Last Christmas may only seem like a few weeks ago, especially if you can still clearly remember the panic of queueing outside The Entertainer to get your hands on the Elsa Snow Glow Doll your little girl just had to have (largely because you’d left it too late to get your hands on one easily). To prevent this sort of Christmas-week panic (and, the cynic in us all says, to make sure they make as much cash as they can), the big toy retailers such as Hamleys and Argos have already revealed their lists of must-have Christmas toys for 2015. You may not want to think about it yet, but it could pay to get in early if sell-outs of past years are anything to go by.
According to Argos, children this year are going to want lots of toys dominated by the small and the big screen. Frozen goodies will still be high on many lists, along with the Minions-inspired Tumbling Stuart toy, £49.99 from Argos, and Thunderbirds items. Santa’s sleigh also looks set to be packed with Lego City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel, £79.99 from ToysRus, Real FX artificial-intelligence racing cars and Nerf Modulus guns, £59.99 and available for pre-order from Smyths.
Strangely, many of the items making this year’s lists are similar toys to those you may have played with as a child, such as Barbie, Lego and Tracy Island, but new and innovative ideas also make the Argos chart, including the My Friend Freddy interactive bear. Tracy Island, meanwhile, has certainly been given a major revamp for the 21st century. Thunderbirds Are Go Interactive Tracy Island Playset, £79.99 from Argos, makes use of smart technology to offer the most interactive experience ever, boasting more than 50 different features, sounds and lights. Other favourites making the Argos chart include the Pie Face game, the Chad Valley 3 Storey Summer Winter Dolls House, the Barbie Style Your Way House, Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa, Little Live Pets Birds Clever Keet, the Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck Playset and the VTech Toot Drivers Super RC Raceway.
My Friend Freddy, Clever Keet, the Scoops Ice Cream Truck and, of course, Tracy Island also make the Hamleys’ list, but there are also plenty more things that are sure to prompt much excitement, and many meltdowns, in the run-up to Christmas 2015. Amongst Hamleys’ top picks is the Skate and Sing Elsa, a Let It Go-singing remote control version of the Disney heroine set to be released in September, and the quick-witted i-Que Intelligent Robot, £64.99 from Smyths, which features lots of quizzes and fun for little techies. Even adults will be impressed by how well i-Que can understand what you say. Peppa Pig is still up there with the Once Upon a Time Princess Rose Peppa, £20 from Hamleys, whilst imaginative toys such as Kinetic Sand and the Magic 3D Maker should give kids something to do on Christmas afternoon. The same can be said of the LeapPad Platinum, which also makes the list and features enhanced parental controls, back and front cameras, a powerful processor and a music player for added fun.