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Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Kid's toys, books & games

Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Kids, Books, & Games (Photo: DreamWorks, Universal)
Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Kids, Books, & Games (Photo: DreamWorks, Universal)
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I prefer to keep the line between toys and collectables blurred. Nevertheless, here’s a look at some gift ideas with a pre-teen audience in mind. We have books, dolls, movies, and tonies (scroll down if you aren’t sure what a tonie is).

You'll also want to visit my Disney, Harry Potter, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars, Marvel, and DC guides to get a better sense of all the wonderful options that are available this holiday season.

Trolls Band Together

Trolls Band Together Squishy Doll
From the makers of Goo Jit Zu, this Trolls doll takes "hair play" to a different, innovated level with the most tactile hair ever.
Pictured:Viva and Branch

Trolls Band Together Sing-Along Boombox
Transform into a karaoke superstar as you belt out tunes alongside your favorite Trolls. With the included authentic wired microphone, you'll steal the spotlight and rock the stage with built-in music.

Scruff-a-Luvs Trolls Band Together Wash, Reveal and Style
Who will your child reveal? They wont know until they wash their Troll's bright colorful hair. When they discover who it is, they can dry and style their Troll using the included comb and adorable hair clip accessories!

Trolls Band Together Mineez
Pictured: Brozone & Friends Performance Pack

American Girl x Trolls Band Together Collection
Pictured: Trolls Ultimate Bundle

Trolls Band Together x Mattel
Pictured: Lights & Sounds Rainbow Treehouse Playset with Poppy, Hairsational Reveals Queen Poppy Fashion Doll, Light & Sound Rainbow Hairtunes Viva, Polly Pocket & Dreamworks Trolls Compact Playset With Poppy & Branch Dolls, Hairageous Wardrobe Queen Poppy Small Doll & Accessories Playset, and Hair Pops Showtime Surprise Queen Poppy Plush

LEGO x Gabby's Dollhouse Toys
Gabby and MerCat’s Ship and Spa, Bakey With Cakey Fun, Kitty Fairy’s Garden Party, andGabby’s Dollhouse

Spin Master x Gabby's Playhouse
Pictured: Gabby's Dollhouse DreamWorks Advent Calendar 2023, Gabby Cat Friend Ship,and Gabby's Purrfect Dollhouse

Hallmark x Gabby's Playhouse
Pictured: Hallmark Mini Christmas Tree Ornament Set 6 pack and Hallmark MerCat Christmas Ornament

Spin Master x Gabby's Playhouse
Pictured: Gabby's Dollhouse 8 Games Under 1 Roof, Gabby’s Dollhouse, 9 Puzzles with Matching Game, and Gabby’s Dollhouse, Charming Collection

Gabby's Dollhouse Cuddle Plush
Pictured:Cakey Cat and MerCat

Gabby’s Dollhouse Purple Polyester Bean Bag
Bring your child's favorite character, Gabby's Dollhouse, to life with the fun, soft, and comfortable line of bean bag chairs. The Gabby's Dollhouse Bean Bag Chair is aimed at your toddler and friends and is strong enough to hold up to 81 lbs.

Avatar: The Last Airbender x The Noble Collection
Pictured: Appa Plush, Momo Plush, Katara Bendyfig, and Aang Bendyfig

Pink Slips Die-Cast Vehicles
Pink Slips is a new inclusive die-cast vehicle line that mirrors a disruptive trend in car culture. Masculine aggressive styles are giving way to bold bright colors and chic yet assertive looks. Cars are becoming a fashion statement with looks so unique and iconic that you feel proud to own your style. These hand-picked luxury cars will be available in 1:64, 1:32, and 1:24 scale, featuring a variety of gorgeous styles, colors, paints, finishes, and designs as well as sleek, eye-catching packaging. The 1:24 scale cars have opening doors, hood, and trunk plus premium rubber tires.
Pictured: 2017 Ford GT, 2015 Dodge Challenger, and Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce

Not Quite Narwhal
Pictured: Ollie Jinglehooves 12" Plushi, Kelp T-Shirt, and Kids Bedding Super Soft Comforter and Sheet Set

Discovery #Mindblown Collection
Cinema Science DIY 83 Pieces Retro-Like Film Projector and DIY Robot Retro-Like Vending Machine Build Kit

Gravity Maze Builder
The hit game reimagined for younger players! With 40 challenge cards and build-your-own maze gameplay, Gravity Maze Builder offers hours of fun and learning.

Goats' Day Out: A Hilarious Addictive Chaotic Goat Themed Board Game
Choose a goat and pick from the pieces in your tray to start stuffing their bellies. The food supply rotates as the goats chomp, munch, and consume their way around time. This isn't just a feeding frenzy, you have a gut to fit the food into! Great for groups of friends, this wacky, fast-paced game will have you laughing as hard as you are thinking!

GraviTrax Junior: Jungle Starter Set
With GraviTrax Junior, building and playing fun is always on track! This creative, expandable system is especially designed for younger children, challenging them to use their imagination to build their own marble runs! STEM-friendly concepts build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Completely open-ended, this Jungle Starter-Set contains everything needed to build a variety of tracks. Expansion sets are easily added for even bigger fun! With many parts made of wood bioplastic, you can feel good about giving your favorite child a sustainable toy that will provide years of fun, educational play!

FreeFall Marble Maze Game
Put your spatial reasoning and dexterity to the test as you build your way through progressively harder challenges. Build the puzzle and then flip, turn, and guide the ball from cup to cup to finish the maze. With 60 challenges to master, you’ll be building and flipping with each challenge more difficult than the last.

Gujo Adventure: Mission Mars Rocket
The Mars Rocket is a staggering 2.5 feet tall and delivers huge play while making a statement in any house! With multiple levels and areas to explore, boys will find that their play exploration and imagination have no limits.

Treasure Diver
Just add water and play! Includes diver toy, container, diver retrieving tool, decorative gravel, color instructions, and 6 different treasures to retrieve: Shark’s Jaws, Pirate Sword, Cannon, Roman Jar, Anchor, and Titanic’s Ship Wheel.

Pinxies Unicorn Creation Studio
From the enchanting world of Pinxies is the new Unicorn Creation Studio STEM-authenticated building set. Little girls will love this new set as it captures the wonder and magic that have made unicorns a long-standing favorite. It comes with 80 pieces including colorful plastic building links, detailed graphic paperboard panels, and gem stickers to create and decorate 10 uniquely adorable unicorns.

Shoot your shot with the ultimate trickshot game that’s easy to play, yet hard to master! IXI KIX is an action-packed challenge game that tests your skills as you launch the ixi pieces into the targets. Choose your own style and compete against others to score points. Whoever scores the most points wins!

Flat2Fast Card Racers
Ready, set, launch! Flast2Fast Card Racers transform from cards to superfast racing cars with the press of a button! No pullback is needed. And, Flat2Fast is portable and fits perfectly in a pocket or backpack for on-the-go play!

Robo-Max: T-Rex
This complete building set has 170+ pieces including 106 jumbo screws, a custom screwdriver and a combination of plastic parts and premium laminated carboard. Features LED light-up flashing eyes and a sound box for mighty roar sounds. Also includes clear, step-by-step color instructions.
Standing at over 3 feet tall, the T-Rex by Robo-Max towers over all other toys in the house

Snack, Snack Giraffe
Can your kid get all the snacks in Giselle the Giraffe’s belly?! Snack, Snack Giraffe is the fun new game that encourages kids to eat their fruits and veggies, while teaching them about healthy eating! Giselle the Giraffe stands over 2 feet tall and comes with 12 double-sided tokens and flash cards featuring 24 fruits and vegetables for kids to sort, match, and feed Giselle with. Perfect for independent or family play, kids will have fun trying to get all their snack tokens in Giselle’s belly without them falling out!

Spin Master PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie Collection
Pictured: Mighty Pups Marshall 7" Plush, Pup Squad Patroller Toy Truck, Skye's Deluxe Transforming Rescue Jet, and 6-Figure Gift Pack

PAW Patrol 5-Minute Stories Collection
A padded storybook starring Nickelodeon's PAW Patrol! Boys and girls ages 3-7 who love Adenture Bay's favorite pups will enjoy this hardcover collection of tales. Featuring Chase, Marshall, Skye, and the rest of the funny, furry team, each story can be read in five minutes or less, so it's perfect for bedtime-or anytime!

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie
Studio Synopsis: When a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The MIGHTY PUPS! But they face their mightiest challenge yet when the pups' archrival Humdinger breaks out of jail and teams up with Victoria Vance, a mad scientist, to steal the superpowers for themselves. With the fate of Adventure City hanging in the balance, the Mighty Pups have to stop the supervillains before it's too late.

The Little Wooden Robot nd theLog Princess by Tom Gauld
For years, the king and queen have tried desperately to have a baby. Their wish was granted twice, when an engineer and a witch gave them a little wooden robot and an enchanted log princess. But there's just one catch: every night when the log princess sleeps, she transforms back into an ordinary log, and can only be woken up with magic words.

Mossy and Tweed: Double Trouble by Mirka Hokkanen
Mossy and Tweed enjoy a perfect day by the pond with their friend the Wise Old Unicorn (who is really just a goat). But when a baby bird falls in the pond, a NEW—and very shiny—unicorn appears and saves the day! Everyone loves how strong, smart, and brave the new unicorn is. . . But what about the Wise Old Unicorn? Surely he can save the day too! Mossy and Tweed set out to help their friend realize that the forest needs him too.

Zooni Tales: Keep It Up, Plucky Pup by Vikram Madan
Dog Man meets Dr. Seuss in this fabulously furry young graphic novel that pairs rollicking rhyme with an irresistible pooch. Kid friendly wordplay makes phonics fun, while charming illustrations follow Zooni through colorful mishaps and dog naps. Never fear! Zooni’s pals are always near. Whether they’re lost at sea or climbing a tree, these loyal friends stick together through every adventure.

Team Trash: A Time Traveler's Guide to Sustainability by Kate Wheeler and Trent Huntington
When a science project goes awry, two student activists travel through time to learn how to protect our Earth from plastic pollution in modern times.

Bizard: The Bear Wizard by Chrissie Krebs
Bear was just an average bear, until the day a tornado lodged an out-of-control wizard’s wand in his head. Now he looks a bit like a cross between a bear and a unicorn. He is none too pleased, but it seems he might be stuck with the wand for the foreseeable future.

Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa
In this collection of reimagined Indonesian fairy tales, the girls are the ones with power. The power to fight evil, to protect others, and to grow as people. Because why should girls in folktales always need saving? What if they save themselves instead?

The Toniebox uses audio storytelling to introduce pre-readers and developing readers to the wonders of narrative long before children can read the words in a book. When children combine tonies with play, they unlock the real wonder of storytelling - a mix of fascination, surprise, curiosity and a craving for exploration all stirred together.
Pictured:Paw Patrol: Tracker, The Elf on the Shelf, Trolls: Viva, Maestro, and Spidey & His Amazing Friends: Spin

Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by James Dean, Kimberly Dean
Illustrated by James Dean

Join Pete and the gang for one-of-a-kind holiday cheer. He adds a cool-cat spin on a well-known Christmas carol, bringing a hip and energetic spirit to the season.

The Christmassy Cactus by Beth Ferry
Illustrated by A. N. Kang

Tiny Cactus loves Christmas! But she doesn’t love that her little girl seems to be spending more time with the giant sparkly tree in the living room than with her. Maybe if she were decorated like the Christmas tree, her little girl would notice her again.

The Moon Remembers by E. B. Goodale
Illustrated by E. B. Goodale

This is a lyrical look at how the moon is a guardian for everyone—after all, each squirrel and owl, all the trees and tiny flowers, even your mama and daddy, were babies once. And the moon remembers.

Just One Little Light by Kat Yeh
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

This luminous picture book is a powerful reminder to readers of any age that no matter how dark it may seem, even the smallest glimmer of hope can make a difference.

Come and Join Us!: 18 Holidays Celebrated All Year Longby Liz Kleinrock
Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
Who says the holidays only happen in the winter? Every day’s a holiday when you live in a world as diverse as ours! From Juneteenth to Vesak, and Yom Kippur to Día de las Muertos, the festivities never end. Come and join us and learn about eighteen holidays celebrated by a diverse group of children in this inviting and joyful picture book.

Jo Jo Makoons: Snow Day by Dawn Quigley
Illustrated by Tara Audibert

After a snowstorm shuts down her Ojibwe reservation, Jo Jo uses her big imagination and big personality to help both Elders and classmates alike. Because after all, being healthy means being together!

Max Fernsby and the Infinite Toys by Gerry Swallow, Peter Gaulke
Illustrated by Marta Kissi
Max Fernsby seems like your typical 10-year-old kid, but when a red bag literally falls on his head from the sky, Max finds he suddenly has the power to produce any toy in the world! But what Max doesn’t realize is that the red bag only wound up in his hands because two of Santa’s most troublesome elves decided to take Santa’s sleigh for a joy ride. The bag fell out along the way, and if they don’t get it back to the North Pole soon, Christmas itself may be in jeopardy. Not to mention a greedy businessman has eyes on the bag and wants to steal it for himself!

The Elf on the Shelf: Meet the Scout Elves by Alexandra West
Illustrated by The Lumistella Company
Discover new and old friends as you take a tour around the North Pole, meet the special Scout Elves, and learn about everything they do!

The Elf on the Shelf: Night Before Christmas by Chanda A. Bell
Illustrated by The Lumistella Company

When the Elf on the Shelf attempts to make his way back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, things don't go exactly as planned. Now, it’s up to the Elf on the Shelf to save Christmas morning for a very special child.

The Elf on the Shelf: Stocking Stuffer Sticker Book
Illustrated by The Lumistella Company

The Elf on the Shelf fans can re-create festive scenes at the North Pole, add decorations and presents under the tree, or help the elves with some sticker activities! With over 200 stickers available, readers can enjoy countless hours of elftastic sticker fun!

Eight Nights of Lights: A Celebration of Hanukkah by Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrated by Hilli Kushnir

Celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with this interactive, one-of-a-kind menorah and storybook set. The paper-over-board novelty book opens to reveal a menorah with nine removable candle-shaped paperback books.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Tricia Schart Hyman

For more than thirty years, this clever original tale of a Jewish folk hero outwitting dreadful goblins has been a staple of family Hanukkah celebrations. Packaged in an elegant slipcase, the Gift Edition includes a new quote from 2022 Caldecott Medalist Jason Chin, and a poster featuring an iconic illustration from the book.

The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler
Illustrated by Jill Weber

Celebrate Hanukkah with a beautiful board book that tells the story of a great miracle. This version of the popular and well-received picture book has been carefully pared down for preschoolers and toddlers, and will introduce children to the Maccabean Revolt, the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the oil that burned for eight nights. Board book and picture book editions are available!

Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Bubba Brayna’s makes the best latkes in the village, and on the first night of Hanukkah, the scent of her cooking weeks a hungry, adorable bear. Bubba Brayna—who does not see or hear very well—mistakes the bear for her rabbi and invites him in to play dreidel, light the menorah, and enjoy some scrumptious latkes. After her well-fed guest leaves and her friends arrive for dinner—along with her actual rabbi—together, they discover who really ate them.

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah by Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrated by Galia Bernstein

The last night of Hanukkah is here, and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but alas! A dastardly dragon named Dreadful keeps foiling the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeps of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery to catch Dreadful. Filled with Hanukkah humor and fun, this picture book emphasizes kindness to help the holiday lights shine a little brighter.

Challah Day! by Charlotte Offsay
Illustrated by Jason Kirschner
Inspired by memories creators Charlotte Offsay and Jason Kirschner have of baking Challah with their children, Challah Day celebrates the sweetness of sharing homemade food as a family. A family mixes, kneads, and braids bread in this jubilant, rhyming story about a Jewish holiday food that’s baked with love.

Desi Favors
Desi Favors specializes in merchandise of traditional Indian handmade products, party decor for weddings, religious events, bhajans, baby showers, get-togethers, give away gifts,DIY backdrop kits, gift packs, DIY kits for kids and more.
Pictured: DIY Diwali Gift, Goddess Durga Face Cutout, Lord Ganesh DIY Origami Kit, and Peacock Cutout

Shaun the Sheep: The Complete Collection
Shaun the Sheep: The Complete Series includes all 170 episodes on 7 discs, marking the first-time seasons 5 and 6 of the show are available to own. It also includes The Flight Before Christmas, a half-hour Christmas special.

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve at Mossy Bottom Farm and Shaun's seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings inadvertently leads to Timmy getting lost in the local Christmas market.

Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Cracking Collection
This is the complete collection of four cracking half-hour specials and ten short films featuring the charming and eccentric inventor Wallace, and his faithful, four-legged friend Gromit! Includes: A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, A Matter of Loaf and Death, and Cracking Contraptions

Laika Studios Limited Editon 4K UHD Steelbook Collection
Pictured: The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, and ParaNorman

Sesame Street: Elmo’s Holiday Spectacular: The Nutcracker and Other Tales
The holidays are here on Sesame Street! Join Elmo, his puppy Tango, and all their friends on adventures filled with music, magic, and so much more! Play, sing, and explore in this two-hour holiday spectacular.

Christmas Eve On Sesame Street
It's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and everyone is joining in the excitement– until a question from Oscar throws Big Bird into a tailspin. "How does a guy like Santa Claus, who's built like a dump truck, come down all those skinny little chimneys?" Oscar asks.

Elmo Nutcracker Plush
Celebrate winter with Elmo! The adorable Sesame Street Muppet is here as a cuddly, soft 13” plush with show-accurate details from the Sesame Street Nutcracker special, a fun animated retelling of the classic Christmas story.

Mavka: The Forest Song
Mavka – the soul of the forest – has been chosen by the supreme spirits to become the forest’s new guardian. But when she meets a talented human musician named Lucas – a man on the hunt for a mysterious tree with the power to give life, she is faced with an impossible choice between her newfound love and her duty to the spirits.

The Magic Flute
From Executive Producer Roland Emmerich (Moonfall) comes a captivating film that follows a teen on two journeys: one into a prestigious boarding school to fulfill his aspirations as a singer, and another into a parallel world filled with fantasy and adventure.

The Canterville Ghost
The animated reimagining of the Oscar Wilde classic is poised to entertain kids, families, and animation enthusiasts. Available on Digital and VOD December 5, 2023.

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