Top toys for Christmas

IT might not have been mentioned in your house yet - but it's only a matter of time. But what are the smart choices for this year's Christmas gifts?

IT might not have been mentioned in your house yet - but it's only a matter of time. TRACEY SPARLING discovers what the top 12 Christmas dream toys are going to be this year.

IT'S a great time for the toy trade and a worrying time for parents.

Christmas is fast approaching and you have to be in the know about what your little darling will want. Most, I suspect, will quickly inform you what they want but the choice is really quite bewildering.

Every year throws up some 'must have' item that sees the organised among us buying it now and other hapless souls running around in a blind panic on Christmas Eve.

Sure traditional favourites such as board games, dolls, vehicles and construction kits retain their pulling power year after year but, as children continue to outfox their parents in gadget and gizmo knowledge, hi-tech games and toys have a real cachet to them.

Naturally, hefty advertising helps push certain toys and you can never under-estimate the power of telly as a new list of top toys reveals what the Toy Retailer Association predict as winners this Christmas.

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A Dr Who Cyberman Mask, and the interactive toy car Fast Talkin' McQueen inspired by the hit movie Cars, will be hot favourites with boys this year.

Hollywood movies Pirates Of The Caribbean and Star Wars have also made their mark, inspiring the Isla Cruces playset and a Transformer toy set.

The girls' top 12 list includes a Disney Princess chair, and a Let's Dance Barbie, based on the sixth Barbie movie, will add a new twist to the long-standing favourite doll.

Pre-school children will prefer toys inspired by Bob The Builder and Thomas The Tank Engine.

Their top 12 also includes the V Smile Baby game, an interactive toy for children as young as nine months.

For older children, the list includes Hasbro's Trivial Pursuits 90s and the electronic board game of Deal Or No Deal.

Toy Retailers Association (TRA) chairman Gary Sadler said: "We are currently seeing a resurgence in licensed toys, which combine fun and playability with the familiarity of popular characters.'

At Toymaster Kingdom in Carr Street, Ipswich, manager Christina Read reckoned that the list of high tech toys was about right. It seems no toys are simple any more.

But she also predicted that traditional Lego will be popular. She said: “Lego is having a fantastic resurgence this year, so it's going to be big at Christmas.

“The other toys which are already popular, and will be selling towards Christmas are the Robo Sapien V2s, Pixel Chix, the new Let's Dance Barbie, the Deal or No Deal board game, Turbo Tail Tigger, the Dr Who Cyberman Mask, and Paper FX.

“The re-launched TMX Elmo - which is hidden inside the box so you get a surprise when you open it - is also going to be popular when the Christmas shopping hots up.”

And while it's great for those whose parents can afford a whole selection of shiny new toys and games, there's really something to be said for the less is more school of thought.

Paper, crayons, paints and of course books are great gifts and use that most important of tools - the imagination.

The Toy Retailers Association's independent predictions are based on retailers' opinions, items requested by shoppers and the latest trends in new products.

Its top toys for Christmas are as follows, in alphabetical order.

Baby Born with magic eyes, Zapf (RRP £39.99)

Bratz Forever Diamondz Assortment, Vivid (£24.99)

Cars Fast Talkin' McQueen, Mattel (RRP £39.99)

Deal Or No Deal Electronic Board Game, Drumond Park (RRP £29.99)

Dr Who Cyberman Mask, Character Options (RRP £29.99)

Let's Dance Barbie Doll, Mattel (RRP £39.99)

Paper FX, Flair (RRP £19.99)

Pixel Chix Mall, Mattel (RRP £29.99)

Tamagotchi Connexion V3, Bandai (RRP £12.99)

Thomas Aquadraw, Tomy (RRP £29.99)

Trivial Pursuit 90s, Hasbro (RRP £29.99)

V Smile Baby, VTech (RRP £39.99)

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