Only Santa knows the true stats about all the hot Christmas toys 2022 has to offer, but here at CNET, we've done plenty of our own research to help you track down the toys, games and gadgets that are sure to be all the rage this year. No matter what your kid enjoys, you'll find tons of great Christmas gift ideas below on our list of the hottest toys of the season.
There are some exciting new additions this year, from a DIY vending machine to an interactive mama guinea pig. Animated Australian pup Bluey andGrogu are holding strong in the character realm, and there are cool, new products from Jurassic World and Magic Mixies (last year's hottest toy).
In terms of big gifts, this year's Holiday Collector American Girl doll is a stunner, and there's an actual Mario Kart that kids can ride. There are also plenty of on-trend, budget-friendly picks, such as a Light Up Pop It Pro and a trio of Squishmallows stuffies.
Holiday shopping looks like it will be a little more normal this year, but pandemic supply chain issues aren't quite over, so it can't hurt to shop early.
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Not ready to put an actual animal under the tree? Little Live Pets is here for you. The brand's new Mama Surprise guinea pig set includes a soft, interactive mama pig and three babies that will appear in the hutch. Note: An adult is needed to set up the hutch so kids can experience the "birth" surprise element. Mama has over 20 sounds and reactions, and the set includes accessories for your new pets.
What's better than one Squishmallow? Three of them. These plump stuffies are still ultra-popular with kids. (Adults agree, because Squishmallows actually won the Toy Association's 2022 Toy of the Year award.) This gift combines adorable toys with the element of surprise, so unwrapping this mystery box will be a holiday highlight. Inside the box are three surprise 8-inch plush toys, chosen at random.
If your child loves to imagine themselves in the Star Wars universe, enhance the magic with an interactive L0-LA59 (LOLA) droid. LOLA features over 45 light, sound and movement combinations and three different modes of play. Attach LOLA to the included stand in Hover Mode, or put her in Companion Mode by attaching legs. On the Go Mode means she's zooming through the galaxy (with some help from you).
Australia's animated dog family has our hearts. And with a line of fun, quality toys, they have our wallets too. Gift your little one hours of playtime with this new, interactive playhouse set. The large (17-inches tall and 30-inches wide) house folds up for easy storage, and you can pop Bingo, Bluey, Chatterbox and Nana in there plus all the accessories. When kids press the Octopus, lights and sounds are activated for leveled-up play.
This year's Holliday Collector doll is the ultimate gift for American Girl fans. Sapphire Splendor is a limited-edition Truly Me doll in a festive dress bedazzled with over 100 Swarovski crystals. She'll enchant any doll collector. If you really want to splurge, get the new American Girl x KidKraft dollhouse too; it's the perfect abode for 18-inch dolls.
Kids who enjoy building will love this DIY kit. They can put together a 2-foot vending machine that doubles as a coin bank. Soda bottle-shaped gummy candies are included so kids can stock their machine and start vending. Bonus: This kit isn't all fun and games; it's a STEM project in disguise. Lessons in math and money, gears, gravity, force and more are embedded in this cool gift. Best for kids ages 8 and up.
A new set from Lego, Olivia's Space Academy contains 757 pieces. Build a Shuttle model, classroom, mission control and observatory. Four Lego figures and science accessories -- including a planet model -- complete the science scene. Best for ages 8 and up.
Magic Mixies interactive toys will still be in demand for the holidays, and this year's iteration is a mystical good time. Kids can cast a spell on their magic crystal ball with the included light-up wand and conjure a cute Magic Mixie toy. When the creation is over, the interactive plush toy provides its own fun with over 80 lights, sounds, and reactions. Bonus: The crystal ball doubles as a night light.
This sweet hair salon set will thrill any kiddo who loves cute little animals. If you already have some Calico Critters playsets, Pony's Stylish Hair Salon makes a perfect addition to your "town." The salon includes a posable pony figure complete with silky hair and a dress and over 40 accessories. Best for ages 3 and up.
Snap Circuits are the perfect gift for curious kids. There are over 100 electronic projects possible with this STEM set, which is best for ages 8 and up. Build a flashlight, photo sensor, siren and more. The best part is that kids are learning about the fundamentals of electricity as they play.
Mattel partnered with Habitat for Humanity this year to build 60 homes around the world in honor of 60 years of Barbie's Dreamhouse. And now you can get the 2022 version of Barbie's plastic home. The three-floor, 43-inch-tall Dreamhouse boasts 10 indoor and outdoor living areas, including a moveable grass and pool area. It comes furnished with lights, sounds and 70 accessories.
This is the mother of all dinosaur toys. At over 3 feet long, Super Colossal Giganotosaurus is an impressive play thing. He can gobble up action figures (and luckily you can rescue them via his belly) and generally wreak havoc. Best for ages 4 and up.
Plastic Pop It bubbles are so fun to smoosh. I's easy to see why the fidget toys became so popular. But this trend has a new twist: It's now a light-up game. Simply press the patterns that light up to play along. The Light Up Pop It Pro makes a great toy for car rides or plane trips, or just something to have handy to keep kids busy.
This sturdy plastic microscope is great for little hands to grasp. Kids ages 5 and up can check out over 220 videos and images from the BBC on the screen, or view the eight double-sided smart slides. The Magic Adventures Microscope has games and other fun content, but it's also a real microscope, with magnification up to 200x.
Embrace the Dark Side with this exciting board game from Ravensburger. Kids 10 and up will have fun strategizing as Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, General Grievous, Asajj Ventress or Moff Gideon. The award-winning Villainous game system is also great for family game night.
Little fashionistas will covet this year's newest big L.O.L. set. Your kid will enjoy opening tiny packaging to reveal the 12 exclusive dolls in this set. Fold the big box out into four fun scenes, including the fashion show, and get those dolls walking the runway. Stickers, accessories, outfits and more surprises are included for a complete doll fashion show experience.
Discover what colors and crystals lie beneath the surface of these 10 geodes with National Geographic's geode STEM set. It includes everything your budding geologist needs to learn about how geodes are formed, and then they can break some open for themselves. Along with 10 specimens, the kid includes a guide, magnifying glass, goggles and display stands.
Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced a very popular character: Baby Groot. Fans of the film will love this 476-piece Lego set that yields a posable model Groot. Best for kids ages 10 and up, the set includes pieces for a Groot that stands over 10-inches tall, plus a pretend cassette tape.
This play guitar is such a fun gift. Preschoolers (and even older kids) will enjoy jamming with four different play modes: Play with the Band, Free Play, Solo Jam and Play Any Song (using Bluetooth). Play your little one's favorite tunes by syncing with any Bluetooth-enabled device. Baby Shark, anyone? We love the guitar's realistic design and reusable packaging. Bonus: Parents control the volume.
This is a pricey one, but it's worth putting on your holiday toy list. Nintendo Switch game consoles are ultra popular. So if your kiddo is sans Switch, you can gift them hours of entertainment playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart, Zelda, Just Dance or whatever games they're into.
The new OLED model has a sharper, larger screen than the original model. And the Switch is definitely a better console for younger kids than the more expensive Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. We love that the Switch can be played on the TV or as handheld.
If you can get your hands on it, this brand-new ride-on has that "wow" factor. If your kid is a Nintendo Mario Kart fan, then you know this toy will be a hit. Kids ages 3 and up can feel like they're driving a kart right out of the video game, racing up to 8 mph through three speeds. An adjustable seat, reverse and fun sounds complete the package.
Note: This may be out of stock in some areas.