#RealTalk: While it may pain us to admit it, on more than one occasion, our kids’ toys have made us question our own intelligence. With all the “tech this” and “smart toy that,” these high-tech toys ensure that playtime is always evolving.

Last week, The Toy Insider team unveiled this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, where we showcase more than 200 toys that will be the most sought after gifts this holiday season. In addition to our special Hot 20 and STEM 10 selections, we also shared our Top Tech 12list. This handpicked batch of toys reflects the most savvy and forward-thinking gadgets that will hit the market this holiday season.

From toys that fly, are DIY, and everything in between, check out this year’s hottest tech toys.

LeapFrog is a go-to company whenever I’m looking for a toy that’s safe, fun, and educational. The newest tablet to join the collection comes with kid-appropriate learning content and games. Little ones can let their curiosity get the best of them as they surf through the LeapSearch web browser, which is kid-safe and allows parents to set parental controls. Let’s put those noggins to work!

These interactive tots have lifelike features and require kids’ love and attention. Little ones can care and nurture for their dolls, and perform tasks like real moms and dads. The babes respond to their lamby, bottle, and spoon in many special ways. For example, parents-in-training can feed their doll with the spoon, and he or she will actually chew. The more the dolls are fed, they’ll pick up on new food words. The adorable dolls feature more than 100 different reactions and words, constantly keeping little ones on their toes in anticipation of what their baby will surprise them with next. How cute!

Prepare to geek out! This lifelike BB-8 is more than 16 inches tall and has built-in voice recognition. In Follow Me mode, fans of Star Wars—both kids and adults—can live out their galactic dreams and make BB-8 loyally roll by their side as it would for Rey or Poe. The Star Wars replica can be controlled by R/C, and will also come when he is beckoned and react to key phrases.

Superheroes are real! Well, they’re as real as it gets with this gesture-control drone. The wearable glove controller lets kids fly the drone backward, forward, and even perform tricks all with the power of their own hands. Like I said, magic!

VRSE (Skyrocket)

Once adventurers slap these goggles on, they will instantly be transported to another world. This virtual reality gaming platform is available in two game sets, and takes kids on epic escapades where they will fight off a hungry T-Rex in Jurassic World, or head to Gotham City and stop the Joker from seizing the city. It’s on!

Lightseekers Starter Kit (TOMY International)

This new role-play game is designed for mobile devices and fuses fantasy and reality, integrating video games and smart action figures with artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), interactive trading cards, and more. Each action figure is a mini-computer that makes up the “brains” behind the whole gaming platform, and can even be customized to work as the game controller. As kids play, they can add physical accessories to their figures, or scan their trading cards to create their own customized gameplay. The possibilities are endless!

Digiloom (WowWee)

Tech meets DIY with this fashion forward device. Digiloom is an app-controlled weaving machine that lets kids turn fashion bands into unique bracelets, anklets, headbands, bookmarks, and more! This new age of weavers use the Digiloom app to drag and drop letters, emojis, and other fun icons, and then weave the creations with the physical machine. See you at Fashion Week!

R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid (Sphero)

This droid comes from a galaxy far, far away. Kids can control R2-D2 with a smart device, or watch it patrol on its own. The signature front and rear LED lights are fully functional, and the integrated speaker makes sounds that come directly from the bot. Additionally, using AR kids can explore the Star Wars galaxy, roam through iconic spaceships, and more! Have a Star Wars movie marathon, and R2-D2 will react to the movie. Somebody grab the popcorn!

Looks can be deceiving. Upon first glance, this toy looks like a regular ‘ol box, but think again. This holographic cube lets kids control holograms while they play, learn, and explore. Take it to the next level with a pair of Merge VR goggles to completely immerse yourself in a holographic world. Who needs the real world when you can have an augmented one?!

Meccano M.A.X. (Spin Master)

This one-of-a-kind personal companion combines AI learning with customizable programming to create a unique, personal companion. Once programmed, M.A.X. comes to life, and includes a built-in gaming platform for added fun. Kids can create musical mixes by moving their robo friend’s arms and tracks, or ask him a joke and prepare to LOL. #BestFriendGoals


Sky Viper V2450 GPS (Skyrocket)

This savvy drone uses a network of satellites to determine its position in relation to its coordinates, and stays on the correct path without drifting away. Best yet, this model has high-tech features that make it smarter than the average drone so it will never wander too far out of sight during flight. Plus, the Return Home feature will bring your flying friend back to you with the push of a button. E.T. phone drone!

Big kids—myself included—will freak the heck out when they get their hands on this baby! Using a smart phone, users can take on the role of the Dark Knight and control the vehicle from the palm of their hands. The camera in the vehicle’s cockpit allows Batman enthusiasts to drive from Batman’s point of view. The vehicle also features moving missiles, roaring engine noises, four armored up wheels, and smoke release from the exhaust pipe. Talk about smokin’ hot!

About the author

Stephanie Grassullo

Stephanie Grassullo

Stephanie Grassullo is an associate editor at Adventure Publishing Group. In addition to handling toy and licensing news and updates for The Toy Book and The Licensing Book, Stephanie also writes toy reviews and commentaries for the Toy Insider. When she’s not binge-watching old episodes of Gossip Girl, Stephanie is always game for Boggle tournaments—she’s the titleholder Boggle champion in her family, and proud of it! Stephanie firmly believes that there is no awkward moment that can’t be remedied with the help of Bop It. To get to know her better, follow her on Twitter @steph_grass.