As this year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at our most-read stories of 2021! Of course, our Holiday Gift Guide rang in at No. 1, but there was also plenty of love for Squishmallows, Dino Ranch, Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron, Gabby’s Dollhouse, 5 Surprise Mini Brands, and fidget toys!

Check out our top 10 stories of the year at!

1. The Toy Insider’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Our 16th annual Toy Insider holiday gift guide features the best toys, games, and gifts for every kid on your holiday shopping list! This year’s guide is packed with a brand new selection of toys for kids of all ages, from family games and fun activities to active play and educational toys. Make sure to check out our Hot 20 list of the hottest toys, our STEM 10 list, and our budget-friendly 12 Under $20 list.

Spring Squishmallows | Source: Kellytoy/the Toy Insider

2. Get Egg-Cited for Pastel Easter Squishmallows

Last Easter was egg-stra special, thanks to the adorable spring Squishmallows! The lineup included Easter egg styles (don’t miss the bunny and the llama hiding inside eggs!), a chick, a cow, and more spring takes on classic Squishmallows characters.

3. Pop It! Offers the Fun of Bubble Wrap Without the Waste

This Pop It! review was first posted in 2019 and it’s still going strong! Kids (and adults) are still obsessing over fidget toys, including Pop It! from Buffalo Games. It has all the fun of bubble wrap with no packages necessary. Kids can play with it for sensory fun — keeping their hands engaged as they pop, pop, pop!

4. 2021 Top Toys & Trends

Back in February, we gave a sneak peek at some of the newest toys in production and gave our predictions on the most sought-after toys of 2021. From outer space-themed toys to social-emotional learning (SEL) toys, take a look at the top toy trends and see if your kids agreed!

5. Bring the Wild Dino West Home with Jazwares’ Dino Ranch Toys

Jazwares debuted new Dino Ranch toys at our Sweet Suite at Home event in July, including dinosaur-themed vehicles, figures, plush toys, and playsets for preschool fans of the Disney+ series. The dino-riffic collection debuted in the fall.

Magic Mixies | Source: Moose Toys

6. Conjure Up an Adorable Creature with Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron

Moose Toys launched the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron this fall with the help of actor Neil Patrick Harris. The cauldron comes with everything that kids need to create a potion that reveals a Magic Mixies creature. The Mixie lights up, makes sounds, and interacts with the magic wand. After revealing the Mixie, kids can make their own potions and recreate the mist with additional play modes. Harris made an appearance at CAMP‘s Columbus Circle store to show off the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron in a virtual media event.

7. Take Gabby’s Dollhouse Home with New Spin Master Toys

Spin Master launched a toy line inspired by Netflix’s animated series Gabby’s Dollhouse. The show follows Gabby as she takes preschoolers through each room in her dollhouse, encountering fascinating mini-worlds and cute kitty friends. The toys look just like the ones in the show, including a dollhouse, a talking plush kitty, a magical cat-ear headband, and more.

8. Sensory FX Is What ASMR Dreams Are Made Of

With Just Play‘s line of Sensory FX toys and collectibles, kids can make and get that satisfying ASMR feeling anytime, anywhere. These sensory fidget toys have various textures to activate different sounds, so kids can really get their creative juices flowin’.

9. Collect Your Favorite Toys in Miniatures with ZURU’s Toy Mini Brands

ZURU released 5 Surprise Toy Mini Brands featuring tiny versions of classic and modern toys from licensors such as CrayolaRubik’sWowWee, and Wham-O, alongside brands from ViacomCBS’ Nickelodeon — and even ZURU’s own brands, such as Smashers, Bunch O Balloons, X-Shot, Rainbocorns, and Metal Machines. The collectibles include more than 60 toys that are designed to match their full-sized counterparts.

10. Get in the Spirit with SiriusXM & Pandora’s Halloween Stations

This article was from October 2020, but people can’t get enough of Halloween! Last year, Pandora and SiriusXM helped set the spooky mood with Halloween-themed programming, including festive music, scary stories, virtual trick-or-treating, and more.

About the author

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco was a Senior Editor of The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider. She covered toy trends, pop culture, and entertainment news, and made appearances on national and regional outlets, including CBS, WPIX, News 12, and more. Jackie spends her time watching horror movies and working her way through every Stephen King novel out there.