TRIED-and tested traditional toys are among this year‘s Top 10 predictions.
For those who whiled away many a pleasant hour fathoming instructions in the quest to construct Lego sets the latest LEGO Star Wars icon BB8 is bound to bring back fond memories of Christmas past.
Among the most popular toys retailers anticipate will be snapped up swiftly in the big Christmas countdown are dolls, unicorns and the latest crazes – slime and magnetic putty…
Luvabella, JoJo Siwa and LOL! Surprise are expected to be the top selling dolls – dolls and prams were among the popular presents when we were young so they are certainly seeing a resurgence albeit more technologically advanced.
Jill Pickard, assistant manager of Toymaster Conways, in Cavendish Street, Keighley, is already seeing demand for the Luvabella interactive doll which she says have been like ‘gold dust.’
High tech toys are always popular with the boys, according to Jill, although this year she has also noticed demand for board games and retro favourites such as Monopoly; Guess Who; Hungry Hippos; Battleships and Ker Plunk.
The Rubik’s Cube, invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture, Erno Rubik, has maintained its popularity over the years as generations attempt to complete the cube.
“Retro games are doing quite well. The Rubik’s Cube is always massive and Snakes and Ladders,” says Jill.
Traditional distractions such as jigsaws are also seeing a resurgence, perhaps indicative of the present buyers attempting to encourage younger family members to appreciate and enjoy the games associated with their youth and provide an alternative to pushing buttons or swiping screens.
“People want to buy these traditional things to get them off the computer. That is the big thing this year so people are trying to buy things they can do as a family rather than in front of a screen,” says Jill.
Alex Samuel, proprietor of Ilkley Toy Museum, says the dolls and soft toys topping this year’s Christmas wish lists were similar to the basic versions played with by previous generations.
“They are just a modern version of traditional toys. Soft toys, have always been popular and dolls have been popular. Our oldest doll is fourth century BC,” says Alex, referring to the museum’s toy collection ranging from 4th century BC to the present day.
Alex explains construction toys were particularly popular during the Victorian era – precursors to the popular LEGO that continues to dominate Christmas wish lists.
“It has always been there. Every year there is a doll or teddy re-invented in a different way but it is nice to see,” says Alex.
She also welcomed the jigsaw resurgence too and believes there will always be a place for traditional games, particularly at Christmas, as it encourages people to come away from their computers and join in family games instead.
“There has been quite a resurgence in jigsaws and they go back to the 18th century so I think that is getting people together. There has been a resurgence in traditional family games as well.
“I don’t think they will ever go away, the look may change but the basic traditional things will stay the same,” adds Alex.
National toy retailer, Toys “R” Us, are already seeing demand for pre-school favourite Paw Patrol with the Sea Patroller. Unicorns are apparently all the rage too with a giant cuddly Pink Unicorn, a tiny Fingerlings Unicorn and the Zoomer Enchanted Unicorn which dances to the beat.
Chantelle Abbott-Singh, Assistant Store Manager at Toys “R” Us in Bradford, says: “Bradford LOVE Unicorns, Our Fingerlings Unicorn and our huge cuddly Pink Unicorn have been on fire, we are restocking with new deliveries on a daily basis. But there’s also a great interest in LOL! Surprise Dolls which are in huge demand. There’s an all-round variety in this years Top Toy list appealing to all ages but we’ve found that Bradford is full of savvy shoppers and they have really taken advantage of the offers we have been running, 2 for £15, 3 for 2 Offers have been great but in particular right now the 3 for 2 on Board Games is one of our most popular deals.”
Mike Coogan, Marketing & eCommerce Director for Toys “R” Us, U.K. said, “Parents have a great selection of toys to choose from this year. Watch out for Slime this Christmas, it’s a great choice for a low price stocking filler, whilst Unicorns and JoJo Siwa toys are making a massive impact.”