Pssst: Skwish, MiO, Snuggle, Winkel And Groovy Are Clues To The Best 2016 Holiday Toys Just Ranked By Toy Industry Award Experts!

Minneapolis, MN (October 17, 2016) – Weeks ago, when the back-to-school season resumed, the first signs of Christmas and Hanukkah seemed to instantly pop up in stores. Doesn’t it seem like the holiday shopping period arrives earlier and earlier? Not according to experts! That’s because toy experts have been playing with the newest toys over the spring and summer so they can offer their wisdom for must-haves in the fall. The results are in and The Manhattan Toy Company boasts nine of the top, award winning toys to gift this holiday! Prices start at just $14.

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Manhattan Toy ( is the perfect destination for all the good little boys and girls on your list, especially babies. Their collections of Groovy Girls, Winkel, Whoozit and Skwish have been delighting tots for years. They’ve added a new collection called MiO in 2016. Industry experts have been gushing that MiO is the “it” toy for holiday giving.

That’s not Manhattan Toy talking, it’s Parents’ Choice, the gold standard in toy critics. They just awarded Mio Playing Eating Sleeping Working + 2 People™ ($100) a rare Gold Award. That’s after MiO received accolades from three other prestigious reviewers. As Claire Green of Parents’ Choice boasted, “the MiO deluxe playset has all the hallmarks of an heirloom toy: timeless design, appeal and play value.”

The Parents’ Choice Awards evaluation process is a lengthy and confidential one. They don’t offer “feedback” to producers or manufacturers because, as they say, they don’t work for them. Their reviews are meant for parents, caregivers, librarians and educators. The full text of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award for MiO can be found on their website, ( and below:

“The deluxe Mio playset is dazzling – in design and in function. Each play test session was different. Mio was a house, school, an apartment building and a flower shop. It was a loft for a startup, a furniture store and a restaurant. The wooden pieces, from plain to brightly colored, don’t dictate a purpose. Is it a table or a tv? Is it a bench or a bed or a bookshelf? Are we outside or inside? In the woods or in the city? The language and motor skills, creativity and imagination, individual as well as group play, are all inside, just waiting to be unpacked.”

Counting down the Top 2016 Holiday toys from Manhattan Toy are a Groovy Girls® doll, a Playful Dino activity center and a Treehouse just waiting to be stacked! In alphabetical order, here are nine recommended 2016 Holiday Toys from The Manhattan Toy Company:

Groovy Girls Melissa Butterfly Ballerina • Ages 3+ • $20
Tillywig Toy Awards – Top Fun

Is there a tiny dancer in the house? Melissa is a vision in a blue costume with a blue butterfly in her ballet bun. Traditional pink slippers with ribbon ankle ties cover her dancing feet. She has removable wings, trimmed in beautiful baby blue.

MiO Playing • Eating • Sleeping • Working + 2 People • Age 3+ • $100
Parents’ Choice Fall 2016 Gold Award
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016
National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA) winner
Creative Child a 2016 Toy Of The Year Award – Open Ended Play category

Ho-ho-whoa! This amazing 41-piece set includes 1 large room, 1 grassy patio, 2 rooms, 1 loft, 2 blocks, 1 hopscotch plank, 1 natural plank, 2 step pieces, 4 reversible tree/garden blocks, 4 pillars, 1 room divider plank, 1 graphic block, 15 cubes, 1 blanket, 1 pillow, 2 MiO beanbag people + a drawstring storage bag.

Playful Dino • Ages 12 months+ • $68
San Diego Family Magazine Hottest 50 Toys
Creative Child 2016 Preferred Choice Award, Motor -Skills Development category
Parents’ Choice Recommended Winner
Today’s Parent Top Toy Winner

Perhaps the most dynamic of the new offerings, this friendly faced dino features peg mazes, bead runs and multiple play surfaces! Is the hand quicker than the eye? Baby will soon find out. Four well-regarded toy competitions adored this Dino and awarded it high honors including San Diego Family Magazine Hottest 50 Toys.

This dinosaur measures 18 x 9 x 13 inches high and is begging to be touched. Packed with multiple play surfaces, it might take a week to discover all of the bead runs, peg mazes, twists and turns. The activity center happily teaches cause and effect while fostering fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Attention parents: assembly required.

Skwish Mobile • Ages Newborn+ • $50
#2 in Mobiles by Baby & Children’s Product News

Wooden Skwish Mobile is based on the beloved and award winning Classic Skwish toy. Bright classic colors that twist and turn for giddy excitement. Hand turning vice for easy attachment to crib. The Skwish Mobile is made with replenishable rubberwood and features a water based, non-toxic paint finish.

Note: This top honor was given to not just Skwish but to ALL mobiles from the creative team at Manhattan Toy … see Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile below. Baby & Children’s Product News features up-to-date information and comparison charts on apparel, toys, bedding, decor, furniture, and other product categories typically for newborns to 5 months old.

Snuggle Baby Bunny • Ages 6 months+ • $18
The Toy Insider Top Summer Toys

Darling may be the first adjective when discovering this baby bunny. The Manhattan Toy designers combine a soft doll with a plush, hooded sleep sack with an additional Bear and Lion version. Gently lift the baby from its soft cover and discover baby is dressed for sleep, in striped pajamas. The bunny themed sleep sack includes Velcro-like closure!

Treehouse Stack-Up • Ages 18 months • $28
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
Creative Child a 2016 Preferred Choice Award -Stacking Toys category

So much to see and do! Grownups will relish showing toddlers how to stack and build a short or very tall treehouse. The enclosed 12 stackable pieces can be arranged in dozens of different ways. Parents appreciate that all of Manhattan Toy wood toys have non-toxic water based finishes. This award-winning treehouse measures 4L x 10H x 5W in.

Wee Baby Stella Sweet Scents Birthday Set™
• Ages 12 months • $28
National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA) winner

Every day someone is having a birthday! This vanilla scented birthday set comes with a Wee Baby Stella peach doll, paper tiara, pretend cupcake and happy birthday bib with Velcro-like closure. This 12- inch Wee Baby Stella doll has the same lifelike features as regular 15-inch Baby Stella®. This birthday themed set features scent technology by Celessence, an innovative micro-encapsulation delivery system – gently hug doll to release her vanilla scent. Delicious!

Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile • Ages Newborn+ • $25
#2 in Mobiles by Baby and Children’s Product News

What an easy way to introduce baby to high contrast images and colors for early visual and multi-sensory development. Ten interchangeable graphic cards offer a range of simple high-contrast images to more complex colored patterns and graphics to foster visual development. Graphic cards are labeled by age to guide parents with recommended graphics to use as baby’s vision develops. Adjustable cord on the infant stim mobile allows mom or dad to easily change distance of graphics from baby as their vision develops.

Winkel™ • Ages Newborn+ • $14
ASTRA Best Toy for Kids Finalist
Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Winner

ASTRA wasn’t shy about naming this nifty teether and toy for babies a Best Toy For Kids Finalist. Back in May 2016, hundreds of nominations were filed and a handful of finalists were named for American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) 2016 Best Toys for Kids list, among them, the Winkel™ baby toy. Colorful loops made from soft, pliable plastic are easy to grasp and hold, plus caregivers can refrigerate it for a soothing teether. The Winkel teether rattle is a must have for newborns and teething babies. Made of PU tubing (polyurethane) and as such does not contain BPA or PVC and meets the CPSC and European requirements for phthalates.

Thanks to Manhattan Toy, holiday shopping can now be a breeze with this handy list of award-winning playthings. Browse online at Manhattan Toy’s website or visit your neighborhood specialty shop.

For more than 30 years Manhattan Toy has provided high quality, imagination inspiring, safety conscious toys. The spirit of Manhattan Toy is captured in the simple statement –We remember that the most powerful thing any of us play with in this life is our imagination! All Manhattan Toy products comply with U.S. and European safety standards. For more information about the many award-winning toy collections, visit their website at

Written by Matt

Dad blogger at ~ communications consultant, collaborator and PR pro ~ recovering hop grower and contributor to numerous local guides ~ husband and dad of 4, living in southwest Wisconsin. I love having fun with my family, writing, traveling, shopping, consulting and sharing my honest opinions. See me in action on Discover Wisconsin (at 00:04:00). I am PR friendly, contact me at or