Belfast Telegraph

Top toys for Christmas 2014: Expect Frozen's Elsa, Lego Movie and smart watches on letters to Santa this year

But you'd better hurry - Snow Glow Elsa is already sold out in many online shops

By Claire Cromie

The hype surrounding Disney blockbuster Frozen shows no sign of letting go as Elsa dolls dominate the top toys for Christmas 2014.

Three toys from the movie are among this year's bestsellers, with sales stronger than they were after the film's initial release last December.

And now two of the dolls feature in the Toy Retailers Association's annual DreamToys list - those deemed to be the must have toys for Christmas.

Snow Glow Elsa - RRP £34.99 - is already flying off the shelves, with her magical snowflake necklace which lights up and plays the song Let It Go, but stock levels are already extremely low across the UK and most retailers are sold out online.

The list includes the £39.99 Vtech Kidizoom Smart Watch, the £58.99 My Friend Cayla doll and collectable Minecraft figures, which cost from £7.99.

Also making the top 12 are Bop It! Beats which combines the original game with songs from popular artists, the £19.99 Little Live Pets Bird Cage, the £44.99 Nerf Demolisher 2-in-1 and the £80 Lego Movie spaceship.

DreamToys committee chairman Gary Grant said: "It's great to see creative and sharing toys sitting alongside more traditional toys or toys that facilitate a bit of rough and tumble. And with nearly half the list priced under £25, it is relevant for all consumers this Christmas.

"All of the toys on this list will undoubtedly be popular this Christmas, so our advice is to shop early to avoid disappointment."

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This Christmas is set to seal the biggest year for toy sales in four years after "must-have" loom bands, Panini stickers and Lego figures set tills ringing.

Sales of toys in Britain are up 6% on last year, according to analysts NPD Group - the best result for the industry since 2010.

The NPD Group predicted that an increase in spending on toys this Christmas would take annual sales to more than £3 billion, an increase of £166 million in one year.

It said the growth was due to continued interest in interactive and internet-connected toys, strong sales in classic categories such as building sets and arts and crafts as well as new, highly anticipated products coming to the market in time for Christmas.

Increased interest in low-priced and collectable toys such as Panini stickers and Lego mini figures had also spurred healthy growth in impulse-buying, and also meant the average price for toys dropped from £7.69 to £6.95.

NPD Group toys analyst Frederique Tutt said: "The British toy market is leading resurgence in toy sales in Europe.

"The innovation that the industry has invested in has also started to pay back. Impulse sales of collectibles and lower-priced toys are up as well as licences from movies including Frozen, and this year's craze, loom bands.

"These two factors combined delivered the fastest growth rate in toy sales since 2010 which suggests that Christmas 2014 might be the best for some time."

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