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Best Toys

Updated November 2023
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Best of the Best
Beast Lab Shark Beast Creator
Beast Lab
Shark Beast Creator
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Mad Science
Bottom Line

This “experimental” toy lets you create one of two shark monsters.


It has more than 80 lights, sounds, and reactions that make you feel like you’re really conducting a mad science experiment. Pressure can build and mist can be released before you drain the liquid to reveal your shark.


The liquid is water that’s added by you, with some leaks reported.

Best Bang for the Buck
Bitzee Interactive Digital Pet
Interactive Digital Pet
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Digital Fun
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This interactive digital toy is a great way for kids to have pets if they aren’t ready for a real one.


There are 15 animals inside that you need to play to unlock, giving kids long-term goals that extend the playtime. Some of those animals include a cat and a unicorn. The toy reacts to touch, including swipes, taps, and even tilting the box.


Older kids may find it a little to easy to unlock all the pets.

K'NEX 35 Model Building Set
35 Model Building Set
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Most Comprehensive
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This toy set is perfect for creative children and allows them to make 35 unique models.


This buildable set comes with 480 parts, rods, and connectors that can be attached in different ways. Kids can make vehicles such as trucks, airplanes, helicopters, and auto parts such as wheels, wings, rotors, and tracks.


Small parts and pieces make it unsuitable for children under 8.

Monster Jam Mini Megalodon Race And Chomp Playset
Monster Jam
Mini Megalodon Race And Chomp Playset
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

An awesome set that features fast monster trucks and a fun track that is perfect for boys and girls.


It comes with two monster trucks, one inspired by the megalodon of the set and one inspired by the infamous truck "Grave Digger". You fire the trucks forward using a button that they can do a loop de loop on the track.


Some users had issues with the locking mechanism on the car launcher.

Playmates Toys Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem Pizza Fire Delivery Van
Playmates Toys
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem Pizza Fire Delivery Van
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Turtle Power
Bottom Line

This van from the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is perfect for TMNT fans.


All of the separate Playmates Toys TMNT turtle figures, and even Splinter, can fit inside the van. It comes with eight pizza disks that you can fire out of the side. The launcher can adjust its angles so you can better hit your target.


Some had issues with the doors not staying on or closing all the way.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best toys

Want to pique a child’s interest and bring a smile to his face? Present them with a new, exciting toy. Shopping for toys can be fun, but kids’ trends move so fast these days, it can be hard to keep up.

When you select a toy for a child, you of course want to choose one that will be well-received. Whether you’re shopping for a child, grandchild, niece, or nephew, you’ll want to consider the current toy landscape.

A child with long hair plays excitedly with a red toy train.
Children learn through play. When you give toys to kids, you’re not just entertaining them; you’re helping them learn about and explore the world.

Finding an age-appropriate toy

One might argue that age-appropriateness is the most important factor when selecting a toy for a child.

It’s not enough to just get something that’s popular. A really cool robot might frustrate a six-year-old, and a talking stuffed animal might bore a 12-year-old.

Thankfully, most toys manufacturers specify an intended age range for the toys they sell.

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Expert Tip
If you’re considering a video game for a child, find out which game system (and which version) they have first. Some games don’t work across every platform, and some don’t work on all versions of a given system.

Toy categories

There are a number of categories from which to choose in the toy world. These categories include, but are not limited to, the following.


Kids love games. For that special child, you may be interested in choosing a traditional board game, a card game, or even a video game.

Stuffed animals

Stuffed animals are a classic favorite. Young children typically love them, and older children have been known to enjoy them as well.

Tech toys

This category grows larger and larger as time marches on. The tech toy realm includes video game consoles, music players, robots, and STEM toys, which may focus on science, tech, engineering, and/or math.

Dolls/action figures

Dolls and action figures change with time but are still appreciated by kids everywhere. Your choices range from baby dolls to Barbie dolls to Star Wars action figures. If you want to get an action figure or doll for a child but aren’t sure which one, find out if the child has any favorite movies or TV shows. Often, you can find toys that coordinate with popular kids’ programming.

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Did you know?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is tasked with determining the safety of children’s toys.

Building toys

Kids love to get down on the floor and build things, whether it’s with the help of some old-fashioned blocks, classic Legos, or the newer K’NEX sets. Some of the most popular building toys these days are actually magnetic pieces that adhere to one another to create fascinating free-style architectural structures.

“Home life” toys

Children like to imitate what they know. Toys that emulate what they see happening in their everyday life often strike a chord with kids. Ideas include pretend tool sets for the aspiring woodworker and play kitchens for the aspiring chef.


Toys in this category range from the classic self-powered bicycle to electric riding cars to handheld cars and trucks. You could spend any amount of money you wish on a toy vehicle for a child. There are matchbox cars that sell for as little as one dollar and ride-on kids’ vehicles that sell for hundreds of dollars.


Sports toys encourage children to be active and learn about sportsmanship. If you’re thinking of a sports toy, consider a toy basketball hoop, golf set, or bowling set. And while playing with Nerf guns isn’t exactly a sport, it gets kids up, moving, and having fun.

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Toys can be like the flavor-of-the-month for kids; they can tire of them rather quickly. Before a holiday or a birthday, teach children about charity by having them donate their unwanted toys to a charitable cause.


Q. Where can I find educational toys?

A. Educational toys are sold in many places, including brick-and-mortar stores and online. Some of the best educational toys fall under the “STEM” category, but there are other toys that teach important lessons as well.

Q. At what age do children grow out of playing with toys?

A. Some children stop playing with traditional toys the moment they start playing video games on their tablets and computers. But some kids take a lot longer to outgrow their love of hands-on toys. It’s not unusual to see a tween playing with dolls or a teenager playing with K’NEX. The answer to this question really depends on the specific child.

Q. What are the general guidelines to follow to be sure toys are safe?

A. Toys that consist of fabric should be made of flame-resistant or flame-retardant material. Toys should be non-toxic and washable. Any paint found on any toy should be lead-free. Crayons and paints should be approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials. (You’ll know if the item has been approved because it will say “ASTM D-4236” on the package.)

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