KIDS face disappointment at Christmas if parents don’t get organised and snap up must have toys like LEGO, Paw Patrol and a “pooping” flamingo.
Sales of toys and games are up six per cent so far in 2020 thanks to mums and dads buying more than normal to entertain children stuck at home over summer.
Some have also started Christmas gift shopping early – amid fears shops might close again, deliveries get booked up and also stocks running low.
Toy bosses said their concerns are real – and urged others to do the same.
The warning came as the top toys for Christmas are announced today – a month earlier than normal. The Toy Retailers’ Association reckon the 12 are the must-haves of 2020.
The unranked top 12 toys includes the Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper, which sells at £79.99, a LEGO set of Harry Potter’s Hedwig for £34.99, and Monopoly For Sore Losers, expected to sell at £22.99.
LEGO also makes a second appearance thanks to the Adventures with Mario starter course which sells for £49.99.
TV and film characters also feature heavily, with a Baby Yoda toy from The Star Wars series for £29.99, Peppa Pig’s shopping centre at £39.99, and the Paw Patrol Dino Rescue Patroller listed at £64.99 also making the list.
In the wider list of 72 toys, there is the £32.99 Little Live Pets Gotta Go Flamingo – which was one of the eight animal toys.
Makers Character Options say: “Feed Sherbet his favourite Magic Flamingo Food, then watch his neck wiggle and wobble as he gobbles it down. But watch out! What goes in must come out!
“When Sherbet’s ‘gotta go’, he’ll let you know by singing his catchy “Uh Oh, Gotta Go!” song. You won’t be able to stop laughing & singing along. Place him on the toilet and watch him ‘poop’ into the bowl. Then scoop up the poop, feed him some more and watch him do it all again!”
Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee and boss of The Entertainer chain, said: “This is not to panic people but there will be some unhappy children at Christmas if parents aren’t organised. Buying toys is very different this year.
“Our biggest concern is capacity – both for shopping in person and online for delivery.
“Due to Covid restrictions across the country, retailers will simply not be able to serve as many people in store due to social distancing.
“In addition, couriers are already overloaded and will struggle to meet the demand to get presents to people before Christmas.
“Added to this is the limited availability of stock compared to previous years; our advice is to shop early to avoid missing out.”
He added: “We implore consumers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year.”
Throughout lockdown, toy industry analyst Frederique Tutt, from NPD Group, said: “Toys have been a constant source of joy for children during this difficult time and have brought families closer together.
Statistics from NPD show toy sales have increased by 6 per cent on the first nine months of 2020, while games and puzzles have seen an increase of 32 per cent.
Ahead of Christmas, polling suggests that parents have played with their children more this year as a result of lockdown.
A survey of 2,000 parents in the UK with children under the age of ten found that 46 per cent of them said that toys had been played with more this year as a result of lockdown.
In addition, 56 per cent of parents said that they had personally spent more time playing with their children this year, and 88 per cent of those said that playtime had brought them closer to their children. Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee said: “Toys have been an important part of families’ lives during lockdown and we believe many on this list will put a well-deserved smile on faces this Christmas.”
The Dream Toys list is cheaper than in recent years.
The toys have a mix of prices – from £6.99 to £79.99. The total price for all 12 is £524.88 – with an average price of just over £43.74.
Last year, it was £557.88 – with an average price of just over £46.49. In 2018, it was £546.88, with an average of £45.57. In 2017, it was ££557.88 – with an average price of just over £46.49. In 2016 it cost £644.88 at an average of £53.74.
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