Nobody anticipated that Pokemon would be such a huge hit that it would follow in the footsteps of the Super Mario Bros. video game franchise.
Today, with merchandise in almost every conceivable area, from video games to animated TV shows to comic books to trading card games and to children’s toys and a whole lot more, the franchise has clearly made its mark to become one of the world’s highest-grossing and very popular media franchises of all time. And with Nintendo and app developers continuously providing continuous exposure for the brand, it’s no surprise that one of the best toys you can ever give to a child is a Pokemon toy.
Here are the 10 best Pokemon toys in 2018.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Cardinal Pokemon Hedbanz Game
- Yes/No Questions
- Tomy Pokemon Ball Figure Set
- Throw & Pop
- Generic Mega Plush Animal
- Dragon Dress Up
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Best Pokémon Toys
Some ways in which kids learn
Kids learn by doing, and much of this ‘doing’ is through imitation. Kids usually imitate friends and family. Remember, “Mom, tell her to stop copying me?” This is natural in child development. There are times, though when kids imitate characters like Batman, Spiderman, or even Pokemon. Kids love to be superheroes and they like to imitate actions from everyday life, too.
So kids copy the characters, and may be particularly attracted to the cards. What some parents find is that their kids fall in love with Pokemon, and as they grow up a little, say 1st or 2nd grade, they start doing the math and become very good at doing sums in their heads. There are a lot of Pokemon toys, and as such, a lot of math to do.
Soon they start reading the cards’ fine print. And they learn to read better because they love what they are reading about. “Mary had a little lamb” is nowhere near as interesting as Pokemon. They learn to read Pokemon, and this transfers to other books and reading material. There is lots of repetition in the math and reading, so as this repetition continues, the neurons in kids’ brains develop, and they develop more when they are used than if they are not.
And what happens with kids who are interested in Pokemon, seems to be that they develop a passion for it. It doesn’t have to be Pokemon. Maybe is Superman or Spider Man. Maybe it’s not a cartoon superhero at all. Maybe it’s the math in baseball and the baseball stars. Or perhaps is building blocks like LEGO or Duplo. It could be anything that your kids loves and willingly spends time on.
Finding out what your kids have an interest in and helping them develop a passion for it is something to be supported. There is a biological reason for this, too. When people spend time doing things they love, it increases the dopamine levels in their brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that supports feelings of motivation and well being. The more motivated we are to do something, the more we do it. We repeat patterns, grow and strengthen neurons, and continue learning. The learning we do being active in the things we love transfers to other areas of learning. How cool is that.
We heavily research all of our products to be sure they will work as they were intended and will support as many phases of child development as possible. Even simple stuffies support several areas of development such as cognitive, social, and verbal. These are all necessary plateaus that kids must master if they are to become successful in life.
We love that Pokemon toys support all of the different age groups in one or many ways. That they can help older kids learn math, problem solving, logical thought, reading, and so many other development paths is a plus. Kids need to find what they are interested in and if it turns out to be a passion for them, all the better. For many kids, Pokemon is a passion, and it may even continue into adulthood. And, if love of Pokemon can lead kids to better brain development, higher levels of learning, and greater creativity, all the better. It could even lead to other passions that will benefit them in other ways.
We vet the manufacturers as well. Pokemon has been around since the 1990s, and the manufacturers are mostly well known. They produce well made toys that are durable and last. We pick the safest toys made from the best materials we can find. And we list the age ranges each toy is appropriate for. If the producer of the toy doesn’t make it clear, it doesn’t make the list.
What Determined the Top Pokemon Toys in Our List
We really couldn’t pick one type of toy that can really stand out as the best Pokemon merchandise because every single product deserves a spot in our list. However, we also knew that we have to create a particular system of selection in which we can be certain the results are as objective as possible.
Our focus was on the developmental appropriateness of the cool Pokemon toys. Each one was evaluated for the kind of benefit that it can bring to the development of kids. This is in keeping with our mission of providing you only with products that are advantageous for children in terms of helping them grow and develop to their optimum. So, the different features of the toy were evaluated to identify what potential developmental benefit these could bring.
Since we’re talking about products for kids, safety is also a paramount concern. There are plenty of product safety aspects that need to be considered. The materials used in the manufacturing process have to be analyzed. The integrity of the design had to be looked into as well. We don’t want any part or component to be pointed or sharp or even fall apart from the rest of the toy which can serve as a potential choking hazard especially among very young children.
The feedbacks of customers were also read and analyzed. These were included in the satisfaction rating of the toy such that only those that have more than 4.0 stars were included. Any toy that had 4.0 stars or less was stricken off our list.
The Effects of Playing with Character Toys on Kids
We all know the Pokemon story. It’s all about discovery, goal-setting, and perseverance to achieve what we would like to achieve. Pokemon and other character toys can have an impact on kids’ development. Various research studies have also weighed in on the issue, saying that certain character toys can have an effect on children’s play activities which, in turn, can impact their overall development. Here are some of the effects of playing with character toys on kids.
- The network of neural connections in the brain are significantly improved because of the use of certain regions which play a part in imaginative and creative thinking as well as problem solving and critical thinking processes. In other words, when kids play with these toys, they are simply exercising their brain cells to be more efficient.
- Children’s social relationships are enhanced when character toys are played with. This is because they typically share the same interests as other children and this can become a great focal point for enhancing children’s social relationship skills.
- The emotional development of children is also enhanced because of their ability to create something extraordinary out of their favorite characters. For instance, being able to create a story for make believe or pretend play is already a remarkable achievement for young kids. This can become a good source of pride for these young kids. This makes them feel happy and feel good about themselves.
The Bottom Line
Pokemon has been taking the world by storm since it was introduced in the mid-1990s. Today, over several generations, the media franchise remains strong. Get any of these 10 best Pokemon toys in 2018 and you can be sure your kid will be continuing on the legacy of the beloved pocket monsters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My son is 6, and wants to get into Pokemon. Where do we start?
A: Start by finding out what your son is interested in and why he wants Pokemon. Does he like playing on the computer? Then the Nintendo game may be for him. Or does he like physical objects like the cards? Then get him into the games that come with cards. You should as your son what he wants and then guide him as he plays.
There is no one right place to start if you just start. He has to have a place to start learning about the Pokemon details. If he likes the cards, the character cards seem to be the most important, so start with the Headbanz Game. It has 60 character cards.
Q: Since my kids know so much more than I do about Pokemon, I need to start somewhere. What are the types of cards in the games?
A: There are many types of cards, but the main cards are the character cards. They have a photo of the character and what kind of power he has. Also listed is instructions on how to use the cards.
You best source of information is your kids. Sit down and play with them. I’m sure they would be happy to have you play with them. Kids want their parents attention, and they want to show Mom and Dad how knowledgeable they are. There is a vast world of knowledge in the Pokemon realm.
Q: Why should I allow my daughter play Pokemon games?
A: Pokemon is a huge universe of characters, Pokemon lands, different games, anime movies, and computer games. There is a lot to choose from, so choose what interests your daughter the most. If she doesn’t know, try several play types. Pokemon games and activities are focused on playing with others, and there are lots of players out there, so it’s fairly easy to find kids to play with.
While there is competition, and play based violence, it’s based around capturing Pokemon characters, and they never die. Plus, playing with other kids helps them learn about social activities, sportsmanship, how to get along with others, and supports creativity, reading, and math. There are more pluses than minuses.
Q: My son’s card has a white star on it. Is it rare?
A: The white star is generally considered very rare. It will often have numbers that look similar to 23/150. That means it’s a numbered card, number 23 out of 150 produced.
Q: What is a Pokemon, anyway?
A: Pokemon is a Japanese abbreviation meaning pocket monster. Pokemon is a Japanese company that created these little monster animals and their world. The main goal is for your child, who is referred to as a trainer, to capture the animals and use them in battles to capture more Pokemon.
Q: What is the best age range to play Pokemon?
A: For toddlers, they should start with the plush toys. As far as the games, Pokemon involves lots of reading, so if your child is comfortable with that, go ahead and start. Younger kids, like first graders generally just collect the cards, while older kids build their decks and play the games.
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