The Most Popular Holiday Toy in Each State for 2022

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The holidays are just around the corner for the year 2022 and everybody is probably thinking about the toys they’re buying for their loved ones.

But do you know what toy will be the most popular in your home state for this holiday season?

We took the liberty of gathering data in order to find the answer. And sure enough, there was a toy that’s the clear winner in each state.

Following are the research results, enjoy!

Most Popular Toys by State

Here is a US map that shows the most favorite toy in each state for the holiday.

map for the most popular holiday toy in each state for 2022

The most popular holiday toys for this year involve a total of 9 toys, including several different toy categories. Let’s see what they are.

The Most Sought After Toy

You may have never guessed it but the most popular holiday toy across the US for the year 2022 (by number of states) are certainly Squishmallows. Based on our research, they are the most favorite toy in 21 states out of 51 total (about 41%).

In case you don’t know what it is; squishmallow is basically a round, vibrant, cute plush toy that comes in a variety of animals and fruits along with different sizes and colors. The toy is quite fluffy, making it a great companion for people to collect and cuddle even outdoors.

What sets squishmallows apart from other plushies is the attached personality. Each one is given a unique name and squish date (kind of a birth date, so to speak) in addition to a background story. This is probably one of the main reasons for the huge desirability of this plush toy, by both adults and kids.

It’s worth mentioning that squishmallows seem to have went viral in 2020 thanks to social media. This was during the pandemic where people wanted something that gives them comfort while being stuck at home and under stress.

For some reason, squishmallows seem to be more popular in the Midwest and Northeast. Examples of the states that like this toy so much include Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Here is the full list:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Be prepared to spend at least $15-20 per piece if you’re planning to buy this soft toy. The price largely depends on the size of squishmallow you want.

People Still Collect Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels, the famous scale model cars made by Mattel, are the second most favorite holiday toy in the US including in 10 states (about 20% of states).

Since its inception more than 50 years ago, Hot Wheels is loved and collected by children and car enthusiasts. The major part of the appeal of these cars is that they apparently give the most realistic feelings of actual cars, from design to colors to quality.

While these toy cars were originally intended for kids and young adults, they have become popular with older adult collectors thanks to the limited-edition models. In fact, some very old models are worth thousands of dollars due to their high rarity.

Based on the research, Hot Wheels appear to be more sought after in the West region of US. We’re talking states like California, Montana and Oregon. Here are all the states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon

These miniature cars typically come in sets with or without a track. Either way, you will probably be looking to spend anywhere from $10 up to over $30, depending on the number/type of cars and size of track (if any).

Nerf Guns are a Blast

Six states in the US (around 12%) regard Nerf guns as their most favored toy for the holiday season. That makes these guns the third most popular toy in the US based on the number of states.

Both kids and adults like to play with Nerf guns due to their precision, quality, and most importantly safety.

These guns are usually safe because they use lightweight sponge darts and have limited shooting ranges depending on the model. In fact, the brand was launched with the release of the foamy Nerf Ball which was initially introduced back in 1970 as the ‘world’s first official indoor ball’.

In addition, each gun model is unique featuring distinctive designs, which makes this toy weapon highly collectible.

The states where Nerf guns are the most popular toy include the following:

  • Alaska
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Mississippi
  • Verment
  • Wyoming

The price of these toy guns typically goes for around $8-40 (if not more) depending on the model. However, if you’re planning to buy any of them, you absolutely should also get some protective glasses in order to prevent eye injury. Also, keep in mind that the minimum age requirements for most Nerf guns is 6 years and up.

Other Popular Toys

Some toys don’t have the same mass appeal across the US as Squishmallows and Hot Wheels. But they’re still a hit in a few states. Here is a list of those toys from the most to the least popular:

  • Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina have a passion for video gaming with Nintendo Switch.
  • Iowa, Minnesota and Utah are addicted in playing with anything Lego.
  • New York, Oklahoma and South Dakota are a fond of creating art using Play-Doh.
  • Louisiana and Tennessee has a love for Barbie dolls as a companion.
  • Georgia has an affection for surprises that come from Mini Brands.
  • Washington is very obsessed with Tamagotchi digital pets.


For this research, what we did first is compile a list of potential hot toys using various recent hottest/top toys’ lists from the internet.

After that, using Google data from the past six months (i.e. Google search volumes coupled with Google Trends), we narrowed that list down into the most popular toys nationwide, then we analyzed the data for those remaining toys to figure out the most trending toy in each state.

Please note that we counted the District of Columbia as a state in our research since it’s essentially an independent district that’s separate from other states.


Those are the most popular toys in each state for the 2022 holiday season, based on our comprehensive research.

As indicated, the top holiday toy in the US for this year are Squishmallows, followed by Hot Wheels and Nerf guns. Other notable mentions include Nintendo Switch, Lego sets and Play-Doh.

So, now you know what toy is the most popular in your state. And you can plan your shopping for toy gifts for the upcoming holiday accordingly.

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