It's only September, and yet, the holiday season feels like it is rushing in at warp speed. My friends with kids are already asking me: "What's the hottest toy this year?" For the last few years, my "capped answer" has been: "There is no one hot toy." Gift-givers need to think about their child's likes and passions, his or her age, and you need to find the hot toy to fit your child! I standby this response, because there really is something for everyone. There are lots of hot toys, and that's why we choose 20 of them every year -- because no two kids are alike.
This year, however, my answer will be almost the same. My team and I review toys all year long and finalize that list in early August -- well in advance of the holiday season. As always, there are lots of hot toys that we are excited about this year. And while I still believe that there is no one "hottest" toy, this year, there is a hottest brand: Frozen.
Frozen debuted in theaters late last holiday season, and Disney and its toy manufacturing partners were unprepared for the instant success this franchise enjoyed -- and that won't change this holiday season. Frozen appeals to kids and adults of all ages in a big way, making it Disney's No. 1 property of all time in less than a year of sales. Whether it's a singing doll, Halloween costumes, board games, bedding or wearable accessories, Frozen products will disappear from stores shelves in the blink of an eye.
So, what is it that makes this property so hot? There are plenty of reasons why brands become a smash hit, but this one is special. Here we see one of the greatest love stories of all time -- and it's between two sisters. Having three daughters of my own, that's the film's biggest appeal to me. But beyond that, Frozen spans both the gender gap and the generation gap. It's a heartwarming story that's filled with exceptional original songs (that will get stuck in your head for days and days and days), wholesome and adorable jokes, and beautifully breath-taking scenery. Not to mention, a cast of characters that everyone can relate to (except Hans, what a jerk!).
There are a few items in particular that we know kids will love, such as Jakk's Pacific's Snow Glow Elsa. Not only does this doll embody Elsa as an adorable toddler, but when kids lift her arms in the air, she magically sings Idina Menzel's version of "Let it Go." Her dress also lights up and features beautiful snowflakes just like in the film. eKids is set to launch a Frozen Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boom Box, which kids can use to sing along to all of their favorite Frozen songs (I'm partial to In Summer, gotta love that Olaf!). This one will especially appeal to older kids, as it doubles as an MP3 player that kids can plug their iPods into to listen to any song they want. For those who love Frozen but aren't so much into princesses, Disney's own Mix-Em-Up Olaf will be a hit. This Mr. Potato Head-style toy allows kids to take apart Olaf's body and rearrange it any way they like -- just like he can do in the movie.
Lately, everything Disney touches is gold, but this one is pure platinum. If there is a Frozen item on your child's wish list this year, don't wait for the markdown on this one - snatch it up as soon as you see it.