JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - From the Cabbage Patch Dolls of decades ago to Tickle Me Elmo just a few years back, there's always that one hot toy that the kids are dreaming of during the holidays.
In Krystyn Hall's household during the holidays, royalty rules.
"We are all about princesses in our house. We have little tiny princesses, big princesses, medium princesses," Hall explained. But, she said, figuring out what to buy the other kids in her life is an issue.
That's where mom and Toy Insider, Laurie Schacht comes in. She said ultimately, hot holiday toys can be divided up into four categories. The first is tech, no matter what the age.
"They're swiping before they're speaking sometimes and we're really embracing it because they're really learning the digital skills that they need for the 21st century," Schacht said.
For younger boys, the Leap Pad 2 is out now. It has a second camera and a faster processor. Meantime, the iPad is always a hit with just about any other age. Now, the person can actually turn into the game controller. Toys like the R/C Porsche for your Apple device and the Wi-Spi Helicopter are sure to be hot.
"Once they're airborne, they can take pictures, videos and share on all their social networks immediately," Schacht said about the toys.
However, if you're on a budget or your kids are yearning for something a little more traditional, construction toys are the second category.
Lego now has a line for girls and they even have chunkier versions for toddlers with littler hands. Angry Birds has also bought into the build-it craze. Schacht explained how it works: "you're actually building the angry bird set, just like you see on the app."
Crafts are the third category of hot toys. From huge toy trains you can color on and crawl through to the Crayola Marker Air Brush. Toys such as the Haute Couture Fashion Design Set are also all the rage this holiday.
"Comes with fabric and cloth and everything they need, including mannequins and a real working sewing machine," Schacht explained.
Pop culture rounds out the toy categories. This year, Chuggington is taking train fans to a whole new level. The toy is over two feet high. A radio-controlled Batman car comes pre-programmed with commands. The U Command Bat-Pod is for ages 4 and up. It has light up wheels and sound effects. Disney has some popular toys out this season as well. From Doc McStuffins, based off of the Disney animated series about a girl who heals toys out of her backyard clinic, to Merida and Angus, her horse.
When it comes to buying, Schacht advised to start now.
"Retailers are not overstocking, so if you see something that's really high on your child's list, you should buy it."
Something else to point out that's different this year, some of the stores are now using QR codes on shelves with the toys. This allows you to still buy a toy and have it shipped to your home if it is sold out on the store shelves.