According to Hartshorn, toys are starting to get more and more genderized. "Even [teddy] bears, which are traditionally brown, are now pink or blue."
But unisex toys still exist, and a new trend of stuffed characters, "the ugly doll," is growing in popularity. "Ugly is the new beautiful in the toy world," says Hartshorn.
"Sharky" is also a new type of stuffed animal called "My Own Monster". Sharky was designed by a little boy, "by kids, for kids," explains Hartshorn. It's a concept from the American Bear Company which allows children to design the stuffed animals.
Hartshorn says that Sharky is also part of another popular trend in toy companies this year: purchasing products to support a cause. Inspired by what Hartshorn calls the "Brad and Angelina effect", companies donate a portion of their proceeds to a cause, hoping it will bring up their sales.
Because of obesity worries, there are also a lot of interactive toys this year, like exercise bikes and giant slides. They encourage kids to be active while they play.
For more information on this year's hot toys, as well as other parenting topics, click here.
By Yasmina Hatem