Every year, there's a toy (or two) that enters the "impossible to find" holiday shopping hall of fame. You know them: Tickle Me Elmo, Furby, Hatchimals. In a few short weeks, you'll know what toys have emerged as the hottest of 2017 because, well, you won't be able to find them anywhere. But that all seems a bit backwards, if you ask me. The holiday season isn't the time to be behind the curve, so we're doing our research early this year and calling in reinforcements from Ali Mierzejewski, Senior Editor at The Toy Insider, with her picks on what to buy before it's gone (or marked up to an ungodly amount on eBay or Amazon). Without further ado, here's what to put on your shopping list now, before it sells out.
Soft'n Slo Squishies at Creative Kidstuff, Starting at $10
Squishies are basically the new fidget spinner, but they're closer to stress balls, at least in my approximation, from the way they work. I'd rather a real ice cream cone or s'mores myself, but these are fewer calories at least. Your kid will freak out about these evidently, so stock up now.
Consider Fingerlings the Hatchimals of 2017. "Although they launched earlier in the year, it's already tough for retailers to keep them in stock," says Mierzejewski. "Kids love these little interactive monkey friends!" Fair enough. They are pretty cute (and already sold out online at Target, Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us and more!). Be cautious getting these from third-party sellers online as they may not be authentic. Also, be sure to check your stores IRL for these as you might get lucky (note: call around to see when the stores that sell these get new shipments).
Hatchimals Surprise at Amazon, Starting at $75
Hatchimals are back too and probably will be more popular than ever. The new "Surprise" toy will probably be a sell-out. Twin hatchings make for double the fun, right? These little guys even interact with each other, so hopefully that means endless hours of entertainment.
FurReal Roarin' Tyler Tiger at Target, $130
Mierzejewski has the FurReal Roarin' Tyler Tiger in her top five toys of 2017. He is pretty cute, and, of course, interactive so your kid can pet and roar at little Tyler, and he'll show them some love back.
Nintendo Switch at Amazon, $300
If you've got a gamer in your brood, he or she is going to want the Nintendo Switch. And while I rarely geek out about video games, the Switch is pretty cool. First of all, it's tiny, which goes a long way in my book (small space dweller here). But you can cast games on your TV and play with a friend, or use the device solo in handheld mode on the go. Genius!
3Doodler Start Robotics Pen Set at Scientifics Online, $75
The 3Doodler Start Robotics Pen Set is what Mierzejewski calls "stealthy STEM." Basically, it's an educational hand-held pen that you can make 3D models with, which is pretty cool for kids that like to tinker and draw.
Who's The Dude Game at Target, $25
"One of our big trends for this year is 'LOL Games,' as in games that are full of silly fun for the whole family," says Mierzejewski. Who's The Dude, a charades-esque game with an inflatable dummy prop, is her pick.
Digiloom Starter Kit at Michaels, $50
For crafty types, try a Digiloom. Friendship bracelets are back, and this is an electronic way to make them. Seems a lot easier than all the braiding and weaving we did at camp back in the day.
The longer you wait, the more likely these toys will be sold out. So save yourself the hassle and get 'em now while the getting is good.