Toy Tattle’s Most Wanted Toys For 2013 (UK edition)
Christmas is coming, and soon they’ll be lists, so many lists. Lists from retailers telling you what to buy, lists from bloggers about made-up toy awards, and lists from your children begging Santa for new stuff.
So here’s my contribution: my list of stuff you might consider purchasing this festive season.
In the market for a new games console? While the big boys battle it out with their next-gen consoles (XBox One, PS4 and Wii U), consider the possibility that the £400 you could spend on just one of these new super-duper consoles, might be better used to buy an XBox 360 250GB and a shed load of games.
While the kid’s tablet market grows ever more sophisticated the prices are getting bumped up to the point where a Leappad Ultra costs £120. Before you get caught up in the buying frenzy, step back and think about what you want from your kids tech. The KidiGo costs just £50, is virtually indestructible, can be used for TV shows, music and some games. It gived younger children the change to own a gadget that’s a little bit like your phone, without an epic price tag, costly add-ons, or the risk of breakage.
Kuiro 4S Touch
This mini Android tablet is aimed at the teen market, and makes an affordable alternative to an iPod touch. It plays music, games and can be connected to the Internet via a WiFi connection. Unlike the other kids tablets, and larger Kurio tablets, this doesn’t come with a protective bumper, but at just £90, less than an Internet enabled LeapPad or InnoTab, it is a serious contender for best kids tech toy in 2013.
Playskool Show Cam
Kids love taking photos and showing them off and the Playskool Show Cam (£59.99) can be used to project the pictures onto a wall. It’s probably best to check for indecent images before show time. VTech have upgraded their Kidizoom this year too, but I’m leaning towards the Show Cam.
If you’re going to invest in an interactive creature this Christmas, steer clear of the abundance of talking monkeys, and walking kittens, and go for a Furby Boom (£59.99). There’s no effort wasted on making this thing look life-like, all the research and development went into making it crazy fun. It squeaks, talks, interacts and with the new Boom app, lays virtual eggs that you need to nurture like a hi-tech Tamogotchi.
A Talking Minion
Despicable Me 2 is due out on DVD at the end of November. Buy it, watch it on Christmas Eve, then surprise the kids with their very own talking Dave the minion (£29.99). I hate scare mongering about toy shortages and how you need to buy something now or risk ruining your child’s Christmas….but seriously, if you want one of these, you should probably get onto it pretty quick.
Hexbug Nano V2
It’s a Nano, with three tiny rubber legs on its back, which enables it to climb up tubes. And it really does work, I’ve seen them myself. Hexbug have also launched the Aquabot, but an upgrade on this is planned for next year, to stop it crashing into the sides of the tank. Also rumoured for 2014 are Hexbug toys tied in with the new Transformers film.
Emotion Pets Sugar The Seal
Every year there’s a new FurReal Friends toy muscling its way into the top toys lists, while Emotion Pets quietly go about their business selling their own realistic animatronic pets. This year’s FurReal monkey is a bit a fright if you ask me (and you did ask me, that’s why you’re reading this list), and I much prefer Sugar The Seal (£59.99). You should also checkout Milky The Bunny and Cherry The Cat, both from Emotion Pets and originally priced at £60, but as older toys, these are often available on offer, sometimes even at half price. Milky is my favourite since he is essentially a big white fluffy ball or stuffing, that blinks and makes cute noises.
For top quality playsets and maximum cuteness, you can’t go wrong with Sylvanian Families. This year I am esepcially loving the Campervan With Trailer and the Fish And Chips Van. Last year’s Ice Cream Van is still available too, and is equally gorgeous.
Lalaloopsy Loopy Hair Dolls
These are beautiful and I do prefer them to the original Lala dolls, but the £35 price tag is a little steep. These make a nice present if you can get them nearer £25. Also, although they are heavily marketed towards girls, the Ace Fender Bender, and Pirate Patch dolls would make a lovely toy for a young boy, although you might want to remove the packaging first.
LEGO Friends Dolphin Crusier
At £60 this new LEGO Friends set strikes the balance between epic proportions and affordability, and I think it will do well this Christmas.
LEGO Creator Aviation Adventures
The Sons love LEGO but the big playsets, especially movie scene replicas, are fragile to play with, a bit huge to display, and too cumbersome to move around. This is chunky plane looks a lot more substantial, and is rather pleasing to the eye.
LEGO Cuusoo Back the the Future DeLorean
This is not a kids toy, this is a toy for grown ups, and at £35 makes a nice present for any 1980s child.
VTech Toot Toot
I was going to list the Toot Toot Garage here, and then I found the Car Carrier, and the Airport. All three sets look substantial, chunky and durable, and are the type of versatile toy that gives many hours of play.
Wooly & Tig and Abney & Teal Plush Toys
Both of these top CBeebies shows have their own range of toys, and of all the products available, I think the soft, realistic plush toys are the best.
Christmas day isn’t complete until the family have enjoyed an armed shoot out in the gardens. Girls should equip themselves with the Nerf Rebelle range, bow and arrow toys, from Nerf styled for girls. They look awesome, and are the perfect gift for any Katniss Everdeen wannabe. Boys can tool up with the Air Storm Z Curve bow – not quite as attractive, but equally useful for shooting Grandad.
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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.