Announced at the Hamleys 2019 Christmas Showcase, the list combines educational gifts, collectibles and toys with a tech element.
Toy retailer Hamleys is tipping toys that encourage children to play, develop and grow as top choices this Christmas, including Learning Resources’ Coding Critters, which teaches kids to code without a screen. The game stars the child’s own pet and improves problem solving and critical thinking, while sparking imagination. Meanwhile, the Smart Pixelator from Flycatcher lets kids build their own 2D or 3D designs with Bluetooth connectivity.
For pre-schoolers, the Linkimals Slow Moves Sloth from Fisher-Price is an interactive toy with lights and music that it dances to. Little ones can press buttons to find out more about colours and numbers. It also uses nearfield technology to work with other Linkimals.
Scruff-a-Luvs My Real Rescue from Moose Toys is an abandoned pet that requires love to transform it from scruffy to fluffy, reacting to how kids nurture it with lifelike sounds and features such as a heartbeat.
The list also includes traditional toys with a 21st century twist. Mattel’s Pictionary Air lets players download the app and draw into the air; their design will be transferred onto the screen. The Lego Hidden World Paranormal Bus allows construction fans to build the physical bus model and then download the special app and bring it alive in virtual reality.
The popularity of collectibles like Poopsie Slime Surprise and L.O.L Surprise! shows no sign of slowing; new iterations like the L.O.L Chalet Dollhouse give fans a two-storey winter home for their dolls.
Finally, the Nerf Fortnite Rocket Launcher from Hasbro, which takes inspiration from the popular video game, also makes the list, alongside Hamleys’ own Oblique Drifter – a four-wheeled machine that has 360 degree free rotation and also plays music.
Victoria Kay, head buyer at Hamleys, commented: “It’s no surprise that tech-based toys are popular with the kids this Christmas, but it’s interesting and exciting that we are seeing an emerging trend of human connection within toys like Scruff-a-luv’s My Real Rescue, whereas other toys such as Pictionary Air are starting to embrace the online world through physical play. Importantly, these toys are being delivered to bring people together this Christmas and provide an extra dimension of fun and familiarity to all family members.”