more than 200 hidden Yo-kai for kids to find, and each one has its own unique skills and strengths.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $39.99


Jakks.sing_along_elsaDisney Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa (Jakks Pacific)

  • Little girls can create the perfect duet with Elsa, with the all-new Sing-A-Long Elsa doll from Jakks Pacific!
  • Girls can pass the included microphone back and forth between themselves and the Elsa doll, and together they can sing the full length Academy Award winning song, “Let It Go.”
  • Watch as Elsa’s necklace and dress magically light up!
  • Elsa sings and says more than 15 original phrases in both English and Spanish.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $39.99


Star Wars Voice Changer Boombox (eKids)eKids.DarthVaderVoiceChanger

  • Now you can sound just like Darth Vader! Join the dark side with Darth Vader lines and real sound effects from the film Saga!
  • You can also connect your MP player to rock out to your own tunes!
  • Change your voice to sound like Darth Vader. Includes Darth Vader phrases.
  • Sound effects from the Star Wars saga.
  • Connect your MP3 player.
  • You can even sing along in Darth Vader’s voice.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $29.99

About the author

Christopher Braun

Christopher Braun

Christopher Braun is the editorial assistant at Adventure Publishing Group. He is a recent transplant from Ohio, and spends the bulk of his free time reading, running and exploring his new home in New York. When he’s not at home or in the office, he’s on a park bench somewhere, enjoying fresh air with his nose deep in a novel or magazine. With a lifelong interest in literature and art, Christopher loves any toy that helps kids share their creativity and imagination with family and friends. He thinks coloring books and crayons are necessary for a fulfilling life and no home is too small for a craft closet. To keep up with Christopher, follow him on Twitter @chrisjamesbraun.