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These Toys Make Awesome Gifts -- Even for Adults

More adults are buying toys for themselves. Here are my favorites for any kids at heart.

Bridget Carey Principal Video Producer
Bridget Carey is an award-winning reporter who helps you level-up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes as she covers new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Her weekly video show, "One More Thing," explores what's new in the world of Apple and what's to come. She started as a reporter at The Miami Herald with syndicated newspaper columns for product reviews and social media advice. Now she's a mom who also stays on top of toy industry trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)
Expertise Consumer technology, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, social media, mobile, robots, future tech, immersive technology, toys, culture Credentials
  • Bridget has spent over 18 years as a consumer tech reporter, hosting daily tech news shows and writing syndicated newspaper columns. She's often a guest on national radio and television stations, including ABC, CBS, CNBC and NBC.
Bridget Carey

There's something I've learned in covering the toy industry for years: Some toys actually make really good gifts for adults, too. 

It's not so wild of a concept. Industry group The Toy Association reports that 58% of parents are buying toys and games for themselves this year. 

So if you find yourself browsing the toy aisle during your holiday shopping, have no shame. The toy makers are well aware and are targeting adult collectors and folks who want to feed their youthful spirit.


This is the Vital Hero Digital Monster. Finally, a fitness tracker where I can level up a Digimon to battle!


In the video at the top of this story, I show off what I think are the best toys of 2022… well, as in the best toys that you would want to steal from kids. (But we don't have to steal. Just, uh, play with it when the kids nap. Sharing is caring.) These are also fun ideas for a white elephant gift exchange, or just letting off a little creative steam.


Remember adult coloring books? Spirograph Mandala Maker takes it to another level for a meditative moment.


Most of the items I highlight are suitable gifts for a wide range of ages -- like the electronic Pop It! Pro game, the Digimon Vital Hero fitness band, Lite-Brite Stranger Things Special Edition and the Spirograph Mandala Maker

But it's important to point out that the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Blaster is not appropriate for little kids. It's marked for ages 14 and up and requires safety glasses -- and getting hit with water gel balls can sting.

And yes, in the video I show you what it's like to get hit with one of those water balls. (It leaves a mark!) All done in the name of journalism, naturally.