Smyths Toys, which has branches in Wolverhampton, Telford, Walsall, Oldbury and Kidderminster, has produced its Christmas Top 10, and it features many old favourites with a fresh twist.
Sinead Byrne, joint head of marketing at Smyths, said the list included new toys from Paw Patrol and Pokémon, along with new releases from classic brands such as Monopoly, Barbie, and Lego.
The list features a broad range from the trendy to the surprisingly traditional, although parents might need to gen-up on the lingo to understand what some of them actually are.
‘Unboxing’, where children do not know exactly what they will be getting until they open some novelty packaging, is all the rage this year, it seems.
Byrne says it proved difficult choosing which toys would make this year’s list.
“We have some cool characters from L.O.L. Remix and Pokémon to Mario and The Child, as well as our exclusive Wrekkin’ Slambulance, as seen live on (US television channel) WWE last week,” she says.
“Paw Patrol has entered the age of dinosaurs, and Barbie’s Princess Adventures are hot to trot! Mix up game night with Monopoly for Sore Losers, Mini Brands Mini Mart shelves are full and ready to go and the Present Pets unboxing experience is sure to delight any child this Christmas.”
The top 10 are:
1. WWE Wrekkin’ Slambulance
Features on the wrestling-dominated WWE TV channel, Byrne says “the Wrekkin’ Slambulance Vehicle brings iconic WWE brawls to life”.
The toy ambulance has eight parts designed to break away when it is involved in smashes, and can the be reassembled for more fun.
The vehicle includes a ‘chaos’ button which sends the spring-loaded stretcher shooting out the back door of the ambulance, which does sound a bit like a scene from Carry On Doctor.
2. Pokémon Carry Case
Pokemon is still going strong.
This allows youngsters to re-enact their own Pokémon battles and explore the Pokéman world wherever they go, with this feature-filled portable play set.
3. Star Wars The Child Animatronic
Based on the Baby Yoda character in the Disney Plus series, this toy offers more than 25 sound and motion combinations to ensure the children never get bored.
It comes with a removable Mandalorian pendant necklace and a premium soft goods robe.
4. L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix 4-in-1 Plane and Remix dolls
Ok, this is the one where if you are not familiar with the franchise, you might need a bit of help with the terminology.
L.O.L. Surprise!, Or Lil Outrageous Littles, is a range of small dolls that come wrapped inside a surprise toy ball. Each ball has layers that contain stickers, secret messages, mix and match accessories, and finally, a doll. O.M.G., or Outrageous Millennial Girls, is a highly successful new range of fashion dolls, which won Toy of the Year prize at this year’s Annual Toy Industry Awards.
The Remix 4-in-1 Plane is a toy plane where the B.B.s (sorry, can’t help you) can relax on a long flight, but which can then be turned into a car on landing. It also converts into a mixing booth or recording studio should the B.B.s feel the need to produce an album or a new remix.
Youngsters can unbox 50 surprises, including working lights and sounds, a drink cart with plates and cups, rolling suitcases, overhead compartments that open and close, and seatbelts. Fits all L.O.L. dolls.
5. Barbie Princess Adventure Prance & Shimmer Horse
The classic American doll goes hi-tech as rides out on her shimmering horse for more adventures.
Touch her tiara and watch her hooves, tiara and bridle light up as she nuzzles and neighs – that’s the horse, not Barbie, by the way.
Or, press a button near her tail and tilt her back on her hind legs to activate a magical light show, play a song and see her dance along to the tune.
6. Present Pets Fancy Puppy Interactive Plush Pet Toy
Present Pets are said to be the only gifts that unbox themselves.
Waiting inside each Fancy Pup themed box is an adorable interactive puppy so excited to meet you, that she paws her way out of her own gift box.
With one of two possible Fancy Pups available in every box, the manufacturer says your child will have the excitement of not knowing which puppy they’re getting until she unboxes herself.
7. Lego Super Mario Starter Set
Lego is always popular at Christmas. but this is a world away from the simple, basic toy of years gone by.
Based on the popular video-game character, Lego Mario has colour sensors and LCD screens in his eyes, mouth and belly to display more than 100 different instant reactions to movement. Also included is a speaker that plays familiar sounds and music from the video game.
Lego Mario collects virtual coins as he runs and jumps from the Start Pipe to the Goal Pole through Lego bricks, cloud platforms, and clashes with his rivals Goomba and Bowser Jr.
8. Monopoly for Sore Losers
Does the traditional family board-game session usually end up with you throwing a strop because you have lost the game you know you should have won?
If so, this is the game for you. Instead of leaving you feeling miffed because nobody lands on your property, this game actually rewards incompetence and bad luck.
Players earn cash by going to jail, landing on someone else’s hotel, or going bankrupt. And those who really start sinking can make a comeback using the large Mr. Monopoly token that gives a bonus.
9. Paw Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller Motorised Team Vehicle with Chase and T-Rex
Based on the popular Canadian cartoon series, this toy sees the specialist search and rescue dogs out hunting for dinosaurs in distress.
The Dino Patroller is the first-ever motorised Paw Patrol team vehicle, and featuring room for all six pups, with oversized wheels and a projectile launcher and exclusive Chase and T-Rex dinosaur action figures, the team is ready for action.
When the dinosaurs yelp for help, place Chase in the cab and the vehicle is ready to roll.
10 Surprise Mini Brands Electronic Mini Mart with four Mystery Mini Brands Playset
Surprise Mini Brands another example of the ‘unboxing’ craze, and where youngsters open small plastic capsules to reveal tiny models of everyday household items, such as tins of Spam, packets of washing powder, or maybe a bottle of sauce.
The Mini Mart is the ultimate way to display Mini Brand toys.
There is also an interactive electronic feature which triggers real shopping sounds as you push your trolley.