Half balloon, half dinosaur, the B-Rex (get it?) is programmed with more than 70 sounds and movements. Play tug-of-war, have a tickle fight, feed him a bone and don’t forget to cuddle—he’ll nuzzle right up! He can also throw down some solid dance moves and rip an impressive toot. Who knew a balloon could be so multi-faceted?
Red Planet Group Squeakee the Balloon Dino, $90, mastermindtoys.ca
What’s that under the ocean’s surface? A mystical cat mermaid and her besties, a narwhal and seahorse. You’re in charge of bringing them to life with this tiered craft kit that starts with simple lacing then dives into stitching and stuffing the three felt friends.
Klutz My Cat Mermaid & Friends, $27, mastermindtoys.ca
Build this hip hop–loving robot’s car (which doubles as a digital stage), then use the free VIDIYO app to scan your minifigures and learn their personas. Think of it as a casting call because next, you’re going to produce, direct and have the minifigs star in your own music video. Complete challenges and share videos with your friends.
Lego VIDIYO Robo HipHop Car, $40, mastermindtoys.ca
More than just a way to tell time—though it’s good at that, too—this multilingual watch has a flashlight,
a camera for selfies, games and a messaging system. But it’s not just fun and games: Parents can set daily reminders for their kids and switch to “school mode” to ensure they’re focused in class.
VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX3, $73, mastermindtoys.ca
Beach call! Strap your surfboard and luggage to the roof rack and road-trip your way along the winding ocean highway of your imagination. Modelled after the classic Bug, this old-timey car will hit grandparents right in the feels with its iconic curved fenders and sleek nostalgia. Meep, meep.
Playmobil Volkswagen Beetle, $60, mastermindtoys.ca
Think you’re fluent in all things Pokémon? Put your knowledge to the test with this guessing game. The computerized trainer will tell you to think of a Pokémon and then ask you questions to reveal clues to exactly which character you were thinking of. Wowzers!
Asmodee Pokémon Trainer Guess: Kanto Edition, $30, mastermindtoys.ca
How it started: a TikTok challenge. How it’s going: a choose-your-own viral adventure. As a fan of the squishy beads, you can create your own challenges, like funnelling the Orbeez or placing your phone beneath the plastic bowl and capturing the bouncy beads falling in slow motion. The set comes with 2,000 Orbeez and six tools. Imagination not included.
Spin Master Orbeez #Challenge Playset, $35, mastermindtoys.ca
Stop flicking your marbles across the floor. Instead, build a complex course and watch as they shuttle their way through an intricate track filled with daring stunts, a cone that plays music, a spinning Ferris wheel and an impressive catapult launcher that sends marbles soaring.
VTech Marble Rush Ultimate Set, $73, mastermindtoys.ca
Passports, please! A refresh on an award-winning classic, this box of imaginative prompts is your ticket to, well, anywhere. Will you visit the pyramids or maybe the Taj Mahal? Be sure to send a postcard if you do—there are 10 included, along with play postage, a world map, luggage tags and two passports.
Eeboo Pretend Play: World Traveler, $22, mastermindtoys.ca
Take everything you know about classic target-shooting games and picture it as interactive and colour-changing. Then add squishy, fling-able Koosh! To play, simply hang or prop the five-target game board. Choose one of three games; play solo or compete against someone else to see who can rack up the most points before time runs out.
Playmonster Koosh Sharp Shot, $50, mastermindtoys.ca
Wrap your hands around these palm-size cuties and squeeze! More than a satisfying stress reliever,
each squishy dumpling has a unique personality and over 50 adorable sounds and light responses when you shake, tickle, toss or dress them.
Wowwee My Squishy Little Dumplings, $20 each, mastermindtoys.ca
Papier mâché is fun, but the mess it creates leaves something to be desired. Skip the slop and go straight to decorating this tasty-looking preformed papier mâché cupcake using acrylic paint. Let the cupcake dry, then stick on felt confetti, gummy bear beads and fuzzy stickers.
Kid Made Modern Paper Mache Cupcake, $25, mastermindtoys.ca
Your magical deep-sea apothecary awaits you. Using special mermaid ingredients and a bit of your own conjuring, mix up nine fantastical recipes to create six shimmering potions and three special vial necklaces. When you’re done toiling, store it all in a special elixir cabinet.
Craft-tastic Make Your Own Mermaid Potions, $25, mastermindtoys.ca
Endless possibilities and fun await! Blossoming builders can perform a creative flex by constructing towers, monsters and abstract sculptures while picking up skills like problem-solving and spatial awareness.
Kroeger K’Nex Classics 300 PC Building Tub, $45, mastermindtoys.ca
If your kid loves taking selfies, playing games and making movies with fun filters, this HD camera is a great fit. The nearly three-inch screen, tripod and auto timer help with content creation. Plus, there are over 40 animated backgrounds, a voice changer, a comic book creator and editing software. So, see you on YouTube?
MGA Entertainment Tobi 2 Director’s Camera, $120, mastermindtoys.ca
An electric circuit motor is tucked inside this assemble-it-yourself paper race car. It will propel your newest whip along the drag. But to make it really zoom, put on your critical thinking cap and get to work building the paper track.
4M Techcraft Paper Circuit Racer, $18, mastermindtoys.ca
In case you didn’t know, flying pixies come from sparkly crystal eggs. To hatch yours, lift off the prism top and release the pretty pixie from her shimmering base. Let your hands become her soundstage, as they guide her flight by cupping them beneath the sensors in her feet. She’ll soar around the room, ready
to perform for her fans.
Spin Master Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers Popstar, $40, mastermindtoys.ca
Battle strategists are needed for this supercharged variation of Beyblades. It’s the first motorized arena ever and there’s a whirling disc—called a Motor Vortex—that’s waiting to give your spinning tops a boost.
Hasbro Beyblade Burst Surge Speedstorm Motor Strike Battle Set, $90, mastermindtoys.ca
Colourful gears, wheels and treads become anything your little engineer can imagine with a bit of creativity. The STEM-themed kit offers build suggestions, like a conveyor belt and tank, but can be transformed into whatever your tyke musters up.
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! TreadMobiles, $40, mastermindtoys.ca
Calling all aspiring artists, inventors and architects! This unique tool provides three-dimensional creative fun without the expensive printer. All you have to do is draw your vision using the no-heat-needed innovative pen. It’ll squeeze out quick-hardening plastic, leaving you with your very own 3-D creation.
3Doodler Start+ Essentials 3D Pen Set, $70, mastermindtoys.ca
Check out this new listing for an eco-friendly home with serious curb appeal. The modern three-level spread houses a family of four—plus a cute Labrador retriever—and puts green living at its core with an electric vehicle and rooftop solar panels. Hang out in the hobby room with a guitar, get gaming in the family room or grab your stick for a friendly round of pickup hockey on the roadway.
Lego City Family House, $80, mastermindtoys.ca
Did you know that planting these towering stalks can help save the bees? Equipped with everything a young horticulturist needs, this kit has a flowerpot with saucer to decorate, sunflower seeds, potting soil and a notebook to track the journey from seed to bloom. Bonus: The harvested seeds make a great snack.
Creativity For Kids Sunflower Garden, $20, mastermindtoys.ca
Bags should be able to carry your essentials, but they don’t need to be boring. Part fashion moment, part interactive friend, Purse Pets blink and respond to touch with 25 sounds, reactions, games and songs. Which of the three styles will you choose?
Spin Master Purse Pets, $35 each, mastermindtoys.ca
Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi and company have left the screen and found their way to a game board. The only problem is that they’re lost in a maze and need your help to escape. On your turn, move the maze tiles to create new routes to exit, blocking opponents who stand in your way.
Ravensburger Super Mario Labyrinth, $40, mastermindtoys.ca
Worlds are colliding and once-extinct dinosaurs are now clad with tricked-out armour as they join forces with humans to fight a common enemy: giant projectile-throwing robots. Yikes, right? The playset includes two figures, two dinosaurs, a battle robot and everything they need to duel it out.
Playmobil T-Rex: Battle of the Giants, $110, mastermindtoys.ca
Do you recall how much the Whos down in Whoville like Christmas? (Hint: A lot! So don’t let the Grinch ruin it.) While they snooze, he’s slinking around and it’s up to you to stop him from stealing their presents. Make your way around the board with the aim of collecting more points than the Grinch, but hurry, Christmas morning is coming.
Funko Games Dr. Seuss Merry Grinchmas!, $25, mastermindtoys.ca
Neigh, girl! Meet Jamie, a 14-inch poseable doll, and her BFF, Jumper, a saddle-ready horse. Jamie loves to ride Jumper and the two pals trot their stuff all over the rodeo! Their style is always on point, with accessories that can be swapped with any of the other dolls in the line. And can we talk about Jumper’s pink glitter hooves and pretty mane streaks? Giddy-up!
Glitter Girls Jamie & Jumper, $60, mastermindtoys.ca
Every spy knows that a walkie-talkie is a workplace essential. Stay in touch with these hands-free communicators that look like regular digital watches. Lift up the bezel and stay connected via the built-in speaker and mic. Need to discuss sensitive information? Press the buttons to send your fellow agent messages in Morse code.
Imports Dragon SpyX: Spy Wrist Talkies, $25, mastermindtoys.ca