A voice altering Transformers helmet is tipped to be one of the most popular gifts this Christmas, as shoppers trust big-name toys in the recession, a leading retailer has said.
Toy store Hamleys said the Transformers Bumblebee helmet, which mixes any voice to sound like the robotic character from the popular film, will be one of the top choices this Christmas.
Lego, Barbie and the Rubik's puzzles will join the Transformers in this year's top 10 as new versions of old favourites hit the shelves.
The Transformers helmet at £50 includes phrases spoken by Bumblebee in the movie, including the sound of him changing from battle mode.
Nigel Wheatley, head of retail and marketing at Hamleys, said: “From the traditional classics like Lego, Barbie and Slinky, to dressing up dreams and the latest in electronic wizardry, we have one of our best ranges in years wrapped up for a bumper Christmas this year.”
The first Lego board games, where players can change the layout of the game every time, will also prove popular at £20, Hamleys said.
The latest incarnation of the ever-popular and ageless Barbie in her role as Corinne is also expected to fly off the shelves.
Mr Wheatley said: “When people are being careful with money they've got to get something they can rely on and will turn to the well-known brands and traditional classics.”
Rubik's 360, the spherical new generation of Rubik's Cube, will appeal to puzzle fans who want to test their physical and mental dexterity for £18.
To celebrate 50 years of Barbie, the Generation of Dreams Doll — wearing a dress celebrating all that Barbie has experienced since 1959 — will also be on sale for £62.
Among the finest high-end toys this year is a limited edition scale model of a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 with more than 7,660 crystallised Swarovski elements represent “the best of the best”.
At £1,500, only 500 have been made and each comes with its own certificate of authenticity.
Biscuit the dog, a FurReal Friends' puppy that can follow voice commands such as “sit up and beg” and “give me a paw” is also ticked for success at £188.
But for pre-schoolers, a range of four interactive Waybuloo characters to accompany the new CBeebies TV series are expected to be this year's “must have” toys.
Julie Browne of Hamleys said the pre-school market was “ready for something new” and Waybuloo would be the “big thing” this Christmas.
Not expected to be available until October, the philosophical and happy lives of YoJoJo, Lau Lau, De Li and Nok Tok are expected to send the toys racing up the bestsellers list, priced at about £25 to £30.
Hamleys’ top ten toys to watch for Christmas 2009
1. Battle Strikers Tournament Set – turbo-charged, magnetically-enhanced and element-themed spinners.
2. Transformers Bumblebee Helmet – a voice altering Bumblebee role-play helmet based on the popular film franchise.
3. Transformers Movie Leaders – large-scale Movie Leader characters.
4. Vtech V Motion – this award-winning educational gaming system is a next generation pre-school TV learning console.
5. Kidizoom Camera – The Kidizoom – a digital camera that allows children to capture their own childhood memories, as well as make movies and play games.
6. Barbie & the Three Musketeers Doll – The latest Barbie in her role as Corinne who dreams of becoming an elite Musketeer.
7. Barbie & the Three Musketeers Miette Kitten – Purring, pouncing, Miette is a playful interactive kitten.
8. Rubik’s 360 – The new generation of Rubik’s with a brand new, spherical challenge.
9. Bop It – The latest version of the ever popular Bop It!
10. Lego Minotaurus Game – a unique collection of games that you build, play and change, meaning no two games will ever be the same.