12 of the best toy collectibles

Our child testers have rated a host of collectible toys, so that you can see which little friends are the best ones to unwrap, dissolve, discover and collect

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Kids love collecting. And as well as the usual rubbers, stickers or even leaves from the park, there are also masses of  collectible toys to amass, unwrap, unhatch and discover buried in a pot of gloop. The best ones spark off plenty of imaginative play after all the excitement of the reveal is over – and build into a collection of permanent mini friends.

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Here’s our pick of the best toys to collect, as tested and rated by children…

playfoam pals

1. Playfoam Pals Wild Friends, £6 for a pack of 2

GOLD winner, Best Collectible Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 5+

What is it: A 6cm x 9cm Playfoam-filled pod with a surprise Wild Animal pal hidden inside. There are 12 characters to collect, as well as a ‘rare’ gold version of each character. The Playfoam itself is mouldable, mess-free and endlessly reusable as it doesn’t dry out.

Why we love it: The Playfoam adds an extra dimension: as well as your collectible surprise, you have a handful of squishy, squashy, glittery stuff to mould and sculpt into all sorts of shapes. The animals themselves are cute and nicely gender-neutral – and we like how you can pop apart their heads and bodies for a bit of mix-up fun.

What our testers made of it:

  • ‘William loves unearthing the Playfoam Pal from inside its little nest, and derives endless entertainment from moulding the playfoam into nests, beds, beings, furniture etc… You name it, he’s made it!’ Elizabeth, mum to William, 5
  • ‘Chloe loves collecting little toys, so is thrilled to have got Orlando the Alligator inside her pod. She also loves playing with the foam and the feeling of squishing it and making models. She says it’s nice because it’s not sticky at all, and she loves the glittery sparkles.’ Aimee, mum to Chloe, 5

Available from: Learning Resources, Amazon and LilBitsLimited

fingerlings bff

2. Fingerlings BFF, £14.99

SILVER winner, Best Collectible Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 5+

What is it: A new variation on the bestselling baby monkeys that clings to your finger, blinks, blows kisses and talks in monkey babble: this one comes with a mini monkey best friend. Choose from a variety of colours and characters.

Why we love it: This is a very sweet twist on an already-very-cute interactive collectible: our child testers were all enchanted.

What our testers made of it:

  • ‘Maisie likes the colours and the cute faces. She says she loved that the mummy fingerling is able to hold and cuddle the baby fingerling. She finds it very funny when it farts and burps. She likes rocking it to sleep to hear it snore and she has taken it to bed with her every night to cuddle.’ Chloe, mum to Maisie, 5
  • ‘What lovely little monkeys! Amy absolutely loves them, and I am really surprised at how much they do to communicate – I didn’t know they were so interactive.’ Nicola, mum to Amy, 6

Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys

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3. Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3, from £2.99

BRONZE winner, Best Collectible Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 5+

What is it: Teeny-weeny 11.5cm Hatchimals you can hatch by holding them in your hand until their purple heart turns pink and the shell is ready to crack. There are over 100 to collect, including ones that are Best Friends and Twins.

Why we love it: The characters are very cute to collect and, as our child testers squealingly demonstrated, no matter how many times you make it happened, the hatch is always exciting. Season 6 is now available as well as Season 3.

What our testers made of it:

  • ‘They are SO cute!’ Anna, 6
  • ‘Leila was literally shaking with the anticipation of cracking open each egg to see what was inside! She and her little sister play with these for hours and make up little role plays with the animals. I can’t think of another toy that would keep their attention for as long as these do.’ Michelle, mum to Leila, 6

Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys

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4. Hasbro’s Lost Kitties, £4.99

BRONZE winner, Best Collectible Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 5+

What is it: A mini 6.6cm x 20cm x 14.8cm milk carton containing play clay with a kitten, 2 accessories and a meme sticker buried inside. There are over 100 Lost Kitties characters to collect.

Why we love it: All our child testers loved burrowing through the squishy play clay – and enjoyed having that to play with afterwards, as well as their Lost Kitty. No bad value for money, this one, either.

What our testers made of it:

  • ‘I can’t wait to see which of the kitties I get. Oh, it’s so squishy! Oh cool, I got a sticker too. I love it – and you can get all different ones too’!’Amelia-Lily, 5
  • ‘Evelyn loves this and was surprised when she kept finding more things in the dough. She loves the different characters available and pretends the dough is spilt milk. You get a lot for your money with these.’ Sarah, mum to Evelyn, 6

Available from: Amazon and Smyths Toys

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5. Zuru Rainbocorns, £24.99

Age: 3 to 6

What it is: A large (28cm) cuddly creature with a unicorn and tufty rainbow hair. It comes in a brightly coloured egg and has sequin heart on its chest which reveals a secret message when swiped. Each Rainbocorn comes with a surprise Booboocorn: a miniature collectable baby Rainbocorn hidden inside another secret egg. There are 12 Rainbocorns to collect and unhatch.

Why we love it: Well, this is a soft toy that combines unicorns, unhatching, secret messages, surprises and collecting – nuff said! This won Silver in our Best Soft Toy category – and also an Editor’s Choice award.

Available at: AmazonArgos and Smyths Toys

babyborn

6. Baby Born Surprise, £11.99 (available in-store only)

Age: 3+

What it is: An egg shaped ‘surprise’ package measuring approximately 20cm x by 9cm x by 6cm which includes 10 surprises including a collectible doll with nappy, bottle and swaddle. Comes with a birth certificate and activity sheet so you can work out which doll you have, when their birthday is, what their favourite food is and much, much more. You can get any combination of doll and swaddle.

Why we love it: Ever since LOL Surprise dolls launched we’ve loved the surprise elements that come with these little packages – and the Baby Born offering is no exception. The dolls themselves are super cute and each comes in an adorable soft swaddle. The dolls come with closed eyes but pour a little water on them and they open. Similarly, when you pour water on the nappies they reveal a pattern; check the activity chart as the pattern reveals what their favourite snack is. The dolls are bigger than the LOL Surprise ones and have very sweet features: they also have less plastic.

Available from: In-store at Smyths Toys

cry baby magic tears

7. Cry Babies Magic Tears, £9.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A miniature version of one of the super-popular Cry Babies dolls (which won Gold in our Best Dolls category), hidden inside a little house. Comes with a bottle, a bow, a dummy, a chair, and 2 accessories. There are 12 to collect.

Why we love it: Yes, they cry ‘real’ tears, just like their bigger doll sisters! Our child testers played with them for hours.

Available from: ArgosSmyths Toys and Amazon

Learning Resources Beaker Creatures Lab Set

8. Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab, £25

Age: 5+

What it is: A 38.1 x 25.7 x 10.4 cm mini-lab where you pop your collectible egg-shaped Beaker Creature ‘reactor pods’ into the plastic chamber, pump in water, and watch them fizz to reveal the creature inside. Comes with 2 pods and an activity guide. There are 35 creatures to collect.

Why we love it: There’s some proper frothy excitement to be had from the pods when they react to the water – and there’s a definite thrilling feel of mad scientist about the whole set-up.

Available from: Amazon and Bright Minds

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9. LOL Surprise! Pets, £9.99

Age: 6+

What it is: An 8.5 cm mystery ball containing 7 surprise layers, in which you find a LOL Surprise pet, a secret message sticker, a collectible sticker sheet, a water bottle charm, a scooper, 2 accessories and a LOL Surprise pet (could be one of 35 different ones) in its own litter box. There are 35 pets to collect.

Why we love it: It’s one of the cheaper LOL balls on the market – and isn’t so pink and doll-y as many of them. But there’s still the same unwrapping thrill: will you get a puppy, bunny, kitten or hamster?

Available from: John Lewis and Argos

hairdorables

10. Hairdorables Dolls, £14.99

Age: 3+

What is it: A pull-and-peel 33cm package containing a doll with luscious long locks, and mix and match outfits. There are 36 dolls to collect.

Why we love it: The box these collectibles come in is perfect for storing all the doll’s accessories during and after playing with them. Plus, their thick and shiny hair is truly the talk of toy town…

Available from: Argos and Amazon

fuggler

11. Fugglers, £14.99

Age: 4+

What is it: Mischievous, unconventionally-looking, unpredictable 30cm plush creatures with very, um, lifelike teeth. There are 10 different Fugglers to collect.

Why we love it: They’re are very huggable and there’s something truly wonderful about their weirdness. We like the adoption feature, too: after picking your chosen Fuggler, fill out an adoption form and your Fuggler will come with an adoption certificate in the box. Cute!

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

smooshy mushy babies

12. Smooshy Mushy Babies, £12.99

Age: 3+

What is it: Little 6cm x 6cm x 9cm squishy babies that come inside a baby bottle full of ‘disappearing’ milk. Each baby comes with a squishy ‘bestie’ and a miniature baby bottle of their own – which can all be turned into key charms. There are 6 characters to collect.

Why we love it: These are super-cute and the disappearing milk is a genius touch.

Available from: AmazonArgos and Smyths Toys

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