Since 1964, the Hess Toy Truck has been an annual tradition of collectible holiday toys. For years, families on the east coast would look forward to the reveal of the annual Hess Toy Truck - which hasn't always been "a truck," but a high-quality vehicle offered at a great price and wrapped-up in signature green giftwrap, ready to roll for the holidays. Because it was an east coast thing, we'd missed out on it since we didn't have Hess Express gas stations here in the Midwest, but we really started getting into these around five years ago - ironically, just a year or so before Hess sold-off their gas stations. While the stores may be gone, the tradition of the truck lives on, and every year on November 1, a new Hess Toy Truck becomes available exclusively on HessToyTruck.com. We recently got our hands on the 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader (sent to us for review), and after seeing the girls eagerly crack it open, it's easy to see why it's a top pick in my annual Holiday Wish Guide™!
We've been fans of Playmonster's My Fairy Garden collection since we first discovered them a year or so ago. Having placed a fairy garden outside as part of our landscape every year, The Rock Daughters™ always have a habit of playing with the statues out there, and they're not really made for that since they're not toys. My Fairy Garden solves that problem by providing a real garden environment that kids can play with inside. Each kit comes with everything you need to build and grown the perfect spot for your fairy figures, and there's always room to expand, with a wide array of accessories and additional fairies available. Our original garden, the Magical Cottage, is still going strong, and this fall we added a new one to the mix - the Bean Blossom.
There is no question that in this house, our oldest daughter knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up: a doctor. Addie is eight right now, and ever since she started watching Doc McStuffins a few years back, she's been obsessed with the medical profession - something that I hope sticks with her until adulthood. It's not often that young kids grow up to be exactly what they intended, but Addie seems destined for that path, and we watch her care for her dolls and toys each and every day. For other kids with a similar mindset, Little Medical School offers a selection of Play Medical Kits and accessories, all with the intention of "inspiring tomorrow's healthcare providers today." We recently received the Little Pediatrician Kit for review, and the reaction was immediate...
As the micro collectibles movement continues to grow, one recent entrant owes a lot to the past. Back in the early 80s, a decade or so before Micro Machines did plastic miniature figures, Kenner toys released the Star Wars Micro Collection - small, diecast figures and playsets. The figures weren't articulated, and the line never caught on, but there were other diecast figures out there, and they became more appealing to collectors as time went on. This year, Jada Toys expanded their METALS Diecast series by shrinking it down. Nano MetalFigs are tiny diecast figurines from a variety of pop culture licensees. There's Harry Potter, DC Comics (perfect for Justice League), Disney/Pixar, Marvel, WWE and more - and the individual figures start at just 99 cents, making them a perfect stocking stuffer!
It was in the fall of 2016 that Whiffer Sniffers first hit my radar - scented, collectible backpack clips in fun character shapes. Taking their design cues from the scratch-n-sniff craze of the 1980s (they even released some stickers to go along with that), Whiffer Sniffers are still going strong and their fanbase is growing. With their Series 5 in stores now for holiday 2017, families can be on the hunt for a fresh assortment of awesome characters that make perfect stocking stuffers!
I first highlighted World's Smallest as a Holiday Wish Guide™ pick last year, and after seeing them continue using their mysterious shrink ray to zap other classic toys into miniature size, I'm also calling them out for 2017. After tackling more "simple" items like Mattel's Hot Wheels, the Fisher-Price Little People School Bus, Polaroid Camera and Hasbro's legendary G.I. Joe, now they're cranking up the shrink ray for a more difficult project... electronic games. If you recall the old Mattel Electronics handheld games of the late 1970's, you're on the right track. While their full-size counterparts were reproduced by The Bridge Direct not long ago, now the classic Electronic Football, Electronic Baseball and Electronic Basketball have been brought down to palm-size by Super Impulse under their "World's Coolest" moniker.