11:22pm UK, Wednesday October 28, 2009
Shopping for toys this Christmas looks set to be a wallet-friendly experience if the industry’s annual list of must-have items is anything to go by.
Monopoly City is just one “nostalgic” character back with a modern twist
The Toy Retailers Association’s (TRA) has predicted what will be the 12 best-sellers this festive season – and none of them is over £50.
And after two years of recession, the country’s top toy picks reflect a leaning towards nostalgic characters updated with a modern twist.
And the “Dream Dozen were all being put through their paces by youngsters from the Sylvia Young Theatre School at a TRA fair in central London.
But TRA chairman Gary Grant insists pricing was not a factor in selecting the list.
“Last year the most expensive present was £150, this year it’s £50, so prices are definitely lower this year but not because we have chosen cheaper toys,” he explained.
“The toys in the list are chosen on the basis of prediction on the things we think will sell well in the market. It’s a retailers’ prediction, not manufacturers.”
Mr Grant believes consumers are going back to “heritage brands which will last longer than the Christmas season.”
“I think people are going back to trusted brands, that’s what we’re seeing in the stores.
“Sylvanian, LEGO, Playmobil are all selling well, which contradicts the view that people are buying cheaper toys, because these are all high quality, premium brands.
“I think people are looking for value in a different way. The value comes from the fact the toys are going to be played with over and over again.”
The Dream Dozen includes Monopoly City, a modern-take on the traditional boardgame, cute interactive hamsters from Go Go Pets and a multimedia digital camera.
Lightning Fast Rubik’s Cube Skills
George Sampson was on hand to demonstrate the Battle Strikers and told Sky News: “I’m not really into toys but I just love these, they’re great.”
And the Go Go Pets Hamsters proved a hit with the girls and are expected to dominate their wish-lists along with Pony in My Pocket Arena, FurReal Friends Lulu my Cuddlin’ Kitty and Fluffy goes Walkies.
Just missing out on a place in the Dream Dozen is Hasbro’s Bop It games unit, calls out instructions and you have to bop, twist and pull your way to victory.
The Bop IT Beatbox Dance Troupe from Manchester, made up of Chad Taylor, 20, Olivia Flannigan, 13, Tyler Bolton, nine, and Nicole Evans, 23, performed a routine they have created with the unit.
Proving the theory that the oldies are the goodies, Monopoly City, Jenga and Rubiks 360 are all touted as potential best-sellers in the games category.
Star Wars dominates the construction category with its Echo Base and Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter.
The Dream Dozen Christmas toys for 2009, in alphabetical order:
:: Bakugan Battle Pack, Spin Master (RRP £19.99)
:: Battle Strikers starter set, Mega Brands (RRP £9.99)
:: Ben 10 Alien Force Kevins DX Action Cruiser, Bandai (RRP £29.99)
:: Bendaroos Mega Pack, Spin Master (RRP £19.99)
:: Go Go Pets Hamsters, Character Options (RRP £9.99)
:: GX Racers Tightrope Terror, Flair (RRP £22.99)
:: Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera, V-Tech (RRP £49.99)
:: LEGO Games Minotaurus, Lego (RRP £17.99)
:: Monopoly City, Hasbro (RRP £24.99)
:: Princess Peppa’s Palace, Character Options (RRP £39.99)
:: Sylvanian Families Caravan, Flair (RRP £44.99)
:: Transformers Movie 2 Voyagers Figures, Hasbro (RRP £22.99)