For the past few years, fidget spinners, slime and surprise packs (often featuring micro takes on grocery store products) have topped every kids’ wish list. But, after scouring the latest launches in preparation for this year’s Happy Kid Awards, a new trend emerged: the return of fantasy and sci-fi toys. Sure, sure, unicorns and mermaids were hot a few years ago, but the latest batch of toys is so much more than that—they foster kids’ imaginations, helping them become storytellers as they play. (Plus, acting out storylines with these toys can improve their emotional competence and cognitive development.)
It’s a trend we didn’t see coming, but in hindsight, makes so much sense: After the past year and a half spent largely at home, we’re all craving a little escapism, kids included. Who couldn’t use a little magic in their lives? So, without further ado, here are the best fantasy toys you can find online.