Every year, parents find their inner Arnie. It is just like they have fallen straight into the Christmas movie Jingle All the Way. They find themselves searching every corner of the country for the hottest toys for Christmas 2016.
They contact grandparents in different cities, urging them to check stocks at their local Smyths or ToysRUs. Also, they go into bidding frenzies on eBay. They click ‘refresh’ on product pages, hoping that new stock will have arrived within the last 10 seconds.
Every parent wants to find the best Christmas presents for their child. Some of the most popular seem almost impossible to get.
Here are 20 of the most popular toys for Christmas 2016, for you to get your hands on.
If you haven’t heard of Hatchimals, then you are missing 2016’s biggest craze.
In 1998, the Furby was the gift that every child begged for. Nearly 20 years on, the new generation are asking for something resembling a Furby in an egg.
Hatchimals are fluffy robotic animals that begin life in their eggs. There are several eggs to collect, and each can hatch into one of two animals. Furthermore, eggs hatch after anything between 10 and 40 minutes, depending on how much attention they receive from their owner.
Play involves holding, tapping or tilting the egg. After the egg has hatched, the animal inside becomes the toy.
A child’s excitement is likely to fade as soon as the egg has hatched. Reviews from existing owners say that the novelty will quickly wear off.
But, if you are desperate for a Hatchimal then you may still be in with a chance. Smyths have commented that limited stocks may be available online in early December.
On eBay, you can purchase brand new Hatchimals with winning bids around the £100 mark.
Alternatively, if your child can be patient, the people behind Hatchimals have promised a whole new range in early 2017.
Therefore, could the IOU note, and the promise of a completely different Hatchimal, be enough for your child on Christmas Day?
Parents of younger children have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of Hoppity Voosh. From CBeebies’ TV show Bing, this cuddly rabbit is undoubtedly a toddler favourite.
A Hoppity Voosh toy was a sought-after, but non-existent, item. Interestingly, parents had been asking since June 2014, when the show first reached their TV screens.
In August 2016, Hoppity was finally released to the world. Finally, parents and toddlers everywhere were happy.
If you have not got your hands on one yet, this perfect gift is just £8.99 on Amazon.co.uk.
The toy for the YouTube generation. SelfieMic is, as the name might suggest, a combination of selfie stick and microphone.
Children can attach their phone to the stick, sing into the microphone and record every moment on their phone’s camera, ready to save or upload.
GameSeek is selling the SelfieMic at the lowest price, but for in-person purchases, you are best visiting Argos.
Minions Pie Face
What do you get if you cross 2015’s hottest Christmas toy with the ubiquitous yellow creatures from Despicable Me? Well, Minions Pie Face, of course!
Available from Toys R Us, this is sure to be a hit around the dining table.
NES Classic Edition
Who said Christmas toys were just for the kids? We all know people that would love to relive their childhood with retro games consoles.
The NES Classic Edition is an old gaming system brought up to date in 2016. Unfortunately, supplies were typically limited and it has been hard to find.
The remake comes with 30 games including favourites such as Donkey Kong and Kirby’s Adventure.
Also, your best place to find the NES Classic is on Amazon, with sellers charging prices of £130 upwards.
Since its first release in 2011, the Skylanders franchise has been an enduring one. Little figurines are available as add-ons, and uploaded into a video game. It is a clever way of making money, and one that children cannot resist.
Top of children’s gifts charts this year is Skylanders Imaginators. It is the latest game in the series and allows youngsters to design their own characters in-game. There are hints from the creators that some lucky players may then get their characters turned into figurines to keep.
Your best place to find Skylanders Imaginators stock at the best price for any console is currently Argos.
Classic favourite Scalextric, combined with modern digital gaming.
This is a physical race track, with real cars. Players connect their vehicles with an iOS or Android app, to control them for races and to add virtual upgrades. The old Scalextric frustration has also been removed – cars now automatically stay on the track!
The best place for these Christmas gifts is currently Currys.
Not allowing Hatchimals to have all the fun, Furby Connect remains one of the top toys for Christmas 2016.
Best prices are currently from Tesco. Some colours cost more than others, so if you are not too fussy then you may save £5 by choosing blue instead of purple.
A wheeled robotic chimpanzee. Few Christmas toys are being sold at such a wide variety of prices.
Zoomer is being sold for almost £120 in some high street stores. Head to Smyths for this popular toy at just £69.99.
Monopoly Ultimate Banking
This year’s most popular board game, Monopoly is perhaps the 1000th iteration of the classic.
Now, players can experience all of the excitement of contactless technology. Cards include chips, and players tap their cards onto the Central Banking Unit to record their purchases and actions. Cheating is no longer an option!
Argos is selling Monopoly Ultimate Banking at a very reasonable price. By collecting from the store, you can avoid the postage charges that would push any cheaper retailer’s offering higher.
A toy to buy in anticipation.
Disney’s Moana is not being released until 2nd December. But, it will almost undoubtedly become an end-of-year favourite.
The title character’s doll is available direct from the Disney Store. Also, it is predicted to be one of Christmas 2016’s affordable favourites.
Thomas & Friends Trackmaster Sky-High Bridge Jump Set
The name does not exactly roll off the tongue. But, at least Thomas rolls off the tracks! Flies off them, in fact.
This impressive toy uses AA batteries and a little assistance from gravity, to send Thomas the Tank Engine off the rails and over a 2ft gap.
Parents may not enjoy setting this one up, but it is sure to amaze their kids.
This is one of those Christmas toys that is probably best picked up in store and set up ahead of time. Reports from parents suggest that the track can take anything from 1-3 hours to build.
It can be purchased from Toys R Us.
Trolls Hug Time Poppy
The Trolls movie has been a hit this year. Full of bright colours and pop music, it has been a popular choice with children and parents alike.
As a result, the Hug Time Poppy Doll is on Christmas lists all over the country. Poppy is one of the film’s main characters, and she is available as a talking and singing doll. She also comes with a matching bracelet for a child, that lights up in time to her music.
Tesco stores are stocking Poppy in the run-up to Christmas, though she is intermittently out of stock online.
An unusual Christmas toy, but one that will have the whole family in fits of giggles as they play. Silly Sausage is a game that involves a plastic sausage that players must dip, shake, poke, twist and stretch.
Available from John Lewis at the best price on the high street, this entertaining game is a new spin on the Bop It classic.
Vtech Toot Toot Goldmine
Toot Toot toys are a toddler favourite. The colourful plastic tracks are easy to put together and the sturdy vehicles (or animals) speak phrases and sing songs as they travel over certain SmartPoints.
Usually, Toot Toot vehicles need to be pushed along by hand. With the Goldmine, they are motorised and will travel around on their own. As a result, providing endless fascination for two-year-olds!
From Toys R Us, this is available with free UK delivery to avoid the in-store Christmas rush.
An increasing number of parents are paying attention to the way toys are marketed. Many are tired of pink princesses for girls and superheroes for boys.
Lottie dolls aim to shift the balance. They are relatable, without an emphasis on fashion and make-up.
They are also STEM toys, encouraging their users to consider futures in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A hit with parents of young girls.
It is best to buy a Lottie doll directly from the official website, where you can also find outfits and accessories. Finn, available on the same website, is the male equivalent but has a limited choice of modifications.
Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck
The Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck is perfect for pre-teens.
Children can mix lip glosses, add glitter and then dispense them into sundae containers.
Available to buy from The Entertainer online or in-store.
Torch my Blazin’ Dragon
This large virtual pet – a cute and cuddly dragon – is one of the Christmas toys with the highest price tag.
Torch is a FurReal Friends product. He responds to touch and sound, and can even breathe flame-coloured mist if you fill a small tank with water.
This toy requires 4 x C batteries. Do not forget to purchase them because you are unlikely to have them lying around on Christmas morning!
Pokémon Go Plus
An optional accessory for any dedicated Pokémon trainer, the Pokémon Go Plus is sure to be a hit with all ages this Christmas.
It is a discreet wristband that will vibrate to alert the wearer to the presence of nearby Pokémon.
Players can catch Pokémon without taking their phones from their pockets. It is convenient and can also improve player safety.
These Christmas presents can be bought directly from the Nintendo Online Store.
You might have used a primitive version of this popular toy in your school days.
Children can connect together the caterpillar’s segments, in any order or configuration, to direct its movements and actions.
This is an ideal Christmas gift for children in their early years at primary school. It is available from Argos, where you can save money by collecting in person.
Your toys for Christmas 2016
Which toys have you managed to get hold of?
What’s on your child’s Christmas list this year?