12 'must-haves' on children's wish-lists this Christmas
These are the items the Toy Retailers Association thinks will be bestsellers this Christmas, writes Lisa Salmon
From an interactive roaring tiger cub, a gun that fires foam cars, and a game called Toilet Trouble, the predicted must-have toys this Christmas offer something for every taste and budget.
The Dream Toys Top 12 list highlights the toys expected to be top festive sellers and this year prices range from £9.99 to £134.99 for the hotly-tipped picks. But be warned: the wide range of toys doesn't mean there's always wide availability (so you may need to act fast).
One of the toys on the list - the £14.99 interactive monkeys called Fingerlings - is already selling like hot cakes. As Gary Grant, the Toy Retailers Association's Dream Toys committee chair, says: "As the shops get Fingerlings in, they're selling out within the hour. Demand is substantially outstripping availability - I know of one toy retailer who sold 10,000 in one day."
Grant reassures that, if you miss out now, there will be plenty of Fingerlings in the shops early next year, including a new unicorn character, that children can buy with their Christmas money.
It's worth noting that some toys might be worthy of a spot on the list, but have been left off due to lack of availability, including the interactive doll Luvabella (demand is eight times higher than the number of dolls being manufactured).
As ever, Grant advises that parents buy toys soon if they want to avoid disappointment come Christmas Day. "If you know what your children want, even if it's not a top 12 item, don't leave it late. Many parents don't have time to shop around, they just want Christmas boxed up and under the tree, but if they leave it late, it could be a challenge to avoid disappointing the kids."
Curious as to what made the list? Take a look ...
2017 Dream Toys Top 12
In no particular order, here are the toys that made the list.
Enchantimals Playhouse Panda Set (£32.99)
A panda playhouse set with multiple levels and a nest-shaped lift that moves between floors, bestie bunk beds, a balcony and two swings for the panda residents.
Hatchimals Surprise (£74.99)
Meet the newest members of the popular Hatchimals family, the 'can't buy' toy of 2016. There's more availability this year, and the 'Surprise' is that cute twins hatch from the egg.
Little baby monkeys that fit on children's fingers and make realistic monkey sounds, have blinking eyes, a turning head, gripping hands and a hanging tail. There are six versions in different colours.
FurReal Roarin' Tyler (£134.99)
A playful interactive cuddly tiger cub that responds to sounds and touch with 100-plus sound-and-motion combinations - roar at him and he roars back. Tyler can move his eyes, ears, head, mouth and tail.
Laser X - 2 Player Pack (£49.99)
A game containing two receiver vests and Laser X Blasters, which blast over 60 metres. If a player is blasted, their vest gradually changes colour, and after being hit eight times, they're out. Grant says: "This is a really fun, active game and I can see parents approving as it gets children out of their chairs and running round."
L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 (£9.99)
A ball-shaped toy containing seven layers of surprise. Unwrap the layers to reveal a new mystery on each one, and a little doll at the end.
Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash (£21.99)
Blast a foam car through the Longshot at the long-jump ramp; the car races up the ramp and sails through the air and over obstacles before landing.
Paw Patrol Sea Patroller (£69.99)
The Sea Patroller, from the popular Paw Patrol range, transforms from a boat to land vehicle, and features flashing lights, sounds, a detachable anchor, life ring launcher plus a crane and cage.
PJ Masks Headquarters Playset (£49.99)
Part of the PJ Masks toy collection, the multi-level headquarters includes a spyscope which doubles as a fur-ball shooter, a Catboy figure and a Cat Car.
Star Wars: BB-8 (£84.99)
A Lego set containing 1,100 pieces to build and display a BB-8 droid from Star Wars. Turn a wheel at the side to rotate the head, and another to open the access hatch and extend the 'welding torch'.
The Original Stretch Armstrong (£21.99)
This stretchy strongman figure, first released in 1979, can be stretched up to 2m before returning to normal size. Hours of fun.
Toilet Trouble (£17.99)
Game players take turns spinning the toilet paper roll, flushing with the toilet handle, and hoping they don't get sprayed with water.