As Black Friday rolls around, people everywhere will be thinking about the toys and gifts that they’ll want to pick up for the young people in their lives. In many senses, therefore, 2022 is no different from any other year. What does make it different, though, is the need to keep an eye out for a bargain. The cost of living crisis has gripped virtually everyone in the United Kingdom this year, with toy prices going up alongside pretty much everything else. With this in mind, getting the best deal you can could be crucial.
At the time of writing, there is no standout best-seller when it comes to the toys of 2022. That being said, there are are a wealth of weird and wonderful toys for you to get your hands on this year. Whether it be something new and interesting like the Jiggly Pets Puppy or an age old favourite like LEGO, there are options aplenty for your to choose from. Though the temptation might be there to aim for the best bargain, especially this year, your best bet is to look for the toy that you think will best suit the young one in your life.
Top 2022 Animals/Creatures
Toys tend to lend themselves to the world of animals and creatures, such is the extent to which they can be made to appear life-like or cartoonishly entertaining. They can be based on real things like puppies or kittens, or seemingly entirely made up in a way that engages a child’s imagination. It goes without saying that toy manufacturers aren’t stupid, so if there is the chance of trying one in to some sort of franchise then they’re going to do it. The good news is, if a child likes the franchise then they are likely to like the toy, too!
Jiggly Pets Puppy
There is something unquestionably cute and loveable about the Jiggly Pets Puppy, which is essentially something that looks like a shaggy dog. If that was all it offered then it would be worth getting for the dog-lover in your life, but when you pet it it also starts walking, jiggling about and dancing to music that it plays. Not only that, but the pup also wags its tail in a sign that it is seemingly enjoying life to the full. The puppies come in several different colours, which aren’t realistic but are all sorts of fun and joy.
Calico Critters Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon
Sally is a female pony that boasts long, flowing hair. Just as well, then, that this set allows you to style her hair in numerous different ways. The set comes with all sorts of accessories, from ribbons to hair clips via hair ties and shampoo. You get the building itself, as well as the furniture and fittings that you’d expect to find in a hair salon, including some magazines to read. On top of all of that, this also contains a hair styling book, offering tips and tricks on how to do the hair of a pony to make it look the best it can.
PAW Patrol, Rescue Knights Castle
When it comes to franchises that feature animals, Paw Patrol is the gold standard for the modern day. Chase and his buddies are used to taking on all sorts of different challenges, but there’s no question that the world of the medieval is a whole new offering. As well as Chase, complete in his blue dragon armour, you also get Draco to play in the castle of Barkingburg. There are secret rooms and passages, a throne and even a baby dragon. If someone misbehaves, they can be put into the jail at the bottom, too.
Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldron
Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Who doesn’t want to mix things together in a cauldron in order to get a weird and wonderful looking toy? This kit offers all of the ingredients to create a toy that emerges from mist and smoke, but will it work if you don’t say the magic words? Probably, to be honest, but the kids don’t need to know that. Once you’ve thrown everything into the cauldron, including Sound Dust for its voice and a Magic Feather to give it wings, the Mixie will come to life and provide an amiable companion.
Squeakee Interactive Balloon Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are timeless, so it’s no wonder that a new dino-themed toy pops up every year to claw its way into our hearts. In the case of Squeakee, he looks like a balloon dinosaur that has come to life, including the ability to make noise and move around at will. With over 70 different actions to perform, including chomping, there’s plenty to love about Squeakee. He’ll roar, but if you roar back he might just get scared. Put his headphones on, though, and he’ll dance around without a care in the world, maybe farting in excitement.
Imagine a cuddly toy that looks a bit like a marshmallow. Now imagine that it has a face and something of a personality. Put those two hands together and you’ve effectively imagine a Squishmallow, which is exactly what it sounds like. There are some that look like an octopus and others that resemble a panda, so it’s fair to say that there are plenty of choices available for you to choose from. They are soft, squishy and easily cleaned, but do beware of imitations as there are a fair few of them doing the rounds this year.
Skyrocket Moji the Loveable Labradoodle
Moji is a life-like Labradoodle that you can feed, comb the hair of and generally enjoy spending time with. There are a number of different options available in terms of making an offering to Moji, who has a collar on that reflects whether that is what they want courtesy of an emoji. The doggy will do tricks according to voice commands, including begging and lying down. With a tail that wags when he’s happy, the ability to play tug with a rope and eyes that will make your heart melt, Moji is an ideal dog-lovers toy.
Disney Buzz LightYear Sox Plush
Though the most recent film in the Toy Story franchise was named ‘Lightyear’, there would have been few complaints if it had been named ‘Sox’. The loveable robot cat stole the show, so youngsters up and down the land will be keen to get their hands on a soft toy version that has the ability to speak. The sounds are inspired by the movie, emerging from Sox when you press down on his left paw. Standing at nearly ten inches, he’s the ideal companion for nap times or bed times or really just any time you can think of.
Top 2022 Dolls
Dolls are timeless, so it is little wonder that they make the list of the best toys to look out for year after year. There are also all sorts of different dolls, from the sort that you might have come across whilst in your grandma’s attic through to the more modern iterations of Barbie. That means that there is a doll for virtually every occasion and to suit pretty much any young person that would want to play with one. Whether you want a doll from a franchise or something unique, it is a market worth shopping in.
Barbie Fashionistas Dolls
The company behind Barbie has worked hard to bring it as up-to-date as possible, which is what the Fashionistas range promises to do. As the name suggestions, fashion is at the forefront of this range, so you can expect gorgeous looking dresses on the girls and smart shirts on the boys. There is even a doll in a wheelchair, bringing disability front and centre in terms of the representation that it should have had years before. The theme is a wide-ranging one, so there’s likely to be a doll for everyone if you look out for it.
Barbie Cutie Reveal Dolls
Some people find humans dressed up as animals a bit freaky, so it might be worth looking at getting a Barbie Cutie Reveal doll as a way to ease them in gently. In essence, that’s exactly what this range of dolls offers: a Barbie inside an animals costume that you can take off to ‘reveal’ the doll underneath. Whether it be a pink bunny or a panda, there are all sorts of sweet looking dolls that come with their own suitable accessories, which include mini-pets and the ability to change colour from time to time.
Polly Pocket Tiny Power Seashell Purse
If you’re looking for a small gift that packs a punch, you could do a lot worse than opting for the Power Seashell Purse from Polly Pocket. In many ways, it does what it says on the tin, insomuch as it closed down into a shell shape and acts as a purse. Open it up, though, and you’ll find all sorts of things, including a hidden pearl and an octopus that spins around. There are numerous different tiny dolls within it, meaning that you get a real sense of bang for your buck with this offering. It even comes with some hearts and stars.
Stranger Things Funko Pops
Few TV shows in recent times have taken people on a journey quite like Stranger Things, offering an introduction to the horror genre. The characters are all memorable, which is why the Funko Pop dolls of them are instantly recognisable. Whether you want to pick up Eleven or Dustin, Erica or Steve in his ice cream shop outfit, the option is there for you. Indeed, there are numerous different versions of Eleven to choose from, to say nothing of a doll of the Demogorgon if you want to have nightmares.
My Squishy Little Dumplings
Kids tend to be tactile things, so picking a toy that lets them poke, prod and squeeze it without any adverse reactions is something that makes sense. The My Squishy Little Dumpling collection does exactly that, looking like a dumpling that is wearing the likes of clothes or glasses. In most cases, this will act as a stocking filler or something for someone that you don’t want to spend a fortune on, this toy is basically like a stress ball with more of a personality. It will definitely appeal to kids of all ages.
InstaGlam Glo Up Girls
In the modern age, kids should be allowed to play with whatever toy they want without facing the prejudice of those that are supposed to look after them. It is with this in mind that the InstaGlam Glo Up Girls have hit the market, giving young people a doll to play with that they can put make up or encourage to dress up as they see fit. The girls come with 25 different accessories and fashion surprises, so if you buy more than one then you can mix and match between them to get some unique looks on the go, ready for a spa day.
Top 2022 Action/Play Toys
Whilst there’s no question that any child should be able to play with whatever toy they wish to, there’s also no doubt that toy makers make things with certain genders in mind. For all that boys can and should play with dolls, the truth is that it is the action play toys that are aimed at them. Similarly, there will be plenty of girls out there that would love to get involved with some action toys, which tend to be more rough and tumble than the likes of a doll is ever going to be. These toys are all about the excitement.
Hot Wheels City Ultimate Garage
When it comes to the Hot Wheels City Ultimate Garage, there is a solid argument that the most important word is ‘Ultimate’. This is like the Hot Wheels set to end all Hot Wheels sets, offering a multi-level play track that promises enough room to store more than 100 cars. The track and cars would be fun enough on their own, but when you add a moving robotic t-rex into the mix, you can see why the makers consider this to be the ultimate toy on the market. When it’s constructed, this is an impressive looking set for anyone.
Hot Wheels City Dragon Drive Firefight Playset
Perhaps Hot Wheels appeals to you but the notion of getting the ‘ultimate’ set isn’t on your list. If that’s the case, the Dragon Drive Firefight set might be what you’re looking for. The tail of the dragon offers a loop-de-loop circuit for cars to travel on, with the aim being to hit the dragon on the head in order to ‘defeat’ it. You need to destroy it too, given the fact that it can go on the rampage depending on what levers you operate. This is a lovely looking toy set, which promises numerous different ways of being operated.
All-Terrain Batmobile Remote Control Vehicle
Since Adam West’s appearance as Batman in the 1960s, there are few characters that have remained as interesting to young people as the caped crusader. He is one of the most enduring characters of the DC Comics’ series, with this remote control vehicle promising the ability to take on any and all terrain. From the massive wheels to the impressive-looking car itself, this has all the hallmarks of something Batman would have designed if he was into making kids toys and not killing criminals in elaborate ways.
Nerf Ultra Select Fully Motorized Blaster
If we’re all honest with ourselves, we know that there are only so many toys you can buy kids before they get to an age when they want to shoot stuff. The good news is that Nerf made this their area of expertise, with the fully motorised blaster promising the ability to shoot foam darts at a rate of knots. This comes with the darts and some clips that you can load them into, meaning that the young person in your life can imagine themselves in an action movie of their own making, opting for either distance or accuracy with the gun.
Disney Buzz LightYear Toys
The launch of Lightyear in cinemas has allowed Buzz to be introduced to a whole new generation that might not have seen the Toy Story films. Here are some of the toys associated with the film that you can get: Disney Buzz LightYear XL-15 Uniform Buzz Space Ranger (12 inch) and also Disney Buzz LightYear Space Action Figure Astronaut in Jumpsuit (5 Inch) with Sox the Robot Cat.
His XL-15 flight suit is the outfit that he wears during his hyper-speed attempts. Standing at 11.5 inches tall, the toy promises 14 moveable joints that allow you to get him moving and recreating the action from the film. You can even get Buzz to take off his helmet once he’s adjusted to the atmosphere of the planet, such is the ‘realism’ that the toy makers have put into it. Alternatively, there is an action figure of Buzz in his jumpsuit, which also comes with a miniature version of Sox the cat, the true star of the movie.
Play-Doh Ultimate Ice Cream Truck
It is a sad fact of life that most ice cream isn’t really all that good for you. One of the ways that you can get around that is by buying an ice cream truck that doesn’t offer actual ice cream, but rather the Play-Doh version. At 37.5 inches tall, this isn’t a small undertaking, offering 27 accessories and making realistic sounds as you get your ice cream on the go. There are also 12 pots of Play-Doh included, giving ample opportunity to make different looking ice creams for all of the people that will queue up to get one.
Getting kids to colour something in is always a handy way of keeping them occupied. What JotBot promises is a robot that draws the shape they need to colour in in the first place, engaging them even more. A card is put into the back of the robot and a button is pressed, sending JotBot on its way around the paper to outline one of 280 different images that can be coloured in. Kids can even choose to code in their own shape if they’re so inclined, before sending JotBot off to draw it onto the paper prior to being coloured in.
Slimygoop Slimy Sand
It is perhaps a tad misleading to suggest that this is sand, given that it is much more in the ‘slimy goop’ category. Yet what it does do is mould like sand, allowing kids to build the likes of castles or dinosaurs. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that some of the sands are scented, as well as being glittery in appearance. This can be stretched and expanded, with more than six pounds worth of it in the kit. On top of that, there are also seven different colours, allowing for interesting designs to be made.
Aerobie Sonic Fin Football
The first thing to point out is that this is the American version of football, so you’ll receive something that isn’t as round as you’d expect if you’re a fan of the Premier League. What this does offer, though, is an American football with fins, which can be changed and altered to allow either left or righthand throws. Distance is one of the key things that this is able to deliver, having the capacity to fly more than 300 feet through the air. This is endorsed by a professional quarterback, so it’s got a lot going for it.
Top 2022 LEGO Sets
It seems as though 2022 is the year of the timeless toys, such is the extent to which toy manufacturers appear to be keen to get people to spend their money where they can. LEGO will always feature in a list of the most popular toys, largely thanks to the company’s ability to continually re-invent itself year after year. In its most simple form, it is just bricks that click together to make a representation of something, but it has become so much more than that and some of the things you can make with LEGO are incredible.
LEGO Fish Tank
It isn’t uncommon for kids to want to have some fish, given the relative ease with which they can be kept. It also isn’t uncommon for them to forget to feed them, so a nice alternative might be to buy a LEGO version. As well as the tank, you also get several different fish that you build and put into it. There are also some fitting accessories, like a treasure chest and a pirate’s sword, plus a parrot that can be built to offer some colour to the whole thing. A mini submarine is also included in the pack, to round it all off.
LEGO Technic Monster Jam
Anyone that has watched the likes of LEGO Masters will know that LEGO Technic is the side of LEGO that adds more technicality to proceedings. In this case, it is a monster truck that offers a 2-in-1 build, shifting from being a pull back shark truck to a low racer car with an epic Lusca design. The fins of the ‘shark’ move, whilst teeth suggest its got a bite when it gets going. When its in its monster truck design, it has a sturdy base that allows it take on different obstacles and ride over them with relative ease.
LEGO Creator Santa’s Visit
If you’re using Black Friday to pick up some Christmas gifts, few will be as on-the-nose as this LEGO winter village. The Christmas house opens up to reveal a home ready to welcome Father Christmas, including mini figures of mum, dad and a daughter. There’s also a Father Christmas figure on the roof, ready to deliver his presents through the chimney. If you look closely, you’ll see lovely details like the stockings on the fireplace and a place of cookies and milk for the big man to keep him going for the rest of the night.
LEGO Brick Heads Stranger Things (Eleven & Demogorgon)
Brick Heads are a fun addition to the LEGO franchise, offering a cartoonish look at characters that you’ll recognise from film, TV and other areas. In this instance, you’ll be building versions of Eleven and the Demogorgon, the latter of which is one of the most frightening aspects of Stranger Things. They are both instantly recognisable, even in their Brick Head form, so you can pit them up against one another in a battle of wills that might well end up with one of them completely bricking themselves.
LEGO Dr Strange Sanctum Sanctorum
One of the things that helped to launch LEGO into the stratosphere in recent years was its tie-in with numerous different franchises. One such franchise was Marvel, as proven by the release of Doctor Steven Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum from the Doctor Strange & The Multiverse Of Madness film. It is impressive enough from the outside, but there are also all sorts of details put in on the four floors of the building, including his famous cape and nine different mini-figures.
LEGO Disney Haunted Mansion
Nowadays, of course, Marvel is owned by Disney, so it is perhaps no surprise to see the company that shot to fame thanks to Mickey Mouse also having LEGO sets on offer. The haunted mansion is one of the most famous locations in Disney parks, emulated in similar such locations all over the world. The LEGO version comes with a spooky butler mini-figure, as well as some ghoulish looking characters inside. The details on offer are exceptional for those that know the ride, or fun for those that don’t.
Top 2022 Board Games
Toys are always a sold option if you’re looking to keep a young person entertained, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to get involved and play something with them. When that is the case, you’ll want to head to the games section of an online toy store and pick something that is both entertaining and fun. The good news is that we’ve picked out the best offerings this time around, so you don’t need to stress yourself out about which ones are the ones that kids that you know will enjoy the most. Just choose one of these:
Giant Pass the Pugs Dice Game
What can be more fun than throwing plastic figures of pigs onto a table and seeing how they land, adding scores up accordingly? Turning the pigs into pugs and making them giant and inflatable, of course! The classic dice game has been given an upgrade in the form of making them into dogs, whilst the inflatable nature of them means that it is much easier to figure out whether they are lying on their back, their nose or their side. It is for that reason that it will be trickier for the adults to cheat, which you should bear in mind.
Would I Lie To You? is great fun, but not necessarily all that family friendly. With that in mind, if you want to teach your kids to be excellent liars then you might want to opt for Sounds Fishy, which takes the general idea of the TV show and makes it into a board game. Can you give a ridiculous answer to your fellow players whilst also convincing them that you’re telling the truth? If you’re good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes then this is exactly the right game for you, suitable as it is for kids and adults alike.
Jurassic World Tracker Board Game
If dinosaurs are timeless, the Jurassic Park franchise isn’t far behind them. In this board game, you play the part of a tracker, trying to save the dinos that are in danger. You need to collect resources that will allow you to release the dinosaurs from their captivity, with the first player saving three of them being the winner. It is a family-friendly game that allows between two and four players to take part, being themed after the franchise that started in 1993 and doesn’t show any sign of letting up.
Aimed at older kids that can cope with the likes of zombies without having nightmares, Zombie Kittens is a twist on the Exploding Kittens game. There are several different ways to play, meaning that it is a game that keeps re-inventing itself to keep players interested. Up to five people can play as individuals, or you can combine into teams to add more people into it. If you explode, all is not lost as you can continue to play from the grave, which is what adds the zombie element to proceedings and gives it a fun twist.
Another game from the people that brought you Exploding Kittens, Mantis sells itself as a ‘colourfully cutthroat card game of rainbows and revenge’. In terms of gameplay, it is a combination of UNO and Gin Rummy, promising the simplicity of the former alongside the complexity of the latter. The rounds can be played quickly, ensuring that people can enjoy it without spending hours on it. The first person to get ten or more cards in the score pile is the winner, which ends up being kids playing more often than the adults.
Top 2022 Stocking Stuffers
It is something of a pain that stockings exist at Christmas time. No sooner have you sat down with a cup of eggnog feeling smug that you’ve bought all of your presents do you look over at the stockings and realise that you need to buy a load more. It is always worth wrapping a lump of coal for a laugh, as well as a tangerine to fill the stocking up a wee bit, but after that you need to be a little bit more creative. The good news is that all of these offerings will not only take up space but also be enjoyed by the recipient.
The premise here is a really simply one, insomuch as this is a group of scented pencils. The execution is what makes them well worth picking up, given that they smell great whilst also being practical. They are made from recycled newspapers, so they’re environmentally friendly, with the scents lasting for two years. You can get the likes of bubble gum, pineapple and orange soda as scents, with the pencils themselves being HB no.2 ones that can be used for things, such as homework and arts and crafts projects.
Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Safari
Though Smencils are great, the reality is that they’re not really what you’ll be wanting to buy particularly young people who are just as likely to try to eat them as write with them. If that’s who you’re looking to buy for then Crayola’s Scribble Scrubbie Safari might offer a good alternative, given that the set offers washable markers. They can be used to colour in one of the two washable animals that comes in the set, whilst the scrub brush can be used to make changes to whatever has been drawn on them with the pens provided.
Bluey Family and Friends Figure 8-Pack
For those of a certain age, telling them you want to buy a Bluey for a young person might cause some concern. The good news is that Bluey is a cartoon character, with this set allowing you to get your hands on Bluey, as well as several friends. The figures are poseable, meaning that you can move their arms into different positions and make it look as though they’re interacting with one another. You can also buy a range of accessories to compliment the figures, truly bringing Bluey’s world to life in different ways.
LEGO Dots Bracelet
As proof that LEGO constantly looks to re-invent itself, LEGO Dots bracelets promise the chance to make a unique-looking wearable with different colour options. The bracelet itself can be adjusted to fit around different-sized wrists, whilst the colourful tiles offer a way to make the bracelet look special. The kits includes charms that can dangle off the bracelet if desired with plenty of different options to offer that wow factor.
Reversible Octopus Plushie
Plushies are ideal for those of a tactile nature, being really squeezable and fun to play with. These ones can be used by a young person to tell you what sort of mood they are in, given that the octopus has a big smile on its face when it is one way around and a miserable-looking frown when you turn it inside out. Even if they aren’t being used to inform you about their mood, they’re just good fun and really characterful. The plush nature of them means that kids will really enjoy playing them when they can.
The egg watch Tamagotchi was first released in 1996 in its native Japan, soon make its way over to the United States of America and then the UK. It became one of the biggest hits of the 1990s and early 2000s, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised that they’ve made a comeback. If you’re thinking of buying something as a present for a partner then the original design is still available, whilst if you’re buying for a young person then you’d probably be better off opting for the next generation version, including a camera.
VTECH Kidizoom Smart Watch
If the young one in your life has seen you playing with your smart watch then they might well want one of their own. The offering from VTECH will do the obvious, such as working as an actual watch with 55 faces to choose from to tell the time, as well as some less obvious things. There is a camera within the watch, for example, which is something that not even Apple has mastered yet. It is splash proof and durable, which is idea for young ones, whilst also promising the ability to play games that use augmented reality.