What’s old is fun again. Toy Insider Senior Editor Ali Mierzejewski stopped by Better Connecticut in New Haven to show off some great nostalgic toys that kids will love as much as their parents did when they were younger. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.


  • Parents and grandparents will remember everyone’s favorite storytelling bear from the 1980s.
  • The new 14-inch Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic bear that is totally lovable, and brings magic and friendship to storytime with interactive technologies and features.
  • Teddy Ruxpin enjoys telling tales and singing songs with friends, making him the perfect companion for both little ones who love hearing stories, as well as older children just starting out on their reading journey.
  • He has colored LCD eyes with more than 40 different animations, and an animatronic mouth that syncs to his speech.
  • Touch sensors allow kids to control the story and songs.
  • Teddy features three original pre-loaded stories, including seven sing-along songs.
  • There are two Modes of Play: with or without the free Teddy Ruxpin app (app is secondary). View the digital books to read along with Teddy using the storytime app, or kids can enjoy listening to TR’s stories without the app, anytime anywhere.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart


  • These full-body hand puppets come to life when kids animate mouth and hands through the access point in the back. Find pockets in the gloves to wave, clap, and blow kisses.
  • The Mickey puppet is the essence of all things Disney, with his iconic red shorts, yellow-gold shoes, and white gloves.
  • The Minnie puppet is adorned in her classic vintage style, with polka-dot skirt over bloomers, over-sized high-heeled pumps, white gloves, and flower in hat.
  • Also available are Donald, Pluto, and Goofy.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $65.99-119.99
  • Available: Amazon


  • Decadent desserts transform into princesses with every Cupcake Surprise.
  • This two-in-one toy transforms a sweet-smelling cupcake into a princess doll.
  • Cupcake Surprise is currently available in 12 different styles with six available scents: strawberry, vanilla, grape, chocolate, lemon, and peanut butter.
  • An additional 24 Cupcake Surprise styles will be released throughout the year, equating to 32 dolls in all.
  • Each doll comes with her own styling hairbrush.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Amazon, Meijers, K-Mart


  • Parents can show kids some of their favorite games from childhood, such as Aggravation, Guess Who, Life, and Yahtzee.
  • Beloved 1980’s version of the classic mystery face game in Guess Who. There’s a mystery person on your opponent’s card. Can you find the matching face in the crowd?
  • In Aggravation, two to six players compete in this classic race around the board from Base to Home. Take shortcuts to zip ahead. Or, try the super shortcut to shoot across the board.
  • Good fortune is always around the corner in the 1960s classic, The Game of Life.
  • The fabulously famous dice game of Yahtzee, introduced over fifty years ago, continues to delight millions of players! Same styling as the original game with aluminum rimmed dice cup, five dice, score pad and bonus chips.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $14.50-38.95
  • Available: Amazon, Calendar Club, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, and Specialty Toy & Game Stores Nationwide


  • The magic of Tickle Me Elmo returns—a new version for a whole new generation of fans.
  • Press Elmo’s furry tummy or squeeze his feet to hear his contagious giggle. Continue to squeeze and “tickle” Elmo to make him laugh harder and harder until he starts to move and shake with laughter.
  • Ages: 18 mos+
  • MSRP: $29.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart


  • The Fashion Press Paper Fashion Maker is a new from Fashion Plates.
  • The unique Fashion Press roller tool is easy to use and lets kids press and punch out countless combinations from almost any kind of paper, without tracing or cutting.
  • Kids can get started with the included paper sheets, then add to their collection. Use magazine pages, wrapping paper, construction paper, or even their own drawing.
  • Kids simply place their paper into any of the eight Fashion Press punch plates and roll through the roller tool to easily punch out tops, bottoms, boots, and more.
  • Create chic collections, then layer, embellish, and glue to the included model sheets to display in a portfolio.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $34.99
  • Available: Amazon

About the author

Bill Reese

Bill Reese

Bill Reese is Business Operations Manager at Adventure Media & Events, where he's worked since 2014. A former editor at Playbill and graduate of SUNY–Purchase, he spends most weekends rooting for the New York Red Bulls pro soccer team and making subway systems out of Brio trains with his little boy Jonah.