Each generation of kids has their own unique characteristics, hence the cliche phrase “kids today.” However, there is one thing that holds the past several generations of children together, and that is the power of play. The 2010s showed us some of the most innovative toys yet, such as a fairy that can fly, a programmable caterpillar, and an instrument-playing Elmo. Many toys came as part of a franchise, such as Doc McStuffins or Paw Patrol. Others rose to prominence on their own, like Paper Jamz and Pie Face. Read on to discover some of the most popular toys of the decade.
Hatchimals are like the updated offspring of the lovable Furbies from back in the day. They are small, fury robotics that can move around and make adorable noises. Where they beat Furbies is in their ability to hatch. They come in an egg that gradually cracks over time.
Children get to experience the thrill of not knowing for sure what their Hatchimal will look like, and learn patience in the waiting period. Once the Hatchimal is “born,” they’ll cry when they need attention or laugh when being played with. Germany’s BVS rated Hatchimals in their Top 10 Toys 2016 list.
Paper Jamz is pictured here as a part of the top 12 toys for Christmas 2010, according to the Dream Toys fair in London. It isn’t hard to see why when you consider the fact that, as the name implies, Paper Jamz are rock band instruments made out of paper!
The look of the toy is quite realistic considering its materials. The idea was to allow children to test run an instrument that was far less expensive and easier to play. Ultimately, the company ran into legal issues with Gibson guitars and shortly after ceased production.
Hot Wheels Terrain Twister
Hot Wheels have been around since the ’60s and by the looks of it, they aren’t going anywhere. One contributing factor to their longevity may be their innovation when it comes to producing toy cars, like this Terrain Twister model.
The remote control-operated car can drive on surfaces that are as smooth as hardwood or as thick as tall grass. It can even go into the pool, where it drives like a speedboat. This is one toy that parents would have a hard time convincing their child to leave behind, as it can motor through just about anything, including sand and snow.
Monster High Dolls
Monster High Dolls can be described as Bratz dolls meets Barbie meets vampires; it’s no wonder they’re a huge success. If their popular trend composition wasn’t enough, they also have a book and web series.
Right at the turn of the decade, the thriller-inspired dolls were launched along with the show and their first book. Today, they have three separate book series, multiple videogames, playsets, keychains, and bags. You can also see the influence of Tim Burton, who the creators have noted as a source of inspiration for the dolls.
Micro Mini Scooters
These Micro Mini scooters have a four to five star rating across the board for safety and durability. Aimed at ages two to five, they are a more sturdy and easier to handle alternative to the popular Razor. Featuring three wheels instead of two, they are essentially a training scooter.
Another perk is that they are made primarily of plastic rather than metal, which makes them more lightweight and less hazardous. They also come in a variety of vibrant colors, as the picture above shows. Though they aren’t adjustable, they come in a height ideal for most toddlers and preschoolers.
Let’s Rock Elmo
Elmo is coming up on his third-generation as a childhood favorite thanks to his updated style and ever-adorable character. Let’s Rock Elmo sports a rocker t-shirt and comes with a drum set, microphone, and tambourine. The technologically advanced toy can somehow recognize which instrument he’s given, and plays or sings accordingly.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, he also knows how to play along while your child uses another one of his instruments. Let’s Rock Elmo has six songs in his repertoire, which is just the right amount for a little one. He also has a keyboard and guitar that are sold separately.
The most adorable tiny toys since Polly Pockets are Shopkins. Their creators stepped outside of the box to create characters out of just about anything you could find at the grocery store or around the house. Each one has its own charming name that is a play on the actual item.
For example, there’s Belinda Blender, Cam Corder, Adam Apple, Beverley Heels, and so many more. Fandom has recorded more than 1400 Shopkins characters! That means there’s enough to grab several new characters for every Christmas and birthday your child encounters until they’ve outgrown the adorable toy.
While we’re on the subject of adorable, tiny toys, meet Squinkies. These characters are similar to Shopkins in their look and use of personification. However, if Shopkins were all things indoors, Squinkies would be all things outdoors.
They are based on various land and ocean animals, as well as inanimate objects such as tikis, nuts, and explorer hats. Another distinction is that they are made to feel squishy, and also can be used as a pencil topper. They’ve since come up with a variety of Squishes based on television shows, such as The Simpsons and Spongebob Squarepants.
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Cheese Touch Game
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a children’s book that came out in the early 2000s and quickly gained the notoriety of such favorites as Captain Underpants and Junie B. Jones. There have since been more than a dozen books written for the series and a film adaptation.
The Cheese Touch boardgame incorporates some of the books’ leading characters who move around the board as players roll the dice and draw cards. The goal is to make it to the finish line without being the player who is holding the slice of cheese. The game is simple and perfect for all ages.
Kung Zhu is an extension of the Zhu Zhu pets, which came out in 2009 and were quickly a hit. The Zhu Zhu pets consist of nine fuzzy but robotic hamsters along with habitat accessories. The toy was adapted into a video game and film.
Kung Zhu consists of eight battle hamsters that are divided into special forces and ninja warriors. Along with the Kung Fu-inspired toys, creators developed a battle arena. This product enables the hamsters to be launched towards one another, where they then can battle.
Doc McStuffins Toys
Doc McStuffins is a television show that’s earned praise for breaking stereotypes and empowering young girls. The show’s clinic playhouse and magical, talking toys made it a hit amongst kids. Now, children can pretend to be the doctor of their own playhouse with Doc McStuffins-inspired toy sets.
While medical supplies toys have been around for a while, the show’s popularity encouraged parents to go for the instruments that relate to the famous character Doc McStuffins. The toys also come in a case for better storage.
Marble Genius Super Set
Marble run sets are a great way to facilitate innovation and creativity in the minds of children. While toys like legos enable children to build a variety of structures, marble runs do that and more. Children learn about gravity and momentum as they try to construct the longest run possible without getting a marble stuck or building a tipping tower.
The Marble Genius brand is unique in that the pieces are translucent, which allows the child to more closely follow the marble along the run. The rainbow color scheme pops in any play space, and the parts are both secure and easy to put together.
Flutterbye Flying Fairy
If there’s anything that Peter Pan cemented into the minds of children, it’s the desire to fly and to have a fairy friend. Now at least one of these wishes can come true with the Flutterbye Flying Fairy. The toy stays in flight through rapidly moving, wing-shaped petals that flap around her skirt with the touch of a button.
Once the toy is in flight, it can be directed by placing a hand below the fairy’s shoes. Online tutorials reveal that controlling the product is not as easy as the advertisements make it seem, but it’s sure to excite and challenge older children.
Paw Patrol Toys
Another children’s show that’s risen to prominence in the past decade is Paw Patrol, a series that follows dog characters as they save the day again and again. The show’s popularity has left many children eager to play with their beloved characters, and now they can.
One of the show’s perks is that each dog is unique, allowing children to pick the one they most identify with and play together as a team of hero dogs. The toys are made of thick but soft material and are large enough to not pose much of a threat to small children.
Legos are a timeless toy that are so wildly successful they even have a theme park. Part of their continued success may have to do with the fact that they continually create series that capitalize on the largest children’s trends.
This past decade, one of the most popular games amongst kids who were lego-building age was the game Minecraft. The game was a perfect model for Legos because everything is square-shaped, making it easy to transform into Lego pieces. It’s also is a game of building, just like Legos is. The two were practically a match made in heaven.
Hoverboards were a big kid toy that combined elements of the Segway and the skateboard to create a dangerous, and, by extension very cool form of transportation. Also known as a self-balancing scooter, these toys became popular, at least in part, because they look and ride like the fictional levitating boards from movies and novels.
Due to safety concerns, Hoverboards have been banned in certain countries such as Australia, the UK, and China. There are also tight restrictions on where they can be ridden. All in all, this toy is best reserved for children who are familiar with balancing on wheels.
Pie Face is one of the most basic, brilliant games to have hit the shelves in the 2010s. It’s basically because the game has almost no instructions; players simply take turns pumping the handle as many times as the spinner indicates on their turn.
Pie Face is brilliant because it creates lingering excitement as players anticipate the handful of whipped cream flying into their faces upon a random pump of the handle. It’s a messy, sugary twist on Jack-in-the-Box. What more could a kid want?
Code-a-pillar is perhaps the most era-specific game to have come out in the 2010s. That’s because it attempts to simplify the basic principle of computer coding into a game that a toddler could master. Each toy comes with eight segments that have different instructions.
The child attaches the segments in whatever order they choose. Then, the segments light up one by one as the Code-a-pillar follows each directive. The variety of combinations allows the player to continually come up with new “programs.” The thrill of being able to cause an electronic device to perform a certain way helps plant the seed for future computer programmers.
Frozen is one of the most popular children’s films to have hit the theaters in the 2010s. Young fans couldn’t stop singing “Let It Go,” which is ironic considering they could not let go of their obsession with the movie. That’s a good thing for toy manufacturers, who were sure to create a plethora of toys to go along with the film.
Amongst the toys, Elsa dolls were a must-have. After Frozen 2 came out, companies created a second Elsa doll, pictured here. Though the main difference is the dress color, we’re confident kids will still beg to have both.
Star Wars Legos
The most successful film franchise of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Star Wars just keeps getting bigger. Considering the fact that five out of the eleven Star Wars films came out in the 2010s, it’s no wonder that children seem thrilled as ever to bask in all things Star Wars.
Star Wars legos have been around since the turn of the millennium. However, they seem to have only gained momentum as the years went on. It’s now to the point that it would be surprising not to find Star Wars characters in the pile of legos living in most playrooms.