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When it comes to hot holiday toy lists, you'd be hard-pressed to find one better than the one assembled by my friends at The Toy Insider in New York. Their annual Holiday Gift Guide helps gift-givers shop for kids by age, and as always there's the three big signature lists: The Toy Insider's Hot 20, Top Tech 12 and STEM 10. This year's guide will appear in print, included with the November issue of Family Circle magazine (on stands 10/9), and will feature more than 200 toys from more than 100 different manufacturers. An additional 170 toys can be found in the online version of the guide, representing nearly 200 toy companies in total. Check out the video below and a quick overview on some featured items below, then visit The Toy Insider for more great gift ideas!

Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is coming to theaters this November, and thanks to the folks at Funko, some characters from the new version of the classic tale are coming to the famed Pop! Vinyl format. Hitting stores just in time for the 2018 holiday season, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara are up for pre-order now via my friends at Entertainment Earth. Check out the latest trailer for The Nutcracker below...

It's still strange to think that 2018 will mark the first year without The Great Big Toys "R" Us Book of Awesome here in the U.S. In fact, the name and multiple variations on it are part of the long-awaited TRU IP auction that will hopefully actually take place in October. But what if we did have a 2018 Big Toy Book? Chances are it wouldn't be that much different than our friends to the north, who've just unveiled the Toys "R" Us Top Toy Trends for families in Canada. As they say, "while it might seem early for adults to sing carols and sip eggnog, kids know that Christmas is less than 100 sleeps away!"  So what does Toys "R" Us Canada pick for the Hot Play Trends for the holidays? Let's take a look...

I may have mentioned this in passing before, but this fall will see the release of an all-new wave of Holiday Funko Pop! Vinyl figures... and yes, more Star Wars is in the mix. Of course these are technically bobbleheads (thanks to licensing) but cool just the same. There's festive new versions of Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, Darth Vader (there's a Chase version as well) and Yoda. All of these new figures are up for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth. I see them as new-school holiday decor, and early additions to my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide here at The Rock Father™ Magazine.

Last month I previewed for you the L.O.L. Surprise! House, the long-awaited residence for MGA Entertainment's smash hit L.O.L. Surprise Dolls. Based on my own internal tracking (article views + reader search + the number sold thus far through affiliate links), as of September we have an early leader for 2018's hottest holiday toy. The activity is unusually high, and in that I mean that it's so far out in front right now, it's an absolute monster! While we don't have one here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father™ HQ, the girls on MGA's L.O.L. Surprise! YouTube Channel have posted an official unboxing. This comes alongside the release of an official 30-second television spot, which I just added to The Rock Father Channel. This is an early reveal from my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™, so if you want one of these - and at list price - you have to get it now! Pre-order via Amazon or Walmart, both priced at $189 as of this writing. See the new videos below...

It's going to be a magical holiday season, and today comes a look a nine new character posters from Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This epic reimagining of the classic seasonal tale will hit theaters on November 2, 2018, and today's poster drop features detailed looks at the main cast as they gear-up for adventure. Take a look...

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