So for parents who plan ahead, here are the top 12 toys and where to find the best prices…
This is what your children want from Santa this year - and, more importantly, how to get them for the cheapest price
Bop It! Beats
This updated version of the original Bop It! game lets you play using songs by your favourite bands. It’s also based on movements that DJs use, so you ‘spin it’, scratch it’, ‘flip it’ and, of course, ‘bop it’. This family game promises hours of Christmas day hilarity.
Its recommended retail price is £21.99 and most shops are selling it for around £20, but we’ve found it for just £14 at Smyths.
Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa
If you’re a parent then the chances are you can sing every song from Frozen, and it will come as no surprise that dolls from the film are popular this year.
This Snow Glow Elsa doll plays the song Let It Go (because parents of daughters haven’t heard that enough already…), talks to other Frozen characters and even lights up with a magically shining dress.
Elsa has a RRP of £34.99 but in some places she is on the shelves for more than £44 so be careful. We found two dolls for sale for just £31.23 via auction website Bonanza Market, but if you prefer to buy from a brand you know rather than an individual seller then you’ll be paying the RRP or more.
Argos, Tesco and Smyths have them in stock for £35.
Disney Frozen Sparkle Doll (assorted)
TRAAt a price less likely to see your bank account frozen (geddit?), these Frozen Sparkle dolls by Mattel have a RRP of £16.99. Of course, there are two dolls available; Elsa and Kristoff, so you may end up under pressure to buy both.
Thanks to the film’s popularity, these toys are going for more than their RRP all over the place, with some sellers pricing them at £100+ and clearly hoping they sell out. However, Amazon has both the Elsa
and Kristoff for just £12.40 with free delivery. Beware other sellers who’ve marked up the price and the delivery costs – we saw some charging £14 for postage alone.
Kidizoom Smart Watch - VTech
TRAGrown-ups have smart watches and this kids’ version is possibly even more exciting. It’s easy to use, has a touch screen, a choice of analogue and digital watch faces, a camera, a stop watch, games, photo editing and voice recording. It also has a fairly hefty RRP of £40.
The good news is that you can avoid paying that much if you move fast. We found it priced at £17.65 but only via a website we weren’t sure was safe. However, ASDA.com has these gadgets for £29.25.
Little Live Pets Bird Cage
RTAWhat is it with kids and their fascination with artificial life? This very sweet caged bird toy talks, tweets and sings with you, and the more you play with it the happier it is. We don’t know if it has an off-switch, we hope so for your sake.
This birdie’s RRP is £19.99 but its popularity means it is selling for up to £30. The best price we found was via Amazon for £14.59 and with free delivery.
If it helps, you can buy the birds by themselves with no cage for around £13. Just tell the kids that cages are cruel…
Minecraft Figures (assorted)
The most affordable must-haves in the whole list are these Minecraft figures at £7.99 RRP each, They are “super cool” three-inch action figures and you can collect Steve, Creeper, Enderman and Zombie. Parents of children a certain age know what we mean.
We found them for RRP with no postage charges via Amazon and in store at £7.99 from Argos.
Parents be warned! This is a minefield (ha ha) to navigate – there are many cheaper models that are not the must-have toys. Make sure you know exactly which character your child has asked Santa for or there may be tears come Christmas day.
My Friend Cayla
With a £58.99 price tag, this doll goes above and beyond the usual tea-party antics. Well, at that price she’d have to. Cayla recognises your child’s speech and allows them to access information from the internet safely through her controls. She can play, read stories and chat, as well as helping out with homework. Don’t worry, you can increase the web controls if you’re worried.
The best price we found was via Smyths Toys, which has free shipping and a £43.99 price tag. Nerf Demolisher 2-in-1
TRAOne to get the dads excited this year is this Nerf Demolisher gun. It lets you launch two different kinds of ammo; big missiles and motorised blasting, and fires up to 90 feet.
The RRP is £44.99, but we found it for £33.50 with free shipping via Bopster. The packaging gives the distance in meters rather than feet, but it’s the same gun inside.
The Lego Movie - Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!
These prices aren’t getting any easier to swallow; this Lego Movie spaceship is priced at £79.99, but it is pretty cool. You get to build Benny’s spaceship and it is deliciously complicated and fiddly – kids (and probably parents) will be working on this late into Christmas night.
Once again the best price we found was via Smyths Toys - £53.99 with no postage fee.
You can already find a few used versions via various auction sites, but even they are charging around £50.
Toot-Toot Animals Safari Park
TRAToddlers next and the Toot-Toot range has a new safari set. It will connect to existing Toot-Toot kits and is being sold for £39.99, which is about the same as the previous popular car sets.
Smyths has it in stock for £29.07 plus £2.99 shipping, and Toys R Us is offering it for £29.99 plus £4.95 shipping. House of Fraser has it in stock for £29.99 plus £3 for postage, so try to avoid paying full whack.
Parents be warned! This lovely toy requires several animals to make it really fun, but it only comes with a rhino. You may want to budget for some extra beasts, priced at £19.99 for just three!
Transformers Stomp & Chomp Grimlock
At just under £90, this is quite a toy. It’s an enormous chomp and stomp Grimlock figure that converts to dino-mode, complete with chomping jaw and light-up eyes. It also has an Optimus Prime figure that rides Grimlock into battle.
But if you think you’d need a military defence budget to afford Grimlock, the good news is that he is cheaper elsewhere. Toys R Us has this toy for £66.99 with free shipping, while Smyths is offering it for just £59.99 with free shipping too.
That’s quite a saving.
TRAParents you will love this, we think it might be more popular with adults than kids. Boomer is a dinosaur, he chases, chomps and roars all while balancing on his two wheels. You try to control him with the remote, but he tries to spiral out of your control. It’s a battle of wits to keep your pre-historic pet doing what you say.
Well, parents may love Boomer but they won’t love his price tag. This toy’s RRP is £99.99. Again, some careful shopping can reap big rewards, with Smyths selling him for £53.99, almost half price. He’s also available from ASDA for £60, plus £2.95 shipping.
What do you think, worth the money or not? New deals become available all the time.
Santa, get ready to stock up. The toys that kids are most likely to want under their Christmas trees this year have been revealed by the Toy Retailers’ Association (TRA), and they are as imaginative, eclectic and innovative as usual. Not to mention expensive!
TRA members vote for the toys they think will be the biggest of the season and these are the 12 they think will be the most in demand. That means they’re also more likely to sell out and end up on eBay for twice the price.