Predicting the 20 Hottest Toys of the 2018 Holiday Season

iStock/gpointstudio
iStock/gpointstudio

It's hard to believe that November is over and we are back in full swing of the holiday season. For weeks, retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and eBay have been preparing shoppers by offering their prediction on which toys will be this year's hottest sellers. While each list is a little different, there are dozens of items they all seem to agree on—some of which seem like a blast from the past.

One of the bigger names on the toy market this year looks to be the L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise. Who knows what lies inside? All you know for sure is the bang for your buck: 60+ surprises in one box.

The newly revamped Teddy Ruxpin is ready for his big comeback this holiday season as well. The old bear is back with new tricks, like animatronic talking, color LCD eyes, and an accompanying app as well so kids can read and sing along with his songs and stories.

Another interesting find is the Harry Potter Coding Kit by KANO. After connecting to the toy’s app on your tablet, you build your wand and learn to code with intuitive and informative challenges. Wave your wand and watch what happens as you learn the magic (and basics) of coding.

There are some classics predicted as well, like various LEGO builds and the updated Barbie DreamHouse. There’s also a new Elmo and Fingerlings. Here are 25 toys that are sure to be on your kid's gift list—better grab 'em while you can.

1. L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise

2. Teddy Ruxpin

3. Harry Potter KANO Coding Kit

4. Fingerlings Hugs
5. Hatchimals Hatchibabies

6. L.O.L. Surprise! Under Wraps

7. FurREAL Critters

8. Boxy Girls

9. Hairdorables
10. Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO Kit
11. Barbie DreamHouse
12. Sesame Street PlaySkool Friends Let's Dance Elmo
13. Power Action Pikachu
14. Air Hogs Supernova
15. Ryan's World Giant Mystery Egg
16. Hot Wheels Corkscrew Crash Track Set
17. Imaginext Jurassic World Rex
18. Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck
19. 4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
20. KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

5 Fast Facts About the Spring Equinox

iStock.com/AHPhotoswpg
iStock.com/AHPhotoswpg

The northern hemisphere has officially survived a long winter of Arctic temperatures, bomb cyclones, and ice tsunamis. Spring starts March 20, which means warmer weather and longer days are around the corner. To celebrate the spring equinox, hear are some facts about the event.

1. The spring equinox arrives at 5:58 p.m.

The first day of spring is today, but the spring equinox will only be here for a brief time. At 5:58 p.m. Eastern Time, the Sun will be perfectly in line with the equator, which results in both the northern and southern hemispheres receiving equal amounts of sunlight throughout the day. After the vernal equinox has passed, days will start to become shorter for the Southern Hemisphere and longer up north.

2. The Equinox isn't the only time you can balance an egg.

You may have heard the myth that you can balance on egg on its end during the vernal equinox, and you may have even tried the experiment in school. The idea is that the extra gravitational pull from the Sun when it's over the equator helps the egg stand up straight. While it is possible to balance an egg, the trick has nothing to do with the equinox: You can make an egg stand on its end by setting it on a rough surface any day of the year.

3. Not every place gets equal night and day.

The equal night and day split between the northern and southern hemispheres isn't distributed evenly across all parts of the world. Though every region gets approximately 12 hours of sunlight the day of the vernal equinox, some places get a little more (the day is 12 hours and 15 minute in Fairbanks, Alaska), and some get less (it's 12 hours and 6 minutes in Miami).

4. The name means Equal Night.

The word equinox literally translates to equal ("equi") and night ("nox") in Latin. The term vernal means "new and fresh," and comes from the Latin word vernus for "of spring."

5. The 2019 spring equinox coincides with a supermoon.

On March 20, the day the Sun lines up with equator, the Moon will reach the closest point to Earth in its orbit. The Moon will also be full, making it the third supermoon of 2019. A full moon last coincided with the first day of spring on March 20, 1981, and it the two events won't occur within 24 hours of each other again until 2030.

A Full Pink Moon Is Coming in April

Ana Luisa Santo, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Ana Luisa Santo, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Mark your calendars for Friday, April 19 and get ready to snap some blurry pictures of the sky on your way to work. A full pink moon will appear early that morning, according to a calendar published by The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Considering that the full moon cycle is completed every 29.5 days, the April full moon will be the fourth full moon of 2019. Despite its name, the surface of the moon doesn't actually appear rosy. The name refers to the wild ground phlox, a type of pink wildflower, that tends to sprout in the U.S. and Canada around this time of year. It's also sometimes called an egg moon, fish moon, or sprouting grass moon.

What does the Full Pink Moon mean?

The April full moon might be a bit of a misnomer, but it still plays a pretty important role in the Christian tradition. The date on which the full pink moon appears has historically been used to determine when Easter will be observed. The holiday always falls on the Sunday following the first full moon that appears after the spring equinox. However, if the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter will be held the following Sunday.

This rule dates back to 325 C.E., when a group of Christian churches called the First Council of Nicaea decided that the light of the full moon would help guide religious pilgrims as they traveled ahead of the holiday. Since the full moon will be visible on April 19 this year, Easter will be held on April 21.

When to see the full pink moon

The best time to view this April full moon is around 4:12 a.m. on the West Coast and 7:12 a.m. on the East Coast. The exact time will vary depending on your location. For a more specific estimate, head to the Almanac's website and type in your city and state or ZIP code.

If you happen to miss this spectacle because you're enjoying a full night’s sleep, don't fret too much. A full flower moon will be arriving in May.

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