Every Christmas season brings with it the mad rush for that “one” toy every child wants Santa to bring.  The 2013 season will be no different.  With the insanity that is the annual shopping season and the flurry of options that inundate kids each year, how can the bearded one know which toy that good little boys and girls will want? Well, by going to the experts, that’s how.   

The big three U.S. toy retailers compile a list each year of what they believe will be that Christmas’s top selling toys. Kmart, Toys R Us, and Wal Mart are the big three.  This year there are three toys that fall at number 14 or higher on each list.  Let’s start with the one that sits at number 14 and work our way up. 

Flutterbye Flying Fairy Doll

It’s a standard-sized doll (Barbie height give or take) with petals attached to the doll that lift the doll a few feet above the child’s head, then slowly drifts back down.  As it comes down, you can hold out your hand and it will rise again.  The Flutterbye Flying Fairy Doll runs on 6 AA batteries that are installed into a base/charging station. This means the toy is not bound to the nearest outlet.  For handymen – and women – the charging base with blinking notification lights is quite similar to a cordless drill charging setup. Charging takes about 30 minutes.  The manufacturer recommends the toy only be used indoors.  The base is necessary to initiate flight.  Each charge is good for 5-6 minutes of flying time.  The age range for this toy is 5-10, and not recommended for children under 3 due to choking hazard.  As of late October this toys retails for just under $28

Disney’s Doc McStuffins Get Better Check-Up Center

For the uninformed (like me) Doc McStuffins is from the Junior Disney TV show.  Although a decent-sized unit, there is no assembly required.  This toy has many parts, some which could be dangerous to children under 3.  It has many of the same items seen in a real doctor’s office, and comes with Lambie, the patient.  It’s designed to make the child feel like a real doctor.  The retail on this item is just under $80. 

This brings us to the king of the hill for Christmas 2013!  He is certainly no stranger, and will bring back memories of Christmases past.  It’s Elmo!  But this is not Tickle Me Elmo.  No, this is the Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo.  He came in first on the Kmart list, 11th on the Toys R Us list, and 5th on the Wal Mart list.  In addition, he is also prominent on the Amazon and Target websites. 

Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo

He measures 22 inches, and so will be perfect for toddlers. This Elmo is made to be as interactive as possible.  Full of sounds and songs, he can also pretend to be an astronaut, horse, rabbit, or frog for specific creative scenarios.  And yes, he will actually give you a hug back.  Plus, when the little ones are done playing with Elmo – possibly at nap time – he sings a good night lullaby.  Big Hugs Elmo currently retails for $49.

So, if the retailers are right, big E will make it a very Merry Christmas on Sesame Street this year.   As Santa tries to satisfy the Christmas list this year, his bag of toys should be brimming doctors’ tables, flying fairies, and a huggable muppet.