This Year's 15 Hottest Holiday Gifts
Another holiday season is approaching, and with it comes a slew of new products competing for the chance to be part of your annual adventure in shopping and gift giving. The following are some of the most popular and desirable of this year's offerings to help you find the perfect present for everyone on your list.
(Note: Prices are subject to change.)
Price: $70 | Buy it from Target
Among the most-coveted toys both this year and last are Hatchimals, adorable robotic creatures that come in eggs from which they hatch only with the child's help. They can then play games and, with the proper encouragement, mature through three further stages of development.
Price: $129 | Buy it from Nordstrom
Google is getting into the personal-assistant game, too, with this 5½-inch all-purpose speaker compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Beyond the simple advent of hands-free Googling, the Home can manage shopping lists and calendars on up to six different Google accounts using voice-recognition software.
Price: $149 | Buy it on Amazon
The latest fitness tracker for your wrist from Fitbit is slimmer and comes with a heart-rate tracker that can help manage the intensity of your workout. With up to a week of battery life, it can also keep track of the time you spend in light, deep, and REM sleep.
Price: $130 | Buy it on Amazon
The age of the selfie need not mean the death of printed photos, thanks to devices like the HP Sprocket, a Bluetooth-enabled, inkless photo printer that can print 2-by-3-inch glossy snapshots just about anywhere using the Sprocket app. The Sprocket comes with photo paper and a one-year limited warranty.
Price: $300 | Buy it on Amazon
The latest gaming system from Nintendo, released in March, functions as a home console or a portable tablet, so players can game almost anywhere while developers can make games playable in a multitude of styles. Given its versatility, there's good reason for the pre-holiday hype surrounding the Nintendo Switch.
Price: $230 | Buy it on Amazon
This furry toy tiger doesn't sell for cheap, but it still looks to be one of this season's most-coveted toys for its 100-plus sound and motion response combinations. The cuddly faux tiger cub reacts when he's given his play toy, and he roars back when children roar at him.
Price: $25 | Buy it on Amazon
Perfect for the friend who's always looking for their next favorite board game, this 30-in-1 game set has almost endless replay value since the first card you draw determines which of the varied and creative games you'll be playing. This Kickstarter-funded product includes challenges involving mythical animals, paper airplane contests, and much more.
Price: $230 | Buy it on Amazon
This year's update to Amazon's electronic personal assistant comes with a 7-inch screen, so now Alexa can display photos and music lyrics as well as flash video briefings, video calls, and security footage (with the purchase of a compatible camera). The Echo Show is entirely hands-free thanks to eight built-in microphones that can hear instructions from any direction.
Price: $120 | Buy it on Amazon
Instead of ordering delivery, cook your own pizza in mere minutes using this Amazon Launchpad item that essentially converts a gas grill into a gourmet pizza oven, also suitable for baking breads or roasting meats. The stone baking chamber and enameled steel housing raise temperatures to those of a wood-burning oven.
Price: $18 | Buy it on Amazon
This toddler-friendly drum set is simple and timeless, letting children bang the drums freestyle or along to pre-programmed melodies that teach letters and numbers while aiding sensory development. The KidiBeats set is intended for children 2 to 5 years of age.
Price: $40 | Buy it on Amazon
This drone may be the perfect place to start for younger folks seeking to master their own quadcopter. It incorporates three different speed settings, a "headless flight system" that makes stable flying easier to master, and a six-axis stabilization system that helps in executing aerial stunts and flips.
Price: $129 and up | Buy it on Amazon
This year, many children's wishes to have a "Star Wars"-style droid of their own will come true thanks to this toy teasing a bot appearing in the saga's next installment. Children use an app called Sphero to control and become acquainted with their BB-9E via an augmented-reality Droid Trainer.
Price: $6.90 | Buy it on Amazon
Fidget spinners and other toy gadgets designed to occupy restless hands took off in a big way this year, though there's still little consensus on their potential to boost focus. This particular stress-relieving cube is a bit more involved than the standard spinners, but still costs just under $7 for six different sides of fidgeting pleasure.
Price: Varies | Buy it on Amazon
Bolstered by new research into the mental health benefits of coloring, grown-up coloring books have been gaining in popularity the past several years, so now there are hundreds of themed variations that can help adults relieve stress and indulge their creative sides. Most options cost under $10 and can provide many hours of entertainment.
Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon
Also getting an update in advance of the holidays are Amazon's well-reviewed Fire tablets. This one features an 8-inch display and a built-in Alexa for quick, touchless access to your music, e-books, and the internet. The tablet comes with a few Amazon-specific applications, like On Deck for streaming movies and television offline.