Toy Insider™ Trend Experts Name Hottest Summer Toys of 2016

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Kids will stay active with Razor scooters, learn STEM concepts with LEGO building sets, and let imaginations soar with Paw Patrol toys all summer long.

The Toy Insider's Spring & Summer Gift Guide features the hottest summer toys of 2016.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s play! From high-quality toys that will keep kids entertained on long road trips, to the best new water toys to beat the summer heat, our guide features something for every kid.

The Toy Insider, the leading consumer resource for toy news, reviews, and parenting tips, released its 2016 Spring and Summer Gift Guide online at Featuring more than 180 toys in six different categories, the Toy Insider’s list includes toys, games, tech, and more for kids ages 0 to 13.

“Our team tests thousands of toys and games all year long, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s play! From high-quality toys that will keep kids entertained on long road trips, to the best new water toys to beat the summer heat, our guide features something for every kid,” says Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht.

With more than 20 years of experience in the toy industry, Schacht says innovative toys that get kids outside and away from screens, such as incredible electric ride-ons, high-flying R/C copters, and STEM-based toys that teach, are trending this summer. The guide is also loaded with toys from kids’ favorite blockbuster films and hit TV shows, including The Lion Guard and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.

The Toy Insider’s gift guide is never separated by gender. Instead, it is divided into six distinct categories of play. Each category includes a variety of products for kids of all ages at varying price points:

  • OUTDOOR TOYS: The weather is heating up, and it’s time to get outside and play. Whether it’s a park day, beach trip, or simply playing in the backyard, kids are ready for some fun in the sun, and these toys will get kids excited to explore new terrain. One of the best new outdoor toys of the year is the Black Ice eDrifter, from Dynacraft.
  • WATER TOYS: When the sun is shining, it’s time to cool off and get wet! From water blasters to water balloons, these toys will make quite a splash with kids this year, especially the new water roulette game, Wet Head, from Zing Toys.
  • TRAVEL TOYS & GAMES: School is out, and that means travel plans are in full swing. Keeping kids entertained on long trips is necessary for parents’ sanity, so be sure to stock some travel-friendly toys and games in the backseat. A great option is Winning Moves Games’ Scrabble To Go.
  • PHYSICAL/ACTIVE TOYS: Kids spend so much time glued to tablets, TVs, and smartphones, but warm weather provides the perfect reason to unplug and get moving! Classic outdoor games are a great way to get kids to run around and expend some energy. Kids are sure to love the versatility of Tucker Toys’ new line of E-Z Grip balls.
  • NATURE & EDUCATIONAL TOYS: School may be out, but it’s important to keep kids’ minds engaged. Toys can teach without kids even realizing it, and these summer favorites will enhance reading, writing, and STEM skills. Check out Educational Insights’ new Subscope, which lets kids explore underwater worlds.
  • ENTERTAINMENT TOYS: Characters from popular TV shows, video games, and movies are taking over the toy box, letting kids bring home a piece of movie magic. From crime-fighting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a little blue fish who just keeps swimming, adorable characters take the form of blasters, bubble wands, and more this summer. Some of the best toys in this category include Just Play’s The Lion Guard: Protect the Pridelands Playset, and Spin Master’s Air Hogs Batmobile, based on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The Toy Insider team is composed of a panel of industry experts who review thousands of products throughout the year. The team reviews each product to evaluate its features and overall value, taking into consideration five main criteria: play value, originality, skill building, product integrity, and fun factor. In addition to the Spring & Summer Gift Guide, the Toy Insider reviews toys 365 days a year. Visit to read reviews, the latest in toy news, enter fun giveaways, and get the latest parenting tips.

About the Toy Insider:
The Toy Insider, the go-to source for toys and children’s product information, publishes two gift guides per year: the spring and summer guide and a holiday gift guide. In addition to the gift guides, the Toy Insider is a trusted digital resource for parents all year long. An editorial team with more than 75 years of combined experience covering the children’s products industry crafts all Toy Insider content. Adventure Publishing Group, publisher of leading trade publications The Toy Book, The Toy Report, The Licensing Book, and Total Licensing Report, publishes the Toy Insider. For more information, visit and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.

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