While filling your holiday wish lists, don't expect to see that one hot item that will be sold out everywhere this season, suburban toy shop owners say.
But there are a few popular items that may be tough to find, said Rick Derr, owner of Learning Express in Lake Zurich.
Fastest selling toys heading into the holiday season1. L.O.L. Surprise! Doll Assortment
2. Fingerlings Monkey Assortment
3. L.O.L Surprise! Lil Sister Assortment
4. Barbie Dream House Playset
5. Hovertrax 2.0
6. Hatchimals Pengualas Ping Egg Assortment
7. Hot Wheels Singles 1:64 Assortment
8. L.O.L Surprise! Big Surprise Ball
9. Star Wars App Enabled R20D2
10. Star Wars E-7 Black Series 6-inch Assortment
*Source: The NPD Group Inc., Rosemont.
Fingerlings have become the No. 1 requested toy, he said. The palm-sized monkeys and other animals are brightly colored with fluffly mohawks that curl around your finger and come to life when you play, responding to sound, motion and touch with more than 40 animations and sounds, according to manufacturer WowWee. "There is a tight supply," Derr said of the animals that range in price from $15 to $20.
Another toy that's difficult to hunt down is the L. O. L Surprise Doll that has been become wildly popular because of YouTube, where an "unboxing" video clues in children on how to peel back seven layers. Each layer reveals a surprise, including stickers, charms, shoes, outfit accessories and a collectible doll.
Toy whiz Isaac Larian, CEO of leading privately held toy company MGA, has not advertised the dolls that range from $10 to $70, Derr said.
"It's all about what kids are watching on YouTube," Derr said.
"The whole game has changed," in the world of toys, he said. Children are less likely to pick the toys they want from a TV commercial. "It's all about social media and Facebook," Derr explained.
The NPD Group, a market research company with offices in Rosemont, ranks three of the L. O. L dolls on its top 10 most popular toys for the holiday season.
Also on the list are Hatchimals, the huge toy phenomenon that sparked a buying frenzy last year is still a player this season. Spin Master expanded on the concept with Hatchimals Surprise, two furry interactive toys that hatch from a single egg. "These are still a strong seller," said Derr, who oversees Learning Express stores in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Another popular gift that's huge for tweens are pillows covered with sequins that make various designs with the swish of your hand.
"They married pillows and sequins. It's a sequin world," Derr said. Unicorns, mermaids, emojis and other shapes are popular.
"People are going bonkers over pillows and sequins," he added.
And if you're still stuck and looking for ideas of what to put under the tree, anything with Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol is hot. "These are two licenses that are doing very well," Derr said.