Which toys will make the Christmas top 10 toys 2016? LEGO, Dory, NERF, Star Wars? Find out what the big toy retailers think will be the on every kid's chrimbo list this year...
We may be sweltering in the hottest heat wave of 2016, but already toy retailers and manufacturers are thinking about Christmas. Last year, the British public spent over £3.2 billion pounds on toys and games – with well over half that figure being splashed out in the period between Black Friday in late November and Christmas Day.
To stoke up publicity, and supposedly to help parents to order early and avoid disappointment, the big toy retailers use this time of year to release their predictions of what will be the biggest selling toys come Christmas. So far, Argos and Amazon.co.uk have released their Christmas top 10 toys lists, and we’ve used their predictions to create our own list of the runners and riders this year.
It’s the usual mix of big film and TV licences – Finding Dory, Paw Patrol – LEGO, NERF blasters and robotic companions such as the Zoomer Chimp and the Meccanoid G15.
Perhaps the most interesting, and educational, toy of the bunch is the Fisher Price Code-a-pillar which helps pre-schoolers learn the basic of computer coding by ordering the segments on a toy caterpillar. It’s plenty of fun, and may help your nipper grow up to be the next Bill Gates. Result!
Best Selling Toys of 2015
Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Centre
This 25-piece set based on the popular Disney Junior TV show has been voted Toy of the Year by the toy industry’s trade association. It’s not hard to see why – it’s very pricey, but it offers loads of bells and whistles for the young ones, including x-ray machines, weighing scales, a mini-EKG and a pet treat dispenser to cheer up the furry patients. Awwww, bless!
Fisher Price Code-a-pillar
The 21st Century answer to Speak and Spell, the Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar is designed to teach 3-6 year-olds the rudiments of computer coding. It does this by giving the caterpillar 8 different segments that each trigger a specific action – go forward, stop, turn left, play music – that can be re-ordered to program the toy to move and behave in different ways. It’s a brilliant yet simple-to-understand introduction to the core concepts of coding such as sequencing. It’s also great fun to play with and keeps the kids away from the tablet or phone because it doesn’t require an app to work.
Nerf Modulus Tri Strike Blaster
First off, it has to be said, the Nerf Modulus Tri Strike looks absolutely awesome! Like something out of Star Wars, the bolt-action blaster has scopes, stock, magazine, and missile attachments. There are 3 different firing methods – hence the name – and the Tri Strike fires Nerf ammo accurately at targets up to 20 metres away. Another toy that is as equally at home at the office as it is under the christmas tree.
Furby Connect (Pink)
The Furby Connect toy can now speak Bluetooth as well as Furbish. This opens up a world of new scenarios thanks to the Connect World app that is available on iOS and Android. When Furby has downloaded something new his (her/its?) eyes will animate, and the toy will tremble with excitement. With over 1000 phrases and 150 eye animations, and plenty more stuff to download, this is the cute cuddly gift that will keep on giving. Incidentally, Amazon reckons that the pink Furby Connect will be the one everyone wants in their Chrimbo collection, so get it early…
Meccanoid G15 Personal Robot
The Meccanoid G15 from Meccano is another Toy of the Year winner, this time in the Most Innovative Toy category. This 2-foot high programmable robot is actually the smaller model in the line-up (the G15 KS is twice as tall at 4 feet) and a bit more affordable than its bigger sibling. But with over 600 pieces to assemble, there’s still plenty of construction required to get the G15 up and running. But once complete, the programming is great fun – especially if you make it copy your gestures and sounds. Robot see, robot do…
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
What a great idea. A ruggedised still and video camera with mount and waterproof case targeted at children and costing under £50. Yes it’s a GoPro for nippers, and none the worse for that. You can argue that the tech specs are a little lacklustre – no 4k UltraHD video here, not by a long chalk – but simple controls and plug-and-play functionality will make it a hit with active kids of all ages. Just remember to get a decent capacity microSD card along with the camera – you’ll need it.
Paw Patrol AIr Patroller
Argos has singled out the Paw Patrol Air Controller as one of the must-have toys of Christmas 2016, and it’s easy to see why. The Paw Patrol brand has gone from strength to strength since it was introduced as a combined toy-TV show franchise back in 2013, and the Paw Patroller land vehicle was one of the best-selling toys of last Christmas. The Air Controller has plenty to occupy active young minds, with spinning propellors, plenty of sounds and lights and the ability to convert from plane to a helicopter (not unlike another leading toy franchise). And it comes with a robopup figurine to make sure the paw patrol is properly supervised.
You can’t say the word ‘chimp’ without cracking a smile, and toy company Spin Master hopes that adding a monkey to its Zoomer range of robot pets will do the business this Christmas. This cheeky little fella can crawl, sit, stand up and walk – and also fart then giggle hysterically. Like previous Zoomer toys it can respond to gestures and voice commands such as “Go bananas” or “Do a flip!” It’s an amazing piece of technology that will have your kids in stitches. Chimp-tastic.
Finding Dory My Friend Dory
The latest smash hit Pixar film Finding Dory is still in the cinemas, and Amazon reckons this spin-off toy will be one of the best sellers this Chrimbo. Once again, the toy talks with over 100 catch phrases from the film while also responding to touch and movement. Ominously, the toy is festooned with warnings that it does not work in water – which is a little puzzling for a fish. A must-have for fans of the franchise, and it would make an ideal combined present with the DVD/Blu-ray of Finding Dory, which is due for release at the start of the holiday season.
Lego Nexo Knights: General Magmar Siege Machine of Doom
Every Christmas top 10 toy tip has to have a LEGO representative, and Amazon reckons that the blocky best seller this chrimbo will be General Magmar’s Siege Machine of Doom. This mighty mouthful can best be described as ‘LEGO meets Game of Thrones’, but there’s no doubting the intricate but enjoyable playability of this 516-piece set. Older parents, who remember LEGO from the pre-licence and sub-brand days will find it all a bit baffling, but – hey – that’s why LEGO remains one of the biggest toy brands in the world 84 years after it was invented.