Most Popular Toy Brands for Your Child

teddy bear stuffed toy

Toys bring us back to our childhood. There's something lovely about watching children today play with the same toy brands we did. What's great is that many of the toys from yesteryear are still with us today. That makes it easy to match a toy to a child because chances are that you're already familiar with it. However, there are several new brands that you didn't have as a kid. Thanks to online retailers such as Amazon, and incredibly cheap and efficient supply networks which didn't exist in the '80s, small startups have as much of a shot as the larger brands. At the end of the day, this is great news for kids, and for the adults who want to buy them gifts.

As a father of two young children, and an uncle to a few older children, I've developed a reputation as the guy with the best gifts. I hit birthdays and Christmas out of the park. The truth is that I like buying toys just as much as they like receiving them because then I get to play with them too. When my son gets a new robotic dinosaur, the first thing he wants to do is play with me. Even my teenage niece loves to sit with me as we go through some complicated setup manual from a high-tech gift. My secret? A childhood filled with the best toys from the best toy brands.

Which Toy Brands Should You Gift?

baby playing with toys

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There are some toy brands that we tend to stay away from because they're either lower quality or not appropriate. On the other hand, we are still in love with Playmobil. There is a whole world of fun with Playmobil that every child loves, regardless of age or gender. Also, Playmobil toys are sturdy and well-made and are proven to fire up imaginative play. Lego and Mega Blocks are other familiar brands that we love.

But before you rush out and grab a set, you need to determine some criteria for the person you're gifting. After all, the best toy brands to gift are only good if they go to the right person. So when you're choosing a toy, think of the age of the receiver, how they'll use it, the quality of the toy, and its price.

AGE​​​​​​​​​​


The first thing you need to consider when choosing a toy is the age of the receiver. A 2-year-old isn't going to get much use out of a complicated Lego set, while a 10-year-old could probably pass on the cute stuffed dinosaur. While each kid is different, you can stick to some general guidelines. A toddler will love a ball and some boxes. A pre-schooler likes lots of things, such as a box filled with cars and blocks and such. Once they're in school, playtime toys are hits, and older kids (including teens) love anything electronic.

Usage


The first thing you need to consider when choosing a toy is the age of the receiver. A 2-year-old isn't going to get much use out of a complicated Lego set, while a 10-year-old could probably pass on the cute stuffed dinosaur. While each kid is different, you can stick to some general guidelines. A toddler will love a ball and some boxes. A pre-schooler likes lots of things, such as a box filled with cars and blocks and such. Once they're in school, playtime toys are hits, and older kids (including teens) love anything electronic.

QUALITY


Of course, if the toy is cheaply made, then it doesn't matter how they use it because it's not going to last long. We find that a broken toy is more devastating to younger children, especially pre-schoolers. So it's best to find good quality toys for the three to five-year-old range. That being said, everybody appreciates a quality gift, so your 11-year-old will also enjoy something that's well-made. It's just that it doesn't have to be as tough as for a younger child.

Price


Finally, you need to consider price. If the gift is for your kids, then blow a lot of money on them. Go all out and get them high-quality, high-value toys that they'll love. On the other hand, if the receiver is someone else's child, then you should hold back on the big-ticket items.

How We Reviewed

We love kids, and we want you to find them the best toy brands. That's why we set out with determination to find the 10 most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift. We'll be honest with you, it was a fairly easy challenge. First, we scoured our own memories of childhood, and then we checked out which toy brands from then are still around today. We were delighted to find that most of them are still here. Next, we checked out how many of them are still making quality toys.

After poking around our memory banks, we took a look to see what kids are playing with today. We found that most of the established toy brands are still a hit with youth and that a few new brands have joined the club. Then we took a look at the quality and pricing of these brands. Finally, we went through customer reviews and learned what real people thought of these toys.

The Best Toy Brands

Once we finished digging and remembering and reading reviews, we discarded any toys that didn't meet our criteria. That left us with a great list of the most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift. Any kid will love toys from these brands.

Playmobil

We absolutely love Playmobil. They're well-built and filled with potential. Because entire houses, ships, and cities get built with Playmobil, kids can immerse themselves in some of the most imaginative play possible. Best of all, Playmobil doesn't accept any branding from most other companies. You won't find many gimmicks or movies in the Playmobil line. Instead, you'll find pirate ships, Egyptian pyramids, fire stations, houses with bedrooms and appliances, and even astronauts.

Lego

Another awesome gift for any child five years or older is Lego. Kids love Lego because they can build anything. Of course, what they build never looks like the picture on the box, but that doesn't matter. The fact that Lego lets them use creativity, logic, problem-solving and imagination all at once is impressive. Best of all, Lego is high-quality. Have you ever stepped on a Lego? Those things don't break. If the children you have in mind are movie addicts, then they'll love Lego's partnerships with Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, and others.

Pokemon

Pokemon took the kid world by storm back in the late '90s, and it's still going strong. Kids are obsessed with Pokemon, and we love it because it gets them outside, and they can play cooperatively. Pokemon is relatively non-violent yet filled with adventure. The Pokemon toy brand creates high-quality, fun toys which children adore. From backpacks for kindergarten-age kids to the famous Pokemon card game, to Pokemon headphones, they've got every age group covered. You can even find a Pokemon belt!

National Geographic

We all know National Geographic. Even our grandparents grew up with NatGeo. Well, your kids can, as well. None of the other toy brands allow kids to explore the natural world the same way that National Geographic does. We love this brand because it opens up the world of science in a fun and interactive way that most kids can't get from modern entertainment. Also, NatGeo uses real materials in their toys, whether it's a box of actual geodes or real dinosaur fossils they can dig up themselves. We're particularly fond of the slimy putty lab, but that's a personal preference.

Boley

Next is a newcomer to the world of toys, at least for those of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s. Boley began in China in the '80s but didn't make it to North America until Amazon and Ebay arrived on the scene. We like Boley because they make toys for every age group. Also, their toys are good quality, and they've put some real thought behind the design of each toy. They make the best set of play dinosaurs any little kid could want, and we still drool over their play tool set. And what kid doesn't want their own electronic cash register, complete with play money?

Cuddle Barn

For younger children, or for any kid who loves stuffed animals, there's Cuddle Barn. When it comes to plush toys, Cuddle Barn is one of the best toy brands you'll find. Their stuffed toys get designed with keen attention to detail that we appreciate. Also, they're all built really well, giving them a bit of toughness that any toy needs when a toddler gets their hands on it. We love the Mother Goose toy, but your baby will also love the light-up jellyfish or the singing school bus.

WolVol

For older kids, you'll find some great gifts from WolVol. They're only seven years old, but they make some of the coolest toys a kid could want. We love how fun WolVol toys are to play with, thanks to their flashing lights, realism, and overall build quality. Of course, most WolVol toys require batteries, so make sure you include some with your gift. Otherwise, the piano in the vanity set won't work, and the 3D lights on the fire truck won't blare. Even the play veterinarian set requires batteries.

Crayola

Next, set your children's creativity on fire with some awesome toys from Crayola. We all grew up with Crayola, so we're familiar with the high quality of their crayons, pencil crayons, and play-do. Everything is well-made, and we find that their prices are decent, too. We love that Crayola designs plenty of creative ways for the entire family to play together. Things like a color chemistry set are perfect for arts and crafts time, while a light-up tracing pen is perfect for older children. Even 1-year olds will love a set of washable palm-grip crayons.

Fisher-Price

Finally, you can get some great toys from the king of all the toy brands. Fisher-Price, thrilling kids since 1930, is still going strong. We love that they carry entire lines of toys for kids of different ages, and everything meets high standards. They're especially sensitive to safety issues, and you can trust Fisher-Price with your baby's playtime. Whether it's a fun play mirror set for an infant, a rockin' push-along toy-thing that will thrill any toddler, or an entire dollhouse complete with sounds for an older child, Fisher-Price has it.

Have Fun and Play!

child playing with two car toys

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The most popular toy brands you should consider for your next gift are not only great to give, but fun for you to play with, too! If you can, once the child you gifted the toy to opens it up, get down on the ground and play with them. Kids, especially younger kids, love nothing more than sharing their joy with someone else, and to be honest, all of these toy brands are fun to play with. No matter if you're the fun aunt or the stodgy grinch, you'll love to play with any one of these toys. Just make sure to give it back when you finish.

Do you have a favorite toy brand we left out? Let us know in the comments!

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